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Intern David enables queries against production data

David Tsukernik, a student at the University of Toronto, spent the summer of 2023 as a software engineer intern with the Sentry Search and Storage team. We asked him to share a little about what he worked on and why he chose Sentry for his internship.

Enable product developers to run queries against production data

Throughout this summer, I got to work on the Search team, which is responsible for processing analytical queries that power the Sentry product. At the start of my internship, I was lucky enough to be given a lot of flexibility with my project. After considering some possible projects, I decided to go with the one that I thought would be the most impactful, which was the production queries tool. This is a tool that enables product developers to run their queries against production data, allowing them to debug and validate their queries without deploying their feature. This is a unique project that is heavily fueled by the excellent dogfooding culture at Sentry.

As I was working on this project, I got to experience the entire end-to-end cycle of development. Since this project was dealing with production data (including customer data), it was important for me to schedule meetings with various people across the company to ensure that we were following compliance criteria. Throughout the development process, I came across various technical challenges that I had to overcome. For example, before releasing the tool, we had to ensure that we had a proper authorization system in place. To do that, I collaborated with the security team and SREs to build out role-based access control based on Google groups. This allowed us to have a standardized and secure way of managing access to the tool and other tools that the search team provides.

Apart from planning and implementation, I got to release the project to the entire company and gather feedback from various engineers. I received a lot of positive feedback from engineers as well as suggestions on how to improve the tool. This allowed me to iterate on the initial MVP and add new requested functionality. Seeing developers use my tool was truly a pleasure and made me feel like I had made a real impact on engineers within the company.

Although this was the main project I worked on, I also worked on another project towards the end of my internship. This was the asynchronous queries project which added the ability to queue up longer running queries which would run asynchronously in a worker process. The purpose of this project was to allow us to run queries on longer time ranges, which is helpful for getting data on trends and statistical changes that doesn’t need to be fetched immediately. This was a more infra-centric project which taught me a lot about system design and what to consider when designing a scalable and reliable system. Due to time constraints, the scope of this project was narrowed quite a bit, but there’s a lot of room for this project to grow and I’ve written documentation to help engineers continue this project in the future.

As I approach the end of the internship, I am extremely grateful for this experience. Not only did I get to acquire new technical skills, but I also had the pleasure of working with a team of competent and helpful engineers. I also got to meet a lot of different people across the organization and learned about the various parts of the business. Thank you to the people at Sentry that have contributed to this invaluable experience!

Why David chose Sentry

I was applying to internships and I came across a Sentry job posting. At the time, I hadn’t heard of Sentry, but after taking a quick look at the product, as a developer, I thought it was really neat, so I applied to the opening. As I went through the interview process and learned more about the company, I was impressed with both the product, as well as the positive attitude of my interviewers. I also enjoyed talking to Sentry engineers about their roles in the company as well as the work culture. In the end, I felt that Sentry had a lot of great things to offer, and decided it would be a good fit for me.

About David’s time as an intern

My time at Sentry has been both an amazing and a unique experience. On the first day of my internship, everyone in the Toronto office took the time to introduce themselves and make me feel welcome. I was also welcomed by my team and although there was a lot I needed to learn, I felt assured that my team would be there to support me and help me grow.

During the first month of my internship, I got to learn a lot about the infrastructure that enables Sentry to run and I got to meet a ton of people across the company. From happy hours on Thursdays to office lunches, I got to meet many people from different teams across the company. Towards the end of the first month, there was a week-long offsite in SF that I had the opportunity to attend. During that week, I got to know various engineers from my team and adjacent teams. I also got to engage in discussions about the team and got to learn more about Sentry as a whole. By the end of the week, I felt that I had got to know the team on a deeper and more personal level. I also got to plan out my project and get a lot of good feedback from my team.

In the following weeks, I worked on my project and collaborated with other teams to deliver my tool to Sentry. After releasing my tool, I got to see people’s reactions and talk to people about my project which made me feel like I was truly valued in the company. While working with my team, I was always treated like a real software engineer and my opinions were valued.

On top of the excellent engineering experience I had, I felt like it was the people at Sentry who really made this internship stand out for me. From the intern coordinators who answered my questions and planned out awesome events, to the random conversations I had with people at the office, the people at Sentry truly made this a wonderful experience. I’m also grateful that I got to meet the other interns who cheered me on throughout the internship. Overall, my internship at Sentry has been an experience that I will never forget.

Make sure you check out some of the openings we have here at Sentry for internships and full-time positions.

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