Interview 1: Varshith Anilkumar

Varshith Anilkumar was a summer intern who has sadly left us for a great job at Cerner. Here’s our exit interview.

What were doing before this internship? How’d you hear about ForkOut?

I was a new graduate from Boston University with a Masters degree in Computer Engineering when I met Lida at the startup career fair. I was really intrigued when I got a brief introduction of the app and how it was supposed to improve the quality of restaurant outings with friends as well as increase the visibility of local restaurants in the Boston area. I then followed up with Lida who invited me to interview with him and William, another developer on the team. I conveyed my interest in working on a recommendation engine for ForkOut which ended up being the focus of my internship.

What’d you work on while at ForkOut?

After familiarizing with the application architecture for ForkOut, Lida helped me get up to speed with the backend architecture and the Phoenix framework used. I started out by working on the backend architecture for the application. Then when we got Vikrant and Srivathsa onboard, I started focusing on building a base for the recommendation system, as part of which I worked on ETL and Web Crawling followed by a few machine learning features.

What was the most fun to work on?

I really enjoyed the positive and agile approach of the team, and was truly inspired to work under Lida’s guidance. It was nice to see how we, as a team, could come up with new and fresh perspectives to both validate and implement features to the beta version of ForkOut.

I definitely enjoyed working on the data to come up with viable models for the recommendation engine.

What’d you learn?

I learnt how to work in a startup environment, following an agile scrum methodology for developing software features. I also learnt how to evaluate the local restaurants in Boston to build features that can attract users as well as improve the visibility of local restaurants in the Boston area. Finally, I also learnt new programming paradigms which are valuable for me in my future career.

What’s next for you?

I will be working as a Software Engineer for Cerner Corporation at their headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri.

All the best, Varshith! We were lucky to have you.

This interview has been edited for space and clarity.