How To Get an Internship at Meta (Also: Follow Your Passion), With Scrimba Student Gabriel

Gabriel Pedroza (00:00):
People think that coding is just this magical place. As I've experienced more and more in programming, it's just like learning anything else. If you really like programming, or if you really like what it creates and you're able to put your ideas to life, then I don't see why not to just learn this specific language that just helps you talk to a computer.

Alex Booker (00:21):
Hello and welcome to The Scrimba Podcast. This is a weekly show where one week I interview a recently hired junior developer, and then the next week, an expert, like a senior dev or recruiter, so that you can learn how to break into tech from both sides.

I'm your host, Alex Booker. And today, I'm joined by Gabriel from the USA. After teaching himself to code on Scrimba, then later enrolling in university, Gabriel just landed an internship at Meta, which of course is formerly known as Facebook. In today's episode, we are going to learn how Gabriel optimized his study schedule and what it took to land a coveted internship at a company like Meta.

You are listening to The Scrimba Podcast. Let's get into it. Please just remember to share the episode on social media, if you like it. It helps more than you know. Here's Gabriel.

Gabriel Pedroza (01:17):
Growing up, because right now I'm 21, I've been surrounded with technology. But I've only, probably for the last four or five years, I've been pretty interested in technology, and I believe during senior year of high school, that I've really got into programming.

Alex Booker (01:32):
That's a great point. I think a lot of people growing up, maybe in the '90s, they don't exactly have a computer at home or realize it's something they can make a career out of. The industry's evolved a lot as well. But growing up and being just 21 now, I'm sure it's pretty much always been a part of your life, give or take. What was it that made you decide to learn to code specifically?

Gabriel Pedroza (01:52):
So, there is a French developer named Bruno Simon. Bruno Simon, and he has a portfolio. It's essentially a 3D portfolio. So you would have a car and you would drive around this environment, and you would see all his projects and there'd be mini-games and things like that. I was incredibly impressed when I saw that.

So, I decided to watch YouTube videos, like HTML/CSS to understand the front end. And then, that's actually when I found out about Scrimba, because watching videos were pretty boring, so using something that was very interactive really hooked me to Scrimba.

Alex Booker (02:27):
I can't believe Bruno Simon is the portfolio that inspired you to learn to code, because as you were describing it, I was like, "Yeah, this sounds familiar." I googled it and it's a really famous portfolio. Any website or post you see that shows you top 10 portfolios for developers, this is up there. It's a really cool little 3D car you can drive around and stuff. Frankly, I'm not sure I could code this. What about you?

Gabriel Pedroza (02:50):
I attempted to go for it, so it was pretty difficult, especially with a car. But I've done a couple 3D scenes. I did a hackathon recently and I just basically used 3D models from Blender that I created, and it would slowly fall from the top view port. It would slowly fall down and then there's a little mist and fog in the bottom, so slowly disappear as well. So I've done a couple.

Alex Booker (03:14):
Really cool that you got involved in some hackathons there. Were you just learning on Scrimba by yourself, or did you learn anywhere else and go to events and things like that?

Gabriel Pedroza (03:23):
Before Scrimba, I watched, I think it was 10 or 11 hours of HTML and CSS on YouTube just completely alone. Just going through it. And it wasn't like the best experience. It was just me tediously watching all these videos.

So, I was searching around to see what would be a great platform that would be very interactive and have a community for people, so I can ask questions. And then, that's how I found Scrimba. Don't remember exactly how, I believe I was just surfing the web and I found it like that.

So, I did the entire, I believe it's called the Front End Developer Bootcamp, which was 60 hours HTML, CSS, JavaScript React.

Alex Booker (04:05):
It's the career path, yeah?

Gabriel Pedroza (04:06):
Yes. And it was amazing. I absolutely loved it. I joined the Discord and just asked a bunch of questions that I needed, and everybody was extremely, extremely helpful. So, that was for sure the kickstart of my career.

Alex Booker (04:18):
I'm really happy to hear Scrimba played such an important role during your beginnings. Where did you go from there? Did you go on to study with that or did you start applying for jobs right away?

Gabriel Pedroza (04:28):
So I had a little bit of imposter syndrome when I finished the career path, so I didn't apply. So when I was in college, as well, I was studying computer science. There's these freshmen and sophomore programs that you can apply to, so I just applied to a bunch of companies.

