My Tech Doc Internship at InfluxData

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This article was written by Michelle Luu, a senior at University of California, Davis. Michelle participated in the University Writing Program internship in conjunction with InfluxData. Born and raised in San Jose, Michelle enjoys a life of quiet pursuits in art, reading, and writing. Michelle doesn’t ride bikes, and is a certified night owl who likes to work into the wee hours.

Michelle Luu - summer intern at InfluxData

The summer I spent as a Tech Doc Intern at InfluxData was an invaluable experience for my career and for myself as an individual. I couldn’t be more thankful to InfluxData for allowing me to have this opportunity. In my internship, I spent my time learning about all of InfluxData’s different services and features in great detail, worked with different teams, and was mentored by the amazing Docs team to create procedural and conceptual documentation. All three months spent at InfluxData have been amazing, but there are several highlights that make this internship different from all the rest.

The work environment

When I explained my internship to others and described the people in the company, I’d be told that I’m extremely fortunate to have such a supportive work environment, and I wholeheartedly agree!

Everyone that I met has been extremely inviting and warm, and on top of helping me with my questions and problems, I always had a sense that they were passionate about what they were talking about and were always willing to lend a helping hand.

The Docs team supported me from the very beginning, and it’s thanks to them that I gained the experience and knowledge in the field. Every conversation that I had with the members of the Docs team was always a valuable one, whether they talked to me to get to know me as a person, or they assisted me with my projects, I never felt excluded in this team. In one conversation with Tim Hall about InfluxData’s work environment, he told me that the employees always strive to represent the company’s core values, and after three months, I can positively say that it shows 100% of the time.

Hands-on experience

In comparison to my classes on Technical Writing in the past, this internship has provided me with experience that I was never able to get anywhere else. The moment I entered InfluxData as an intern, I was offered to try my hand at all kinds of technical writing tasks and was given the freedom to gravitate towards the projects that I was comfortable with. Every project had significance, and acknowledging the reality of my work helped me improve at an amazing level.

I never expected to be given work that has such a big impact on the company. As an intern, I expected my work to revolve around small edits or perhaps helping out other people in the Docs team with their projects, but to my pleasant surprise, I was given major issues on GitHub that were proudly shown on the InfluxData docs page.

By being given the opportunity to work on real documentation for the InfluxData docs site, I recognized how important my work was for existing users and for future users. All the projects I worked on affect real people, and that made me all the more encouraged to improve my writing skills and put more effort into the internship every day!

Breaking (remote) boundaries

Despite being a fully remote company, InfluxData manages to put in the extra effort to bridge the distance between all of its employees. Almost everyone I interacted with was willing to open up any free second on their calendar for a Zoom meeting, and almost everyone responded to my inquiries in a timely manner.

As an intern, I was able to participate in a handful of internship events, such as attending meetings where we had important figures from the company speak, but also fun events like murder-mysteries and scavenger hunts. I greatly admired the efforts made to help the interns from different teams interact and have fun during hours!

In addition to that, InfluxData also held several events that I looked forward to, such as their weekly yoga class and the chess tournament. It was admirable to see the different lengths InfluxData went to bring their employees together despite being all over the world.

After these past twelve weeks, I couldn’t thank InfluxData and the Docs team enough for such an amazing experience!