A few weeks ago, my internship at Twipe came to an end. Over the summer I was able to work on an exciting product, take some responsibility, and above all learn a lot!
First and foremost I want to talk about the people of Twipe or ‘Twipees’ as they call themselves. Twipees are a special kind of people. The best way to describe them is Passionate. From the Software Engineer talking about how awesome this new technology they’re using is, to the Business Developer talking about the exciting progress they made with a potential customer, the common denominator is always the drive to deliver excellent results and the passion for the job. This is very contagious, as I got to experience first-hand.
One of the reasons behind the great spirit and culture at the office is what they call ‘Twipe DNA’. These are values like a belief in teamwork, integrity and a passion for excellence that are encoded in everyone’s behaviour at Twipe. This forms the benchmark against which everything that is being done is measured. During my time at Twipe, I learned that they were not just beautiful words but also a key part to the success of the company. The Twipe DNA helps to make sure everyone is on the same page. A good example of the important role clear common goals can play in an organisation.
Secondly I want to share with you the work I did on the JAMES project. JAMES is an AI-driven tool that generates personalised recommendations based on user data. By recommending articles based on interests, it creates value both for the reader as well as for the publisher, who is able to better engage their audience. My first job was creating a tool to automate reporting on current and future JAMES campaigns, to monitor the impact it has on its users. It was a great learning opportunity to work with Joris and Stijn, two very talented software engineers, on a shared project. I learned a lot about programming in Python, the AWS stack and querying large datasets. I also was able to try some other exciting technologies such as Terraform. The greatest part about it was that I got to make a useful contribution that will actually be used in the future.
But it doesn’t end there. At Twipe, everyone — even someone like me, being there for only six weeks — is encouraged to broaden their horizons and take a peek over the walls of their little ‘box’. This is a nice illustration of the ‘Twipe DNA’ I talked about earlier. Entrepreneurship and Trust in Talent are not just vague slogans but actually encouraged at every level. This gave me the opportunity to be present in a lot of JAMES meetings where I was able to see what goes on in customer relations, planning, the financial side of the company and express my opinion on how we should further develop the product in meetings with management. This gave an extra dimension to an already exciting technical role and made the internship an all-round great experience.
Lastly, the way in which Twipe is currently handling the COVID-19 pandemic deserves some special attention. I am convinced that this is a real showcase of its strengths: Turning a challenge into an opportunity with the help of teamwork and great spirit. While a lot of organisations struggle to adapt to the reality of remote working as the new normal, Twipe is committed to making it one of its strengths by investing in good processes adapted to this new reality and even hiring people with the necessary skills to help them in taking on this challenge. They are doing all of this, while still taking great care of the personal wellbeing of all employees.
The fact that all of these different things have become clear to me over the course of only six weeks is a testimony to the great work that the people at Twipe are doing every day. I would again like to thank all of them for the opportunity to contribute my time and effort during this internship.
Willem Cossey, Software Engineer Intern at Twipe, Summer 2020