I interviewed with Google, Facebook, DoorDash, Stripe, just all these huge companies. I was extremely scared. But as I progressed through it, I understood that the career path was extremely useful and it was a fantastic way to have strong fundamentals in programming.

So, all I needed to do was just learn this area called data structures and algorithms and just apply that to the interviews. So I did that with Meta, and I got very lucky to get an offer from Meta.

Alex Booker (05:17):
I can't wait to get into more details about how all this unfolded and what you'll be working on. Just in terms of the foundations here, I want to make sure I get this right. How did you balance university and Scrimba? How did they work together? Or did you do Scrimba and then enroll in university?

Gabriel Pedroza (05:32):
I was in Scrimba before I was a freshman in college, so I pretty much had all the time in the world to complete the career path. And there was a couple other courses that Scrimba also provides, so I did a couple of those as well. And once I got to freshman year, I think I was very close to finishing the courses on Scrimba.

For the classes, they weren't that difficult for a freshman because there's just a bunch of the basics, so the core classes that you need to have in order to pursue your major.

Alex Booker (06:00):
How did Scrimba compare to university, would you say?

Gabriel Pedroza (06:01):
Scrimba's definitely a lot better than university.

Alex Booker (06:06):
No. You're just saying that because you're on The Scrimba Podcast. Come on.

Gabriel Pedroza (06:09):
The classes, they're not very practical. So currently, I'm a sophomore right now. The class that they teach, I think they are pretty useful fundamentally, maybe Programming One and Two. But overall, it's just very boring.

And then, I would have this website called zyBooks that I was tediously going through problems I would never really see in a company code base, so that's why I really, really admire Scrimba. Even though it seems like I am drooling over Scrimba, but honestly, it's absolutely amazing.

Alex Booker (06:39):
Obviously, I'm really happy to hear that. Because well, hopefully, that's what everybody would say about Scrimba. The whole idea is that you subscribe for a small fee. There are even free courses, but the quality of education through the teaching, the methodology, but also the interactive format, should hopefully help you remember concepts by actually building stuff and actually practicing.

I guess, where the difference is, is that Scrimba is 100% practical. You will never find a scrim that goes into theory without some kind of practical reason. But a university, I can see it being very interesting getting into data structures and algorithms. You touched very quickly on things like AI, but I know there are modules on compiler design and all kinds of things like that that aren't going to help you materially build something immediately. But that foundation might be networking, for example, cybersecurity, all these kind of things.

How do you think that side of things compares to Scrimba, which is narrowly focused on something like web development?

Gabriel Pedroza (07:32):
So specifically for universities and college, I think it's pretty good to see a breadth of what's going on in the computer science world. Last time that I've used Scrimba, it was mainly focused on the web, so I do think if Scrimba somehow propagates through all the other fields that computer science has to offer, I mean, apart from getting the degree, university's not a very good place to learn surprisingly.

It's very theoretical, which is good, but you would never have any projects. I've never talked about any classes I have ever had in interviews. I've only talked about my experience and the projects that I've worked on, so that's why I really value Scrimba.

Jan Arsenovic (08:10):
Coming up. What's it like to interview at a big tech company?

Gabriel Pedroza (08:14):
The bigger the name, the easier the questions are, which I'm very confused about.

Alex Booker (08:20):
I will be right back with Gabriel, but first Jan, the producer, and I wanted to read some of your comments about the podcast from Twitter and LinkedIn.

Jan Arsenovic (08:28):
Hello. Scrolls on Twitter says, "My take home advice will be Chad on The Scrimba Podcast mentioning the fact that we need to show up to Twitter tech spaces consistently if we really want to have an online community. Thank you, Scrimba."

David O'Reilly also tweeted about our last week's episode with Chad Stewart and said, "Great podcast. As someone who's taken a very non-traditional route into tech marketing at Microsoft, I fully agree there are more ways into tech than most seem to realize. Always happy to chat about it."

And Prince Lua Maria, I hope I'm saying that right, tweeted, "OMG. The Scrimba Podcast with @bookercodes is really amazing for us newbies and pretty much anyone that needs motivation to land a good job. I'm just a free member of Scrimba, but I've never felt this awesome being totally new in a community. #motivated."

If you'd like to get a shout-out on the show, just talk about it. If you're learning something from our podcast, you can share your takeaways on Twitter or on LinkedIn. If you're feeling extra supportive, you can also leave us a review in your podcast app of choice.

