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INI Student Reflects on Zynga Internship

August 22, 2012

Apurva Joshi (MS23) enjoyed a great internship at Zynga this summer. He joined the zCloud Platform Team as a Software Engineer Intern. At Zynga, he was amazed at the gaming consoles installed on "every corner" of the office, complimentary haircuts and massages for employees and free meals. More importantly, he had a fantastic experience.

Apurva requested the zCloud Platform team at his interviews and felt fortunate to be assigned there. His manager described the team’s responsibilities as "the backbone for play" because the developers are involved in scaling social networking games to millions of users.

"I had created a Facebook game last year with two other friends of mine. (You can check the game out at http://apps.facebook.com/wondervillage/.)  Being novice game developers, to our amazement, the game got popular on Facebook," said Apurva. "But we had problems scaling to thousands of users. So I was always curious how companies like Zynga can scale to millions of users in just a couple of seconds. That was one of the motivating factors for wanting to intern at Zynga."

During his internship, Apurva focused on a project that will be used across different game studios to increase the developer's productivity. "Zynga creates dozen of software artifacts and packages everyday, which are distributed across various locations, such as the company's intranet, rpm repositories, source code repositories, et cetera. Thus, it's difficult for the developers to search for a particular package or an artifact," he explained. "I am building an artifact repository that will act as a central store for all the company's software artifacts and packages and will help developers to quickly search them at one place."

Although the learning opportunities were incredible and the office culture was inspiring, Apurva's favorite part of his internship was the chance to meet the company's founder, Mark Pincus, at an event. He actually sat and had a drink with the founder at a bar in the company's office.

"I told Mark that I have always been interested in starting my own company and would love to get his first hand entrepreneurship advice. He shared his experience in starting Zynga and the kind of difficulties he had faced. He told me that when he started Zynga he received criticism from the gaming industry and the media that the idea of social gaming will never work out, but now Zynga is the number one gaming company in the world. I was surprised learning about the hardships an entrepreneur has to go through in setting up a multi-billion dollar business.  I still can't believe that I was fortunate enough to meet him," he said.

Overall, Apurva felt he gained great contacts and good advice through the events and professional experiences his internship offered—all good knowledge that may some day help him to launch his own company.

Pictured above: Apurva Joshi