My Summer at Twilio: The Inside Story From a Twilio Intern

Oscar Sanchez

tl;dr: Working at Twilio has been one of the greatest experiences I’ve had. The friendships I’ve made, the work I’ve done, and the things I’ve learned have gone a long way and would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

I’m Oscar Sanchez and I am working on the Web team here at Twilio. There are three main teams (x-team, i-team, and c-team), each of which is made up of smaller, more focused teams. Web team falls under the x-team umbrella. I did a lot this summer, and the great thing about the Web team is that we handle much more than the website itself.

My first project at Twilio was to redesign the workflow for a user to reset their password. I quickly learned Twilio’s engineering fundamentals and how they applied it here. I became familiar with the team’s code style and stateless methodology. Other projects taught me a range of new skills – from fraud detection techniques to cross-site scripting prevention and CORS and much more.

My Twilio Intern Experience

Though numbers may say that Twilio is no longer a startup, the environment here says otherwise. The lack of cubicles, constant walks to the stocked fridge for another drink, family-style Wednesday night dinners, rolling deploys, team sprints, code reviews, ping pong, incredible mentorship, Super Smash Bros Brawl sessions – they all contributed to the best working experience I’ve ever had.

Twilio feels small which is the main reason I decided to come here, instead of accepting an internship at a large corporation or computer juggernauts which shall not be named. I wanted to work in a company where I can create new things, build something better, and change the way things work. I wanted to grow with the company instead of helping improve someone else’s ideas and keeping a giant on its feet. I truly believe Twilio will change the way we look at telecommunications, and give that power to the people. This stuff might seem like magic, but Twilio truly lets the user become the wizard in control.

Walking Away With More Than Just New Code

Ultimately, what I take away this summer is a lot of life lessons. Each intern gets a wingman to guide them through their summer coding journey. Mine taught me a lot of skills – and not just coding practices which I needed to learn anyway: I improved my people skills, I learned how to present what I’m working on efficiently, how to interact with the brand team and get design locks on pages, how to collaborate better, and how to showcase my work and how to critique others’. Finally, I was reminded that we never stop learning, including in the most unexpected places. There was not a day I didn’t want to come in and code. I never felt like I couldn’t ask for help. And whenever I was told to refactor something or if I made a bad decision, I never put my head down and sulked. Instead, I worked harder.

There are still a lot of things I must learn and practice. As I head back to the University of Miami to close out my college life, I look forward to the future. The program is ending for this year, but the possibilities and growth of next year’s are endless. You will probably learn things no matter where you work, but Twilio is something special.

If you are a student interested in internship opportunities, email Mo Oosman mo@twilio.com. We’ll be opening up applications starting September 10th so make sure to check www.twilio.com/company/jobs