And now, we're back to the interview with Gabriel.

Alex Booker (09:40):
Tell us a little bit about these interviews. You mentioned some companies, I think everybody's ears perked up when you mentioned Meta and Google. As a brand new developer, how did you get your foot in the door?

Gabriel Pedroza (09:50):
Initially, it was just really cold applying. I got lucky on some. I think I applied overall to 130 companies. There are some strategies. Obviously, getting the resume really, really strong and having everything very neat is very important. Having projects that are very good, using buzzwords in the resume, so it would target ATS.

ATS is like a little robot that reads your resume and sees if you have the correct keywords, then you're going to continue in the interview. I would essentially use programming languages. So if the description has TypeScript, I would put TypeScript and JavaScript. I would do little things like that.

Alex Booker (10:26):
I would call those buzzwords so much as keywords, I guess. Buzzwords would be, I don't know, things like ChatGPT or omnichannel messaging or something, right? Something that sounds really fancy pants but doesn't necessarily affect your ability to do the job. But that's obviously a very good technique.

Where were you finding these jobs? Was it all through a certain platform or did you kind of expand your search a little bit?

Gabriel Pedroza (10:48):
Initially, I was just Google searching and then I believe I used this platform called RippleMatch, so I applied to that. And when I was applying and let's say if I got this OA, OA is a little coding assessment that they give you that if you do good then you're going to continue in the interview.

Alex Booker (11:03):
Is that an acronym? What does it stand for?

Gabriel Pedroza (11:05):
It stands for an open assessment. There's two main forms of OAs. One is a HackerRank and one is a CodeSignal.

So CodeSignal is usually four questions. You would solve them and it would give you a little score, I think from six to 850. And HackerRank is two to five questions more or less, that the company would choose. So you would do those and if you get a pretty good score, you would continue with the interview.

Alex Booker (11:27):
And what was the name of the platform that connects you with the companies? I don't recognize that one.

Gabriel Pedroza (11:31):
Yeah. So, I used RippleMatch when I was applying. But for Meta, I just applied to the company site.

Alex Booker (11:37):
It's actually really interesting that you went to Meta specifically to apply. Did you have your eyes set on a company like Meta in particular? What was your thinking then?

Gabriel Pedroza (11:47):
It's pretty funny because I almost didn't apply to Meta, because I just did not feel like I would get Meta at all.

Alex Booker (11:53):
Oh, you're kidding.

Gabriel Pedroza (11:54):
For my first internship, I was actually convinced by one of my friends to apply to Meta, so I just applied and just said, "You know what? I'd probably get rejected, so what's the matter? I'm just going to just try and why not?"

And lo and behold, I got the offer. So it's very, very important to just really apply. Don't limit yourself at all. Very, very important.

Alex Booker (12:11):
We will definitely get into this. I'm super keen to learn more, but I just want to make sure we understand as well and not glance over this because I think it's very impressive. You were getting your foot in the door at these companies, right? What do you think it was about your profile, your experience, that made employers think, "Okay, let's have a chat with Gabriel?"

Gabriel Pedroza (12:29):
I was very, very involved. Well, I still am very involved in my university. So currently, I hold the executive board and the tech lead at a nonprofit organization with over close to 8,000 members. And the goal is to just help minorities land job opportunities in tech.

So usually, in the organization, I would do workshops. One of them was Intro to React and then I did Intro to Backend. And I would also, in the organization, do executive decisions. So, I was talking with the Meta recruiter about that and they were very, very interested in learning more.

Alex Booker (13:03):
Is it mostly teaching hard skills, like React? Or do you sometimes offer career advice and stuff as well?

Gabriel Pedroza (13:09):
It would be very impromptu. But officially, I would do workshops like the hard skills, and there would be different programs. I think right now it's called In it Reach, and there you would learn the behaviorals and the soft skills. So using the different programs in the organization will make you a very well-rounded developer, or anything in computer science, so you'd be completely ready to apply and get offers.

Alex Booker (13:34):
It's good you recognize the importance of that, because I think a lot of first time programmers, through no fault of their own, it's totally understandable, you think coding is about coding. Your ability to get a coding job begins and ends with your coding ability, but those soft skills play such an important role as well, don't you think?

Gabriel Pedroza (13:51):
Oh, they're extremely, extremely important. Specifically for Meta, I only had one behavioral, I had no technicals at all, so it shows you how very important behaviorals and soft skills are, because you need to portray what's going on. And even when you're on a team, you have to explain the problem that you currently have to other developers, because you're going to be working on a team.

