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MarkLogic Internships

by Trinh Lieu

Here at MarkLogic, we offer many opportunities for students to learn about NoSQL technologies and work alongside various teams, from Marketing to Engineering. Along the way, some of our interns wanted to share their experiences with the world. If you are interested in joining our team, please check open positions at MarkLogic to find the right position for you.

Summer 2018

Mari Botha, Web Content Technologist Intern

This summer, I worked as a Web Content Technologist intern for MarkLogic, a company I had not heard of before. I worked alongside my boss and mentor, Trinh Lieu, as we migrated the Developer Community website onto WordPress. Although not too related to my studies (technical writing and economics double-major at Virginia Tech), I hope to pursue a career associated with developing and strategizing online content, so I was really interested in seeing the insides and outs of our developer site. With that being said, I’m no data scientist—so I had a lot to learn.

In order to be able to work with the content, however, I needed to familiarize myself to NoSQL concepts and ideas, but more specially, how they relate to MarkLogic. Other than a few official courses, most of my learning was hands-on, and of course, Trinh was always there to give helping hand whenever I needed it. Editing through the blog posts helped me familiarize myself to MarkLogic concepts and connect similar ideas together (for instance, associating semantic triples with harmonization). But it was writing my own blog post on Smart Mastering allowed me to grasp how MarkLogic truly caters to the needs of their customers, unlike other competitors that use more rigid technologies (in this case, MDM).

I also used Google Analytics to evaluate which blogs did well and why, and it was interesting to see how users typically interacted with our blogs. My work didn’t always directly relate to the website; I also helped work on monthly Newsletters and Go-Live Announcements. Although I mainly worked one-on-one with Trinh, I sat with her through many meetings concerning DMC website content, and it was extremely helpful to see professional input and analysis on the content I was working with, so that way I knew what to look for. What I liked about this internship is that I was not only able to ask questions whenever I needed, but I was also asked to give my input on things!

In conclusion, most of what I learned was about the content itself: that is, how databases work. It was the actual experience of interning at MarkLogic taught me how a database company works (and how much I hate traffic). By getting an inside look of what it’s really like to work for a tech company, the whole realm of “data science” suddenly became less intimidating to me. I realized that the work that MarkLogic is doing is really important, too. It’s bizarre that I knew what Oracle was before working here, but not MarkLogic. If more people were to become more comfortable with NoSQL, they would be far less intimidated by our technology. If only institutions could know how much time, effort, and money they are wasting working with relational database technologies! But with any great innovation, it typically takes everyone else a little bit of time to get acquainted—and by then, I have no doubt MarkLogic will be a household name.

Tapan Jasthi, Software Developer Intern, Server Team

The semester before my summer internship, my friends and family would ask me, “where are you interning?” My answer was typically followed by, “what’s MarkLogic?”

Besides its reputation as being a top-notch database company, I didn’t really know much about MarkLogic itself. I’d never had the chance to explore the product and I didn’t have any ties to organizations that used any of their products, so when I first started my internship in May, I was ready and eager to learn.

Mid-March, I’d been assigned to a project by my manager to explore GPUs (Graphical Processing Unit) and their applications on the MarkLogic server. Basically, I was tasked with learning and understanding a relatively new technology (GPU) and exploring its applications with MarkLogic’s products. With such an open-ended task there was a lot to learn so I received support and advice from my mentor giving me suggestions on where to start and how to test the limitations of the GPU. Over the course of the summer, I looked into sorting on the MarkLogic Server and even put together a presentation for a team of engineers! For the duration of the project, I not only further developed my skills in C++, but I also learned many new skills, such as coding in XQuery, writing scripts, computer architecture, etc. In turn, I’m really proud of this project and my accomplishments, and it’s definitely made me more interested in software development.

This internship at MarkLogic has been an amazing educational experience—I learned a ton, even when I wasn’t directly working on my GPU project. With an inside look into how a database company runs, I learned many things that could not have learned in class, such as how applications with new technologies work. I’ve had the opportunity to learn about many of MarkLogic’s coming products, and it was interesting to see how the many teams worked together to accomplish the company's goals. I listened to a variety of company speakers talking about MarkLogic and their insider experience with the products.

My ~3 months at MarkLogic have been incredibly valuable in so many aspects. From the weekly social hours to the intern lunches, I’ve made many connections in the short time I’ve been here. On Tuesday’s, MarkLogic provides a company lunch, and every week, I’ve met many talented and driven people each working on something meaningful for the company. The people here are incredibly friendly and I’ve had a truly welcoming experience.

Now that it’s August, I’m glad to answer the question “where do you intern?” because I can say with full-confidence that I worked for a wonderful company that’s become a second home— a home that’s shaped my professional goals and made me excited for MarkLogic’s future. It’s been a great experience, and I’d like to give a huge thank you to MarkLogic itself, my coworkers, and especially my mentor, Aries Li, for his continued guidance throughout this project.

