New Tech High @ Coppell
New Tech High School junior Aun-Ali Zaidi spent two weeks in California working for Google.
The technology power, located in Mountain View, California, offered Zaidi the opportunity to code and program for a period of time on its campus.
Winning a coding competition earlier this year caught Google’s eye and he was one of the winners who was given a two-week internship at Google.
Zaidi discusses programming, Google and the free food on its campus.
How did you get an internship with Google?
I got the opportunity for the internship by first competing in [Google Coding]. Through Google Coding, I was one of 28 winners and it was an internal competition, about 5,000 to 6,000 contestants and I was selected as one of the winners for one of the organizations … We were flown to Mountain View, California. We had a full, two-week stay there.
What type of work did you do in the internship?
I mainly did, as you would assume programming, because it’s Google. I did a lot of work with their new operating system they’ve been working on, called Fusia. It’s supposed to be an operating system that runs all devices. So from their routers, to their tablets, to their phones. I also worked on some energy-efficiency things. That was pretty much all I can do during that one-week stay.
When did you get interested in coding and programming?
I started programming, I’d say, in fourth grade. That’s when it really started happening. I had a very high reading level as a child and I took my dad’s college textbooks, because he’s also a programmer, and I would go through them and read through them and do all the exercises and I eventually gained an interest in programming over time.
What would you like to do with programming?
Google’s a wonderful company to work for. It’s a very open environment. The environment was competitive but the people their were very nice and very considerate of you opinion. Also, I really want to take my passion for programming and artificial intelligence and do something. I really like artificial intelligence too, and mathematic.
What do you enjoy about New Tech High School?
The thing about New Tech is I love the open environment. Google is almost exactly like this. The environment is very open. I wouldn’t call it laid back, but they have a lot of opportunities and its all self-learning. It’s self-guided learning. It’s not like the teacher has to blast you with a bunch of stuff and you have busty work and all this stuff. You’re guiding your own past.
What surprised you most about Google?
The free food. They had a lot of free food. They had world cuisine from all over the world. I thought that was pretty cool. I also liked how no matter if you were an intern or if you worked for the company, they treated you as an actual employee … they treated you as part of the family.
What are your plans after high school?
I plan to go on to college. My goals are UT-Austin or California-Berkley.
What do you like to do outside of school?
I do whenever, I get a chance, play sports with my friends, video games. But beside that I used to do band … I did band since middle school. That was really an interesting experience that I guess developed responsibly and time management is really big for me, and that developed that for me as well.
How long do programming sessions take?
They can take from a few minutes until staying up until two in the morning working on something. Programming – it depends on what you’re doing. The stuff that I did took quite a bit of time. It wasn’t something very simple.