Alex Booker (14:11):
I am right at thinking that getting an internship at Meta is pretty bloody prestigious, right? They don't hand them out like candy by any means.

Gabriel Pedroza (14:19):

Alex Booker (14:20):
Help us understand, they didn't do a technical interview. Was it just this experience, where you were helping others break into industry, that set you apart?

Gabriel Pedroza (14:28):
I've done a lot of LeetCodes as well, because the question that they asked, technical wise, they're very, very similar to LeetCode. So if you have the technical skills down to pass the OAs, then you would be moved on, on average would be like three rounds.

But just passing those technical questions is not enough. You really need to set yourself apart and have a passion, and show forth it through your experience, extracurricular activities, or any projects that you're doing.

Alex Booker (14:57):
That makes a lot of sense. I guess, when you said there wasn't a technical interview, I was skipping over the fact that you did the OA in the first place.

Is it tough, the questions? What are some examples of the kind of questions that might show up on the OA? And by the way, do you think they're quite specific to a company like Meta? Or is doing LeetCode something that's generally good for new developers?

Gabriel Pedroza (15:17):
I think, in general, LeetCode is very, very important. But in terms of the questions, surprisingly, the bigger the name, the easier the questions are, which I'm very confused about. And I didn't understand that first until I was going through the interviews.

So, one of the easier interviews that I've had was actually Google and eBay. Just a couple examples that I've gotten, it's a very, very famous problem on LeetCode, it's called Two Sum and it's the first problem that most people would do. So, it's just to just show that you can code and you understand, and explain your thought process in solving the problem.

It's not really the problem itself. You don't even need to solve the problem completely. It's fine if you get very, very close and not finishing it. But if you're able to explain and have thorough explanations throughout what is going on in your code, and in writing very clean code, then you're going to be completely fine.

Alex Booker (16:10):
What sort of work will you be doing? Because I know you're due to start soon, right? You're actually moving, you mentioned, from Florida to California to work on campus. It's going to be such an incredible experience.

Is the internship a set period of time? Do you work there for, sometimes it's called a summer internship or something, right? And what will you be working on? Do you know yet?

Gabriel Pedroza (16:30):
I'm going to be going in the summer from June 10th to August 18th. Specifically, I'm going to be working in Web Dev, so I'm not entirely sure if I'm going to be on a team or working solo. But definitely, anything and everything Web Dev related, I'm going to be working with it.

Alex Booker (16:45):
Huh. Is that a lucky coincidence or is it something that they matched of your experience, having learned on Scrimba and clearly taken the passion for the web in the front end?

Gabriel Pedroza (16:55):
I have no idea whatsoever, but I'm super glad. That's a great coincidence, if it is.

Alex Booker (17:00):
Gabriel, I want to come back and learn a bit more about your advice to new developers. But what do you say, we do a round of quickfire questions first?

Gabriel Pedroza (17:07):
Sounds great.

Alex Booker (17:11):
All right, man. So, what was your first coding language?

Gabriel Pedroza (17:14):
My first coding language was Python, but I got very scared of Python and then I just stuck with HTML/CSS. But then I went to JavaScript, and I'd say that was my official first language.

Alex Booker (17:25):
Is there any new technology you want to learn, maybe something you've got your eye on that you just haven't quite got around to or you're currently learning?

Gabriel Pedroza (17:32):
Definitely. Right now, I'm getting into AI and machine learning with Python, but I'm also getting into Rust. And Rust is very difficult, but I'll get there.

Alex Booker (17:42):
When you're coding, do you code in silence or do you listen to music? And if you listen to music, what do you generally listen to?

Gabriel Pedroza (17:47):
Initially I was listening to music, like lofi. And sometimes, I would listen to classical or jazz. But nowadays, sometimes I listen to music. I think yesterday I was with friends, so I was just coding with my friends. So, it just depends on day to day.

Alex Booker (18:01):
What about fueling your coding sessions? Tea, coffee or water?

Gabriel Pedroza (18:05):
I can't live without coffee. Coffee's very important.

Alex Booker (18:08):
Gabriel, do you look up to anyone in the tech community that we should know about, and can maybe follow and check out?

Gabriel Pedroza (18:14):
I definitely look up to Bruno Simon, who was definitely the man who inspired me. I also look to Theo Browne, which was an ex-Twitch software engineer, and now I believe he's a CEO at his startup company.

