The Startup Experience (Internship)

The startup life is not the for the faint hearted. By working at Smart Home Sentry, I had a whirlwind of experiences that taught me everything from the backend workings of an early stage company to showing me the startup culture! From the very first day, the team welcomed me in like family. At Plug-and-Play Tech Center, there is very little time for messing around, but each team member took the time to speak with me and one even offered to buy me lunch! It was quickly apparent to me that Sentry had a very strong team dynamic and was more than happy to include me. 

Right off the bat I was given the assignment of building a customer portal so users could easily access their camera information. I took the responsibility head-on and decided to visualize this portal by creating initial designs. This helped the team understand the functionalities of the website which, in return allowed them to provide me with valuable feedback for changes to implement. Once we finalized the design, I jumped into the backend portion of the project and collaborated with Trishul to implement our framework to build the website. Following the functionality, I decided to take responsibility for the UI/UX of the website and do research into customer expectations for a user portal. After researching, I enhanced the experience of the user by reducing friction between website interactions, as well as adding pleasant color schemes and iconography for an intuitive “look” and “feel”. Uday even allowed me to jump into the marketing and sales teams so I could engage with customers personally and make precise changes to improve their experiences further!

Looking back on my experience, there were many challenging and interesting problems I encountered that truly pushed my problem-solving skills and forced me to become a decisive action-taker. I quickly found out in startups, it is unwise to linger on an problem for too long. Either ask for help, or approach the problem in a different way, but never stay stuck. The part I loved the most about working at Sentry was the fast-paced environment the team would embrace. By following agile methodologies, everyone had tasks and there wasn’t a single day that went by where I felt my efforts were not focused and impactful. 

Thank you to Sentry for keeping me busy with exciting work this summer and for especially teaching me about the startup world!

– Nish Ullagaddi, Software Engineering Intern