A great experience with the Umbo folks

I went back to Taiwan to finish my high school on June 2020. At the same time, I was looking for internship opportunities in Taipei. Fortunately I came across the backend engineering internship vacancy on Umbo's website. I managed to make a simple resume and a cover letter in a week or two, which I sent to Umbo later.

Six hours letter I got an email from the human resources department at Umbo saying that the backend internship is no longer available and asked me if I'm interested in a QAE internship. On the next day I replied and scheduled an initial phone interview for the next week (I was just about to graduate 3 days later).

Umbo uses Google Meets (Hangout) to set up meetings or calls, and that is the case for phone interviews too. I was in a call with Henry, the QAE team lead. I can't remember it well but I think Henry asked me about a few questions about my GitHub pinned repositories and if I've had any experiences with software testing.

I mentioned about Docker, Kubernetes and networking in my resume. Henry asked me what ARP is and what it does. Another question I remember was that what benefits would Docker bring to the development team instead of the infrastructure guys. I actually thinked about that question for solid 30 seconds and told Henry I haven't got enough practical experiences to comment on that.

And we arranged on some details like the company demands 2 days of work per week. That is frankly quite a challenge for me given that I'm a freshman and the school schedule is quite full. I told Henry I'll handle it. Henry told me the HR department will email me about the results, and that's all for the initial phone interview.

And it seems that it went pretty well. I got another email the next week scheduling an onsite interview. We arranged a time that would work.

Two weeks after I went to Umbo CV Taipei office in Neihu for the first time. The office was very comfortable and bright. I could feel the tone and open culture right away! There were office desks without baffles (is this the correct word to use in English?), two big bright conference rooms surrounded by pure glasses, a lounge right next to the full-sized glass wall (I feel my English is really bad right now), a quiet room and two presentation rooms IIRC.

Anyway, I got a warm welcome when I entered the office and got guided to the conference room to wait for Henry and an another talented engineer, David. Henry showed me the internal system infrastructures and some products they've been working on. Later Henry asked me if I've had any experiences with CI/CD. An interesting question is that they asked me what is the most common docker command I use. I was confused and said I use Compose most of the time, but if I really need to reply to that question then it would be "docker run" or "docker logs", for sure.

Later I asked Henry what their development workflow is like, is it typical code review, unit testing, deploy to staging and finally production site? Henry was very surprised and said, "it's not common for a guy haven't went to college to say the word 'staging'." I laughed. He spent some time to deeper explain the technical work at Umbo. And that was it! Most of the pressure came from speaking English (I'm not a native speaker!) and they were both very warm, kind and patient.

Before leaving the office I met Hui, the HR lady who I had been emailing with. She showed me the office and we've had a nice conversation. She walked me out of the office and that was it.

On the next week I received another email from Hui scheduling another call with Henry, mainly chatting with the content of the internship and what the job will be like. He also showed me a Golang project that Umbo is trying to adopt. He told me he'll need some time to adjust my internship title and discuss with other folks at Umbo if I can be accepted.

Six days later I got the offer from Umbo as a QA Infrastructure Intern. I was very excited because I really liked the company.

Unfortunately when signing the offer letter I realized I will not have enough time on this internship given that my freshman year class schedule is very tight. After days of consideration I decided to decline the offer in a phone call with Henry and Hui. I felt sorry and they told me they can definitely understand my decision and I'm welcomed to apply for a full-time position after I graduate.