Alex Booker (18:27):
They stream on Twitch, right?

Gabriel Pedroza (18:28):
Yes. They stream on Twitch.

Alex Booker (18:30):
Link them both in the show notes.

Gabriel Pedroza (18:31):
And I also listen to The Primeagen. The Primeagen is awesome. Absolutely amazing.

Alex Booker (18:36):
Those two, they get lumped in the same category sometimes, I think. Because they're both doing really well on YouTube.

Gabriel Pedroza (18:40):
Yep. And they make a lot of collaborations with each other.

Alex Booker (18:43):
All right, Gabriel. Well that does us for the quickfire questions. But you know what's funny, one of the quickfire questions that I've retired, but I want to ask you about outside the segment is about your opinions on AI.

I used to ask people, will AI take over coding? But it's impossible to answer in a quickfire format. When you mentioned that you've been learning about AI and machine learning, I thought we should come back to this.

What's your impression about AI and tools like Copilot and ChatGPT? What do they mean for programmers and how are your friends at university, yourself and your friends at university, using and relating to these tools?

Gabriel Pedroza (19:19):
I mean, there's definitely endless opinions, but I think artificial intelligence and machine learning is absolutely amazing. And I'm very, very happy to be growing up in an era that AI is very prominent. I don't think it's going to absolutely take over the world, in like the movies, crazy robots fighting people.

I think, currently, it's just helping programmers to be a lot more productive and it makes me essentially the stereotypical 10x programmer. Helps me with my small bugs, things like that. So, I think it's absolutely great.

Alex Booker (19:50):
Yeah. It's an interesting time because no matter what you think about AI and these tools, personally, I don't think they're going to replace developers. I think they'll augment developers.

At least, right now, Copilot and GPT, they're sort of advanced forms of auto-completion. For years, there have been tools that can do static analysis on your code and tell you whether there might be a bug at runtime. I'm not even talking about static typing, I'm talking about certain extensions you can have in editors and IDEs that say, "Hey, this looks wrong. It might create a runtime error."

But we can't deny that there is a trend happening where AI is having its moment. It's getting a lot more widespread adoption. There's an AI chatbot inside of Snapchat today, for example. A lot of developers who maybe knew about it but didn't learn about it in too much depth, they're now bringing it to the forefront of their workflows.

I'm kind of curious about your perspective here, because you mentioned that you're working in a generation where this is having its moment, and you're specifically learning AI and machine learning with Rust, even though you obviously really like front end development. Is there a strategy there or are you really just following your passions and interests?

Gabriel Pedroza (20:52):
I'm definitely following my passion and interest, but I also understand that AI is very prominent right now. Very, very famous, especially on what's going on right now with DeepMind and OpenAI, GPT, all those crazy things. So, I would basically see the work. Even something like Midjourney, that I would just type a sentence and it would just create a picture. It just absolutely stuns me. And it gave me the same passion that I had when I saw Bruno's portfolio.

So, I'm attempting to go at it now. I'm doing pretty good. I'm learning about Tensors, which is a data structure in artificial intelligence. And later on, in a very, very short future, I'm going to just start creating models and just implementing them in the web for my projects.

Alex Booker (21:33):
Is AI relevant to the front end at all? Do you see a way for those two worlds to collide for yourself?

Gabriel Pedroza (21:39):
Front end specifically, I'm not sure. But I think in the web, holistically, would be pretty good. Even right now, I'm currently working on a full stack project. It's essentially a social media platform for developers, so it's comprised of three boxes and you kind of make a post. So the first box would be context of what's going on in your code, and the left box would be code that you would input, and there would be a right box of also code that you would input.

So, you would probably use the left box to put bad code that you written two years ago, and then on the right box, you would have more improved, more clean code. Also, you can show different types of codes. So one side would be in Python, and the other side would be in Rust, so you're able to compare them.

So, I was thinking of adding artificial intelligence in that project to detect what programming language you're using, and it would do syntax highlighting for you. That was my current idea right now, but I'm not too sure about that.

Alex Booker (22:35):
Really nice, really cool. Very cool you have these projects on the go as well. That's how you kind of stumble upon really exciting ideas, I think, and keep sharp and keep practicing. A lot of people I think sometimes, when learning to code, fall into this trap of maybe just only following the sort of brass tracks laid in front of them by the book or the course, or the boot camp or whatever, it's really important I think to branch off and work on some of your own stuff. That's a great way to tie all your knowledge together.