Allison Mock, Product Manager Intern

Like many students, I wanted to compliment my studies at U.C. Berkeley with real-world practical knowledge and skills. Amongst many internship options, I ultimately decided to spend my summer at MarkLogic as a Product Manager Intern. The chance to work with innovative NoSQL database technology that enables enterprises to gain significant business insight was too exciting to pass up!

At MarkLogic, my meaningful, enriching work and the rapid cadence of product management deliverables only heightened my enthusiasm. On the product management team, I collaborated with smart, yet humble people who are deeply passionate about the company, the products, and their roles. Attentive and supportive, they ensured that my contributions could successfully and positively impact customer outcomes.

Each day I was learning many new things– not only with MarkLogic experts in engineering, marketing, support, and other teams, but also with interns from universities throughout the world. Kasey Alderete, my fantastic manager, mentored me with genuine, valuable advice and guided me to resources that helped me drive projects forward. She also encouraged my initiative to champion my ideas and make facts-based decisions to approach projects from my individual perspective. I learned how to think like a product manager, ask the right questions, and identify problems and opportunities through multiple lenses.

Having served in past internships at other companies, I found that MarkLogic’s inherently collegial culture creates a uniquely engaging, inclusive, and fun environment. I enjoyed playing with the friendly dogs around the office, sampling the delicious Australian yoghurt in the cafeteria fridge, going out for pizza with my fellow interns, lunching with professional colleagues, and attending themed mid-week socials! I gained further exposure to a myriad of careers and possibilities across MarkLogic through our “lunch and learn” knowledge exchanges that detailed company functions and industry trends. I even had the opportunity to engage with approachable MarkLogic executives, and received valuable insights and advice from our CEO, Gary Bloom. My internship capped off with my presentation to a cross-functional audience to showcase my achievements, and a company picnic at a local theme park.

My summer internship at MarkLogic was wonderfully productive and enjoyable, and I must give special thanks to Jim Clark, Kasey Alderete, and Anthony Roach for allowing me this opportunity and guiding me throughout my journey. Thank you to Yash Tambawala for being yet another wise mentor to me from day one, and to the rest of the PM team for being so kind, welcoming, and exemplary of what it means to be a great product manager. I had a great summer experience at MarkLogic.

Summer 2016

Kevin Costello, Danica Liang, and Grace Yin

MarkLogic is where coffee flows, dogs roam, and the future of database technology is engineered. Our names are Kevin, Grace, and Danica and we interned with MarkLogic’s Product Management team this summer developing an app (TEACUP) in collaboration with Dave Cassel.

We developed an interactive geospatial app for MarkLogic to better understand their Early Access (beta) users. We did this by displaying them on a map with filters for company, industry, region, and the MarkLogic features they are using. We even designed and wrote the requirements for the application ourselves, which was far more enjoyable than many computer science classes, where you simply follow the professor's requirements. We almost went mad with power, but the cute dogs, coffee, free food, and soda machine kept us occupied.

Although we were busy coding most of the time, we also got to experience MarkLogic’s great work/life balance and fun culture. Every other Wednesday, MarkLogic hosts a hump day social hour with games, food, and drinks. One week, we and the other interns were given the opportunity to plan this event! The entire company was put to the test with charades and an eating contest. Everyone also got to enjoy some delicious boba! Other socials included team lunches, movie and baseball game outings, and a company-wide picnic. It's hard to understand true happiness until you conquer an inflatable bouncy house.

We are grateful to have spent our summer at MarkLogic, an amazing company with a bright future and filled with people who are incredibly intelligent and always willing to help.

Here's a special thanks to these brilliant people for helping us throughout the summer:

  • Dave Cassel, thank you for your friendliness and encouragement, and for guiding us with your knowledge on all things MarkLogic and tech— you are better than Stack Overflow!
  • Jim Clark, thank you for your kindness and fun nature (and for lending us your credit card at the Giants game).

We’d also like to thank Jake Fowler, Jennifer Tsau, Tanya Smirnoff, Mitchell Yawitz, Caroline Carlos, Derrick Sanchez, and all the PMs for your invaluable help along the way.

Summer 2015

MarkLogic Interns Enhance the Bitemp Explorer: Ashley Dattalo, Kevin Costello, Hilary Schulz, and Lukas Hruska

We worked at MarkLogic Corporation in San Carlos, California. MarkLogic is an enterprise NoSQL database optimized for structured and unstructured data, which allows customers to store, manage, query, and search across JSON, XML, RDF, geospatial data, text, and large binaries. Our project this summer was to enhance an interactive client demo for one of MarkLogic's features: bitemporal. Bitemporal is a way to handle historical data along two different timelines, making it possible to rewind information “as it actually was” in combination with “as it was recorded” in the database. For example, let’s say you have a bike and it gets stolen at 2am at night, but you don’t discover it’s stolen until 7am in the morning. The valid time is 2am because that’s when your bike was actually stolen, while 7am is the system time because that’s when you discover your bike has been stolen.

