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A Day in the Life of an Appian Intern

By Josie Chiao

I’m a software engineering intern at Appian, the leading provider of Business Process Management (BPM) software. Here’s a look at my day of coffee, coding, and the real world.

It begins with a commute to the Reston Town Center, where Appian Headquarters is located. Some interns, myself included, are in the area and thus drive ourselves to work, while the others commute via the D.C. Metro. Since Reston is within the D.C. Metropolitan area, we’ve all had to find different coping mechanisms for the coma-inducing, rush-hour commute; today, I’ll be going with a podcast!

Cars, cars, everywhere.

First thing on the agenda of every morning is choosing which coffee to start off the day. There is everything from a standard breakfast blend, to coconut mocha to fill up my Winnie-the-Pooh mug.

Pick a brew, any brew…

It’s 9 a.m. by the time I’ve settled into my desk. This gives me about an hour to get some work in before the “stand-up,” a daily 15-minute team meeting where we quickly check in with each other on our progress. An extra pocket of time before this meeting helps me remember what it is I need to work on today, and not make a fool of myself when it’s my turn to tell the team at 10:15.

At 11 a.m., I have my tri-weekly one-on-one with my HR manager, Tom. He asks me what I’ve been working on, and if I have any questions moving forward. We talk about how the internship has shaped my career aspirations, and he encourages me to reach out to certain engineers to discuss them. We then discuss feedback given by my team on my performance — seems like I’ve been doing okay.

After the meeting, I head out and find something to eat. There’s everything from fancy tacos (Bartaco) to staples like Chipotle. Today I’m feeling salad — so I’m going with Sweetgreen. A group of us interns grab a shady spot by the fountain and enjoy our lunch break in the gorgeous Town Center.

Not so sure about sweet, but definitely green.

After lunch, it’s time to really crack down and get work done. I have code review comments to address and a test plan to write! I refill my coffee mug, plug in my earphones, and get typing.

I like to make wherever I work homey, hence the little cute things.

A few hours later, it’s about 5 p.m. and people are starting to trickle out of the office. I plan to stay a little longer, since I haven’t reached a stopping point yet, but it wouldn’t hurt to take a jigsaw-puzzle break with some of the other engineers. Mental breaks like these are one of my favorite parts of an Appian working day — the people are great, and we’ve got toys!

How does anyone get any work done around here??

It’s almost 6 pm when I save my work, shut my laptop, and call it a day — time to do it all over again tomorrow!

Sure, this doesn’t seem like the most exciting day. But the low-wall cubicles, and natural lighting of the office space make it personable, and a day hasn’t passed where I haven’t laughed. These eight-hour days go by so fast, and it’s hard to realize they’re coming to an end — but as far as this taste-test of the working world has gone, interning at Appian has been pretty sweet.

As ideal as it sounds, not every day for us interns has been purely work. We’ve seen spaceships, ridden Segways, and escaped rooms! Want to know more? Check out Appian on Campus!


A Day in the Life of an Appian Intern was originally published in Appian Engineering on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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Published on Aug 31, 2016

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