Maybe that wasn't a challenge for you, but everybody has their own individual journey learning to code. What were some of the things that you remember struggling with and how did you overcome them? I think it will be really interesting for people listening who are also on that journey to know.

Gabriel Pedroza (23:15):
I think people think that coding is just this magical place that only intelligent people can write. But I think, as I've experienced more and more in programming, it's just like learning anything else. So if you really like programming, or if you really like what it creates and you're able to put your ideas to life, then I don't see why not to just learn this specific language that just helps you talk to a computer.

Computer science just boils down to solving a problem, so I don't think it should be compared differently. It's just like learning anything else. But if you really enjoy and find, like, I think it's Ikigai, your life goal essentially, then I say go for it. And obviously, everybody struggles with learning very difficult things.

I've definitely struggled. I'm not the most intelligent person on the planet, so it's very important to just not go, I think it's called tutorial hell. You shouldn't just keep watching endless courses, endless tutorials, endless YouTube videos, because you're really never going to learn. If you create your own projects, I think it'd be fantastic and it even impresses recruiters.

Alex Booker (24:24):
Yeah, very powerful idea, isn't it? Like this combination of what you love, your mission, your passion, your vocation, what you're good at, what the world needs, just finding that Ikigai, reason for being as I put it, definitely something we can link to in the show notes. It might sort of let a few things drop into place for people.

Is there anything else that you wish you knew when you were learning to code for the first time and getting started in the industry?

Gabriel Pedroza (24:46):
Definitely try not to remember everything because that's not possible. And understand, if you're able to be in the programmer mindset and just not be a one tool person, only using JavaScript or any other language, then it'll really set you apart from other people.

Alex Booker (25:03):
100%. This is really great stuff, Gabriel. I'm just thinking what would be most helpful to people listening who are also breaking into tech. I also really appreciate that you mentioned that you had this kind of anxiety about applying to jobs, not even feeling ready. And when the time came to apply at Meta, you almost togged yourself out of it. It's a great testament to the fact that you should always just go for it, because the worst that can happen is someone says no, and the best thing that can happen is that you change your life.

But there are of course things that people can do to increase their likelihood of getting an interview and succeeding at the interview. I can't lie, you make it sound quite straightforward, getting a job at Meta as an intern, but we know that there's a lot more involved in something like that. What else can you tell us?

Gabriel Pedroza (25:45):
It's pretty easy to just apply. You just go on a website and you just click apply. You fill out your information, a little bit tedious. But overall it's very easy. But to have a more optimized chance of actual getting the interview, I think it's pretty important to reach out to recruiters and that's something that I realized only recently.

Right now, I think, LinkedIn is a fantastic platform to talk and connect with recruiters or anybody in the computer science field, to try to get referrals, because referrals are also extremely strong in the current market. Coupling that with applying, it's really going to increase your odds in getting the interview and hopefully getting the offer as well. Once I got my offer, I put Incoming Software Engineering to Meta, and essentially the recruiters would just DM me on LinkedIn to just give me opportunities to apply with them as well.

So right now, I'm talking to a LinkedIn recruiter. And she reached out to me on LinkedIn, which is pretty funny. But it's very important to just, if you really want to work at a company, you just look for a recruiter on LinkedIn, and I've done this before, a couple times, but not enough. I think I've done this to Credit Karma and I interviewed with Credit Karma as well. So apply if you can't talk to a recruiter, and try to somehow form a connection with them. Also do the same thing if you can't get a referral, if you don't know anybody who works there.

The last option is to just cold apply, but definitely reach out to a recruiter. So even for Meta, I applied a week late than when they released their applications because I tried to get a referral. But I was still nonetheless very lucky to get the open assessment, and then later on get the actual interview.

Alex Booker (27:20):
I mean, this is really such a powerful key point throughout this whole interview, which is pushing forward no matter what. Okay, ideally, you would've got a referral. That's something that definitely could have helped, but you didn't let that stop you. You applied anyway and look where you ended up.

Ah, wicked. Gabriel, this is so exciting. I can't wait for you to get stuck in, and when are you moving exactly?

Gabriel Pedroza (27:40):
I believe it starts on the 12th. But I'm going to go to California on the 10th to get ready, because they're going to give me corporate housing, so I'm going to get used to a little bit of California.