For our bitemporal project, we worked in a team of four interns, all recruited from Cal Poly. Since we were collaborating on the project together, we used GitHub as a way to share and merge our code. Together, we built two webpages using many different technologies, such as HTML, CSS, jQuery, d3, and JavaScript. Additionally, we learned how to write AJAX calls, server-side extensions, MarkLogic search queries, and cURL commands. It was a great learning opportunity, because prior to the internship, we had no knowledge of any of these technologies.

Overall, this internship has been an amazing experience. We had the opportunity to work on a cool project we never would have been exposed to in school. We learned more about the software development process, and what it's like to create software in the real world. In school the majority of our coding is individual, where collaboration with others is not allowed, and projects are completed by yourself. At MarkLogic, we worked in a team to create one project. We each had our individual parts to ultimately blend together into one. Throughout the summer we faced many problems and challenges that forced us to utilize our problem solving skills, and reach out to many experienced engineers. But by the end, we presented our project to the CEO, Product Management Team, and Engineering Team, which allowed us to practice our technical communication skills and demonstrate our work. Throughout the summer, we have improved our coding proficiency, utilized our problem solving abilities and enhanced our technical communication skills. We are extremely thankful to MarkLogic for giving us this fantastic opportunity!

View our bitemporal visualization demo on GitHub at: Bitemp Explorer

Editor's Note: I worked with Ashley, Kevin, Hilary, and Lukas this summer, identifying tasks for them, teaching, and connecting them with other MarkLogic employees. The experience was both fun and productive; I'm glad I had the opportunity to work with them. Hat tip to Jim Clark, Fei Xue, Jennifer Tsau, Justin Makeig, Erik Hennum, Mitch Yawitz, and Jen Breese-Kauth for their parts in mentoring our interns. -- Dave Cassel

Winter 2013

Dylan Daniels

I'm currently a junior at Brown University where I am majoring in Economics and Computer Science, and over my winter break, I took on an internship at MarkLogic.

A bit of background: MarkMail is a widely used app that allows technology professionals to easily find content across a huge variety of mailing lists. Its backend runs on MarkLogic Server, and contains a searchable collection of over 60 million archived email messages from public mailing lists around the world.

My main task during the six-week-internship was to expand MarkMail to include geolocation features, and to design a prototype for a new homepage to expose the geographic data ingested into MarkMail's servers in real-time. MarkLogic comes with lots of cool geolocation features. Using MarkLogic, one can easily write up a query which searches over a series of geographic boundaries, including circles, rectangles, and even arbitrary polygons.

So how did we accomplish this task?

We first needed to extract geographic information from emails. The received headers of an email trace the route of an email message as it is sent from one server to another. One can read through these headers to follow the path from an email's origin at the sender's client to our MarkMail SMTP servers. Each part of the received headers contains IP addresses and DNS hostnames that identify the servers the message passed through. Using MaxMind's Geo IP database, we were able to map IP addresses and hostnames to geographic locations. However, not all IPs can be mapped to locations since they are private addresses. In this case, we simply set the geographic location to the next server that had a public IP address. Finally, to accomplish this task over a huge dataset we used Hadoop's MapReduce with the MarkLogic Connector for Hadoop to run a batch processing job over the existing emails in the database to enrich them.

Now that we had geographic information tied to each message in the database, we needed to extend the ways one can search on MarkMail to enable geo-queries. Searching geographic information is most natural when the user can interact with the results on a map. Using the Google Maps Javascript API, we were able to show the location of email messages on the map and enable the user to draw circles and polygons to search over specific regions.

Some of the toughest challenges came with determining the best approach for data visualization. Trying to display millions of emails on a map was obviously impossible. A heat map seemed like a good solution to our problem, but this would prevent users from being able to click on individual messages. We also considered a hybrid solution, where a heat map would turn into specific messages once map reached a certain zoom level, but we thought this might be too jarring a transition for the user.

We decided to take subset of the messages and show them. A tight cluster would create a heat map type effect implicitly. At first we tried to take a random sampling of a couple hundred emails to display on the map. But this led to more problems. It turns out, certain locations send a lot more emails than others (i.e. Google's servers), and random selection thus gives an unfair weight to these clusters of locations. Towards the end of my internship, I realized there was an optimal solution—a strategy that involves drawing a weighted random sample produces a decent distribution of messages over the map.

Yet the project was not complete without working on a prototype of an improved homepage to show off the new geo capabilities of MarkMail. I designed a homepage which exhibited on a map the most recent emails that came into our server, and animated the transitions. MarkMail's new homepage will send the user flying around the globe in real-time.

I learned a ton during my internship at MarkLogic. I taught myself XQuery, utilized the powers of MarkLogic Server, improved my skills in JavaScript and CSS, and learned the importance of scalability. I can't wait to see the changes that will be pushed to production in MarkMail over the coming months. It's going to be exciting stuff.

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