Looking for a Software Developer Intern

I am working on a whacky startup idea (unrelated to any of the startups I’m advising or my yet to be announced ‘real’ startup). It’s highly speculative at this point and while I’m willing to put time into it, I’m not willing to spend much money.

Someone suggested I try to get a CS student to help as an internship. So yesterday the following was posted on the University of Washington CS department intern-job board.

I have no idea if this will work, but I think it’s worthy a try.  If you know of anyone who would be a good candidate please forward this to them!

I’d also appreciate hearing peoples’ perspectives on the approach. Feel free to add a comment below!

 

Summary

Do you love to code? Are you looking for a well-defined, time-boxed project in the real world that will make your resume pop when you graduate? Join the Bogus Labs team in building an innovative service that will revolutionize how small businesses track their expenses. Along the way you’ll get strong mentorship and guidance from a highly respected former Microsoft executive and entrepreneur.  If you deliver you’ll get access to his ginormous network in the Seattle and Bay Area. Plus, it will be a lot of fun.

Details

A well-known former Microsoft vet (21 years), Charlie Kindel, has an exciting idea for a startup business. He is looking for a computer science intern to help design and code the initial version of the product. He could pay some contract developer to do the work, but that wouldn’t be any fun. He’d much rather create a win-win situation by helping a college student learn what it really takes to build great products.

This will be an unpaid internship.  A strong CS student with 2+ years of real software development should be able to crank out the “minimum viable product” version in 4-6 weeks of part time (10-20 hours a week) work.

Job Requirements

  • Candidate must love writing software. If you don’t yet know if you LOVE actually writing code then this is not for you
  • 2+ years of formal computer science education (e.g. you need to be a junior or greater)
  • Experience building websites using ASP.NET/C# or Ruby (Rails, Sinatra, etc…) required.
  • Some experience with databases required.
  • Experience coding HMTL (jQuery/CSS) will be helpful.
  • Candidate must be local to the Seattle area for the majority of the project.

The Project

The goal of project is to build the “minimally viable product” (MVP) for the service before “tax season” (February/March 2012) so that the concept can be tested with real users as they prepare their 2011 taxes.

The service that needs to be built is a website that (essentially) allows users to login, connect to their online email/calendar services (e.g Gmail, Hotmail), and perform read/write operations on calendar entries. It’s actually more complicated than that, but at the core this is what the technology needs to do.  It will involve OAuth authentication and interfacing with each of the major online email provider’s calendar APIs.

The sponsor would prefer the site to be built using ASP.NET MVC 3, but if you think you are an expert in Ruby he’d be happy with it being built that way.

The Sponsor

Charlie Kindel is the founder and CTO of a stealth startup in the Seattle area. Prior to August 2011, Mr. Kindel served as General Manager of the Windows Phone Developer Experience at Microsoft. In this role, Mr. Kindel drove the cross-Microsoft effort to create a world-class developer experience for Windows Phone 7 and by building and running the engineering team that shipped the application platform. During his 21 year tenure at MSFT, Charlie repeatedly drove innovative and successful Microsoft technologies and products including ActiveX, Internet Explorer, Windows Home Networking, Windows Media Center, Windows Home Server, and Windows Phone 7 by leading organizations to balance business, user experience, and technology investments. Mr. Kindel specializes in developer platforms, consumer products, building platform ecosystems and communities, incubation and startup projects & products, and cross-organization and company collaboration.

Charlie maintains a blog at http://ceklog.kindel.com and regularly tweets at http://twitter.com/ckindel.  You can get introduced to him via his LinkedIn profile at http://linkedin.com/in/ckindel.

What you’ll Learn

If things go well, you should expect to learn the following during this internship. These are all things that will be of immeasurable value to you in your career.

  • How to build world-class software by focusing on the customer first
  • Archetype/Persona and scenario development.
  • Writing great specifications.
  • Balancing “pure” technical architecture with pragmatism.
  • Tools & techniques for focusing on the right things.
  • Business modeling (or “Ideas are a dime a dozen, executing on an idea is harder, but getting people to pay for things is the real trick.”).

Next Steps

Send an email to Charlie Kindel at charlie@boguslabs.com with your resume and portfolio of coding projects you’ve worked on.  Describe why you are the right person for this internship.

© Charlie Kindel. All Rights Reserved.

3 comments


  1. Anonymous

    Charlie, 6 weeks x 20 hrs per week x $20 per hr = $2400. Surely you can afford to pay that much for the poor soul who working on your idea. Why make this an unpaid internship? That’s just shameful.

    • Guest

      He obviously could. The premise, at least as I understand it, is he’s hoping the student will get far more than $2400 worth of benefit from the experience and relationship. Seems like a reasonable bet based on his background.

  2. Guest

    Surely from your 21 years adhering to bigco policies, you must know that unpaid internships are illegal.

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