Alex Booker (27:49):
Oh, nice. That's part of the compensation basically, so you don't have to pay for your own?

Gabriel Pedroza (27:53):

Alex Booker (27:54):
Is it remote or on site? I assume it's on site, if you're going out there.

Gabriel Pedroza (27:57):
Yep. And it has free food, which is absolutely amazing. I love that perk.

Alex Booker (28:01):
Underrated perk. I'm not sure if Meta have a similar idea, but I don't know, I think it's called the Google 10 pounds or something. Because Google, in some of their most flagship, they offer, they have bakeries and stuff apparently.

I've been to the London Google office once or twice. I don't think I spotted a bakery, so maybe people are describing one in America, I'm not sure. But just with the free food and the temptation, it's easy to put on weight if you make full use of the perks. What are you most excited about?

Gabriel Pedroza (28:26):
It's a very good question, because I think people who look from the outside, they're just like, "Oh, I want to go to the office and just experience the whole thing, all the people and stuff." But I really don't know. I like to just explore new places. I don't think Meta's going to be the end goal for me. I'm not too sure.

But just experiencing life and just see what I like to do, because I really like that. If I follow my passion, then just good things will follow through.

Alex Booker (28:53):
Yeah, man. I think that's a very wise philosophy and I think it will serve you well. I guess that's the way these internships tend to work, right? They are in the UK as well, but I think it's more of an American thing potentially, where every university, they encourage their students to do an internship as part of the curriculum. And then companies like Amazon and Facebook, in particular, these big companies, they want the best talent and actually a lot of the internship is the big company's opportunity to recruit early.

And going into it right now, you don't exactly know what to expect, what specifically you'll be working on, with who. You're not sure if it's somebody you'll end up. I kind of think this is the reason why you're invited to the internship, because they probably want to show you what it's like to be part of that team and work there, and then ideally you'll come back from their perspective, I think.

Gabriel Pedroza (29:38):
Yeah, I do agree with that.

Alex Booker (29:39):
Do you know what your future career goals are? Or are you just figuring it out for now?

Gabriel Pedroza (29:43):
I was definitely looking at the startups. I know Per created Scrimba, or the CEO at least. And it was very, very impactful and very positive to essentially tens of thousands of people. So, I really do enjoy creating software or just creating an idea that I have in my head, to just hopefully help as many people as possible.

That's something that I've always really stuck with. Yeah, I might probably do a startup a lot later in life, but that's definitely something I'm considering.

Alex Booker (30:12):
Oh, man. That's really cool to hear and I think it's a wonderful note to end on as well. I have no doubt that you'll find all the success. And then I'll get to say, "Oh, wow. Gabriel, our founder and CEO, he was on The Scrimba Podcast way back when." So, thank you.

Gabriel Pedroza (30:25):
Of course. Of course. I'll invite you when I have the podcast.

Alex Booker (30:28):
Please. Gabriel, thank you so much. I really appreciate your time coming on the pod and I know everybody listening does too.

Gabriel Pedroza (30:34):
Of course. Thank you so much. And thank you so much for just being a very impactful person in Scrimba, just doing these town hall meetings. Because I've definitely joined a couple town hall meetings when I was starting up coding, and I really, really enjoyed them.

Alex Booker (30:49):
Thanks, man. Really appreciate it.

Jan Arsenovic (30:51):
Next week on the show, we'll have Laura Thorson, Program Manager of GitHub, who has also previously worked at Meta, Twitter and Salesforce.

Laura Thorson (30:59):
I don't even think I knew what coding was. I got started at UCLA actually as a music major. I got a full ride scholarship to play the oboe, and was the only person that was actually accepted to play the oboe in my graduating class in the whole country.

So it was a lot of pressure and I ended up switching a couple times my major, and then finally ended with English. I didn't really know what I was going to do with an English degree. There were all these different things I was thinking about in my final semester at UCLA. And then, actually, it was my mom who found an article in, I think, it was Time Magazine, about coding boot camps.

Jan Arsenovic (31:38):
Laura is our guest on the next episode of The Scrimba Podcast. Subscribe so you don't miss it.

Check out the show notes for the resources from the interview with Gabriel. You can also find Alex's Twitter handle there. I'm Jan, the producer, and we'll be back with you next Tuesday.

How To Get an Internship at Meta (Also: Follow Your Passion), With Scrimba Student Gabriel
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