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Intern Jack improves the Kubernetes agent for Sentry Crons

Jack Zhang, a student at Dartmouth College, spent the summer of 2023 as a software engineer intern with the Sentry Dev Infra team. We asked him to share a little about what he worked on and why he chose Sentry for his internship.

Deployment visuzalizer and improving Sentry Crons support

This fall, I had the amazing opportunity to work on two different impactful projects. They required very diverse technical skills and addressed the needs at Sentry in different ways. During the first half of the internship, I worked on the deployment visualizer under the awesome mentorship of Ian Woodard. For the second half of the internship, I extended the functionality of a Kubernetes agent that integrates cluster error tracking with Sentry Crons.

The deployment visualizer is a React-based application that provides a user interface for the deployment pipelines at Sentry. Originally, deployments can become complicated as the deployment pipeline chains can encounter errors, triggering rollbacks. It was very difficult to get a grasp of the deployment history since it may be anachronistic with the code commit history.

The deployment visualizer integrates with the existing CI/CD process but provides a visually intuitive user experience. Engineers at Sentry can take a quick glance and immediately diagnose deployment errors and gain an understanding of the current deployment status. It felt very rewarding that I began seeing Sentry engineers using the visualizer when discussing deployments and receiving constructive criticisms and positive feedback throughout the internship!

For the second project, I worked on a Kubernetes agent under the mentorship of Anton Ovchinnikov. The agent listens for warnings and errors within a Kubernetes cluster and captures these events to report to Sentry. Specifically, I focused on extending the agent’s ability to report Kubernetes cronjob events and integrate them with the new Sentry Crons feature. This project was very fun to work on because I learned a lot of new technologies I was unfamiliar with. Moreover, this project was driven by the feedback from Sentry users who wanted a Kubernetes solution for their recurring jobs.

I grew both technically and professionally throughout the internship. The first project was internal facing so I learned to address the unique needs of engineers at Sentry. The second project was external facing which taught me how to tailor the project to maximize customer satisfaction. I gained valuable experience working with wonderful mentors and learned what it meant to be an impactful software engineer!

Why Jack chose Sentry

I first learned about Sentry during my search for software engineering internships. I had never heard of Sentry before but quickly became intrigued when I researched Sentry products and browsed through the Sentry website. I decided to apply after reading some product blog posts that showed me the value of Sentry for software developers. Throughout the interview process, I enjoyed talking to the interviewers and realized I wanted to work for Sentry. After I received an internship offer, I jumped at the opportunity to intern for Sentry in San Francisco!

About Jack’s time as an intern

I had a great time this fall interning at Sentry! The work environment was very friendly and open. Since the first week, I quickly made friends with my mentors and co-workers. The culture at Sentry was both fun and ambitious. I was working with people who knew how to have a good time but were very focused on the Sentry mission of improving the software development experience.

Although I was new to the company, I felt very welcome to have breakfast and lunch with my co-workers (I loved how meals were often provided!). Every Thursday, we would have happy hour that often featured great snacks and fun activities. During my few months at the company, Sentry featured wonderful events such as a magic show, wine and whiskey tastings, and even a DJ!

My internship experience was very tailored, and I was able to make decisions about how to gain the most out of my time at Sentry. I was able to pick projects I wanted to work on and my mentors honored my opinions for the directions of the projects. I had the opportunity to work on two different projects that differed widely in technological requirements and ultimate goals. I had a lot of fun working on both projects and saw firsthand how they improved the experience of both Sentry engineers and Sentry customers.

Overall, the internship was a great learning experience that featured a lot of fun times. I highly recommend anyone who wants to grow as a software engineer to apply to the Sentry internship program!

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

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