Learning Never Stops: A Summer at Kenzan

As technology continues to evolve at rapid pace, it’s more important than ever that companies play an active role in the development and education of technology professionals. After all, we’re looking at 1 million technology jobs by 2020 and not enough skilled workers to fill those roles.  

Internships are a tried and true approach to engage students, recent graduates and new-to-the-market job seekers as they begin their careers. Three times a year, Kenzan hosts interns at our Denver and Rhode Island offices for 10 weeks. These internships provide hands-on experience with new technologies, an opportunity to collaborate with development teams, and to learn from industry veterans.

Before he ended his summer internship, we were excited to hear from Jacob Brauchler, a recent graduate from the University of Colorado. During his internship, Jacob worked with the Platform teams in our Denver office. Kenzan’s training and development manager, Kate Pisano, asked Jacob a few questions about his summer at Kenzan.

We’ll be accepting applications for spring interns in October. For those ready for the next step, check out our job opportunities here.

You’ve spent 10 weeks with us at Kenzan, can you  tell us about the project you worked on: A big project that I worked on was an evaluation of monitoring tools for Kubernetes. I tested the ease of setup along with confirmation that the metrics provided by the system match, at a minimum, the metrics provided by Heapster with InfluxDB and Grafana. I performed this evaluation on five different monitoring tools — Prometheus, Netsil, SignalFx, DataDog and Sysdig. At the end of my project, I wrote a white paper that included all my findings and provided rankings of the different tools based on setup, pricing, metrics and features provided by the tools.

What was your favorite part of the internship experience?
My favorite part of the internship experience has been learning and working with cutting edge web development frameworks. It’s been really awesome looking at the capabilities of new technologies that successful companies are using, and all with a very knowledgeable team to provide support in the growth and understanding of technologies.

Jacob Brauchler, one of Kenzan’s summer interns in Denver.

What was a challenge you had to work through?
Trying to setup Sysdig to test against the other monitoring tools I was evaluating was a real challenge. I attempted the follow the instructions provided by Sysdig, but along the way I encountered a number of errors. The first issue I found is that Sysdig can only be run on a Linux machine, and therefore I first tested on VirtualBox which does not support nested virtualization and would not work with Minikube. My next plan was to test on a dual booted machine which also ended in failure due to the fact that Sysdig had not been tested with Minikube and did not work due to the inability to update the Linux-Headers on the vm. At this point due to the fact that the other tools were successful and I had many struggles with Sysdig it was determined that Sysdig was not a tool we would recommend using.

What was the most important skill you learned during the internship?
Honestly, I would say the most important skill I gained during the internship would be the ability to share the process in which I completed a task; it helped me develop my technical teaching and sharing skills. As an extension to that I would say my ability to research and find solutions and to learn new things grew.

What surprised you about working at Kenzan?
The thing that surprised me about working at Kenzan most is how involved they keep their interns. In my past internship, they kind of just said, “hey go do this” and I was on my own. Here, it was a great experience where I was a part of a team doing work that is helpful to the company and pushed me to grow as a developer.

Favorite snack in the office?
My favorite snacks in the office were probably the different desserts in the office, such as cookies, ice cream and ice cream sandwiches.   

What was your favorite timesheet giphy Kate sent?
My favorite timesheet giphy Kate sent, was the guess what day it is gif. I choose this gif because it provided a fun time to joke around with other interns, as well as Kate.

What piece of advice do you have other folks looking at internship opportunities?
One piece of advice I have for other folks looking at internship opportunities is to find an internship that wants you to be involved with the team, and wants to help you grow as a developer. If you find a company that wants to do this and wants to prepare you for a future in this industry you will get a lot more out of your time.

What new tools or tech were you exposed to or got to work with?
The tools and technology I was exposed to were Kubernetes (an open-source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications.), Prometheus, SignalFx, DataDog, Netsil (The past 4 are monitoring tools), Jenkins, React, and Webstorm. I got exposure to a wide variety of tools and tech during my time at Kenzan, some on the development side of things and some on the DevOps side of things.

How did the experience guide your career goals?
This experience guided my career goals in that I started out with a focus on just being a fullstack developer but after my time as an intern I would like to have the opportunity to dive into DevOps further in the future.

After completing his 10-week internship, Jacob was hired as a full-time employee.


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