Vrinda_Jain - Full Stack Pathway

From where I started off:

  • I had previously developed various front end designs using HTML and CSS
  • A basic working experience with JavaScript and GitHub
  • How to write an Industry worthy code
  • Zero knowledge of Ruby and Open Source Discourse development.

Where I am post Full Stack Internship:

Technical Skills

  • I now have an understanding of the discourse code base
  • How to develop plugins in discourse
  • A fair knowledge of Ruby and Javascript
  • Enhanced knowledge of HTML and CSS
  • How to work on something that is already developed, rather than writing it from scratch
  • Collaborating on Git
  • Brainstorming and designing UI

Soft Skills

Time management, Communication, Leadership, Team Collaboration, Team Building the list is endless. But I will like to specifically mention a few.

  • Remote working experience, what loopholes can be there and how to tackle them.
  • Team collaboration wherein the team members have different levels of skill sets
  • Global Networking
  • Setting up meetings that are comfortable for team members across more than 3-4 time zones. I feel this was one very tough task.
  • Creating timeline
  • Project management using industry level tools like Asana.
  • Delegation and appreciation are very important aspects of Leadership (Thank you for giving me this life hack Stephanie )
  • “Make things that aren’t that huge but have more impact than the ones which might be revolutionary so would disrupt the current scenario so much that won’t actually be used enough to leave an impact.” - Wise words by Debleena

Tasks I had to take-up as a team lead:

  • Scheduling team meetings keeping in mind maximum availability, even if it meant staying up late myself.
  • Planning each meeting in advance and giving in an agenda so everyone knows what to expect.
  • Apart from setting up team meetings, I also hosted various Office Hours for 1-1 help.
  • Breaking down the project into simpler steps.
  • Having practice tasks for the required technologies before getting into actual open-source development to make it easy and comfortable for participants.
  • Delegating tasks to keep everyone engaged and bring a sense of leadership in them.
  • Asking for feedback on a regular basis and working on it to make the meetings more effective.
  • Introducing the team to SMART methodology, that helps in effective project development by sub tasking the work and determining development time.
  • Reaching out to individual members to followup on learning and issues they might be facing.
  • Discussing future plans with technical lead Priyanka, project management lead Tam and pathway lead Sai.
  • Reached out to Sarah, Antony and Saloni to arrange knowledge sharing meetings with UX teams. As said by Debleena “An FS developer with a dash of UX and a UX designer with a dash of FS will always have an edge.”
  • Aligning meetings with industry mentor James
  • Hosting meetings with Debleena for feedback, progress and learning industry standards.
  • Creating sub-teams to work on various plugin ideas and helping each team to work on their plugin ideas.

Tools I used during this internship:

  • GSuite (Google Drive, Meets, Chat)
  • AWS (EC2, Lambda, S3)
  • Slack
  • Asana
  • Git

Challenges I faced during this internship:

  • Making the meetings engaging.
  • Making everyone comfortable enough to reach out with queries.
  • Getting people to talk not just with me but each other as well.

How I came over these challenges:

  • I planned one fun activity at the end of each meeting.
  • I regularly discussed ideas with Stephanie in her weekly Office Hours to get guidance on keeping the team self-motivated, increasing team engagement and making meetings productive and alive at the same time
  • I took weekly feedback and tried to work on things.
  • With Jeremy suggestion, I started having more detailed agendas
  • With Chucks and Sion suggestion, we started having a minute of meeting file.
  • Since, this is an educational internship, I tried to make learning for everyone more important than meeting deadlines so everyone on the team (various skill levels).
  • I came up with this idea to announce weekly performers to appreciate the outstanding work and keep the rest going to achieve it.
  • To increase team interest and learnings, I came up with a special session on sharing my industry experience from my year-long internship and took up various topics. (List of topics can be found here.)
  • Sarah and I came up with this weekly inter pathway meeting with Khanh and Yves. We all represented a pathway each and shared our ideas on team engagements and chatted for a bit.


  • Completed the development of a discourse plugin with Jeremy, and guidance from James and Debleena. (Detailed information about the plugin can be found here)
  • Had two participants of my team climb up the ladder to become leads for the July session. Jeremy and Chuks
  • Saw a tremendous growth in my teammates from people who didn’t initially talk at all to leaders who wanted to help in the onboarding of new interns for the next session by holding office hours and sharing their knowledge.
  • Successfully, led and completed a 5-week internship, learning newer things and sharing my knowledge.
  • Expanded my professional network across the globe, with people who are equally passionate about STEM and self-motivated as I am.
  • Other than professional relations, I now have friends from around the world, Melissa, Sarah, Khanh, Jeremy, Chuks, Sai, Priyanka, Longfei, Tam and many more.
  • I can now be proudly called a STEM AWAY ALUMNI

I’m always happy to discuss ideas and projects and know more about people from different parts of the world.

Signing off
Vrinda Jain


@Melissa @sarahrp @Hpk0304 @Jscott @Chuks @Sai_Likhith_K @TamNguyen @Longfei @pg

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@ddas @Stephanie @gdpelican @AntonyGeorgiadis @Saloni_Shah @yvesgaetan @SkimMilk05

Tagging people seperately since it won’t let me tag them in the main post, and letting them know they have been a part of my STEM AWAY journey.


Vrinda, it has been a pleasure getting to know you. I have admired your dedication, expertise and enthusiasm throughout the internship. You have always been committed to ensuring that all members of your team have a positive and fulfilling internship experience, both on the technical side and with the soft skills.
I have learned so much from our interactions, our Inter-Pathway meetings were the highlight of my week! Thanks and best wishes!


It’s nice working with you Vrinda, you made my work a lot easier by taking things into your hands.

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It has been amazing meeting you too, Vrinda! You bring life into everything you do, and a smile wherever you go. You’re definitely a great leader, and I admired how you stepped up to host a learning session to teach others after you learned how to navigate the site. I have learned so much from you, and I am glad to know you. :smiley:

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