Crypto

Meet the Coinbase Crypterns who are building the future of money

At Coinbase, we believe that the best people to help us create the future of finance are the ones who will be the most affected: young people like our college Crypterns.

Whether it is a remote or an in-person crypternship experience, our Coinbase interns develop & ship high-priority projects over the course of their 12–16 weeks. Here are some of their stories:

Gerald Nash — Software Engineer Cryptern, Consumer & Security Team

Tell us about yourself?

I’m a senior currently studying Computer Science at Howard University in Washington, D.C. I’m from the beautiful city of Atlanta, Georgia, and I enjoy learning new languages and exploring creative and useful ways that we can interact with technology. I’ve also had two Crypternships!

What projects did you work on during your crypternship?

For my first crypternship, I worked on an update to a consumer web application workflow to help ensure user transactions did not exceed their available balances. For my second, I helped design and implement a tool that regularly executed the in-house security scanner on a variety of internal software projects, which ultimately enables the security team to more reliably find vulnerabilities that may not be found as quickly otherwise.

What did you learn about the working world during your Crypternship?

I learned the importance of pacing and communication. When tasked with large projects, it’s important that you keep in mind the size and scope of your work so that you can plan what needs to be done accordingly. Doing this gives insight into how much work needs to be done during each work cycle (often a sprint). And, as you complete your work, it’s important that you communicate effectively with your manager and teammates regarding any wins that you’ve seen in addition to any newly found problems that could warrant future changes to your working pace or the project overall.

Samira Gadri — Software Engineer Cryptern, Commerce Team

Tell us about yourself?

Hey! I’m Samira. I go to the University of British Columbia and I study Political Science and Computer Science. I was born in Afghanistan, but I have grown up in Vancouver, Canada, and call it home. I am really passionate about harnessing the power of software to give back and make a positive difference in the world.

What made you decide to apply to the Crypternship program?

I actually didn’t know a lot about Coinbase and cryptocurrencies prior to applying and working at Coinbase. I applied for the internship program because the mission described in the job posting, increasing economic freedom around the world, resonated with me. Working for a company that is actively working toward a common good is a huge factor in motivation and job satisfaction for me.

“Working for a company that is actively working toward a common good is a huge factor in motivation and job satisfaction for me.”

What projects did you work on during your crypternship?

During my 12-week internship, I was kept busy with plenty of things to work on. By the end of it, my Github stats said I merged 44+ pull requests into production. The first project I jumped on was a major team project for Coinbase Commerce. I implemented a lot of frontend bug fixes to help the team launch the feature. Afterwards, I was the feature lead for implementing an important requested feature to allow merchants to download all of their withdrawals and refunds data in a CSV format. I was able to scope it out, implement it and launch it before the tax deadline at the time. Finally, I was the feature lead on implementing a pay with Coinbase option on donation checkouts. Previously, Coinbase Commerce only had the option to pay with Coinbase for product checkouts that had a fixed price. I was able to come up with a way to get accurate exchange rates for dynamic user donation input and integrate it into the OAuth flow. I was also able to launch this feature before the end of my internship. Check it out here.

Sowmiya Subramaniyan — Software Engineer Cryptern, Consumer Team

Tell us about yourself and why you chose to apply to Coinbase’s Crypternship Program?

I’m a Computer Science grad student at New York University, passionate about software development. I found out about Coinbase’s internship program when I was looking online for internships in the cryptocurrency and fintech space. I’d heard from previous interns that they’d had a great experience, and that got me interested in applying.

What did you learn about the working world during your Crypternship?

One thing I realized during my Crypternship is how crucial communication is in the professional world. Being able to effectively communicate progress updates and blockers in team meetings is very important for working efficiently. I also learnt how a real-world large-scale application works, and unlike in school where you work on ideal environments, things can go wrong sometimes. Learning how to quickly diagnose and recover from these errors in real time is a great software engineering skill that I gained.

Would you recommend the crypternship program?

Yes, definitely! Through the Crypternship program, you get excellent mentorship and guidance on improving your skills as a software engineer and get to work on impactful projects. Crypto as a tech domain is just emerging and is a very exciting space to be in — you can learn a lot about this space through the program.

“Crypto as a tech domain is just emerging and is a very exciting space to be in — you can learn a lot about this space through the program.”

June Xu — Software Engineer Cryptern, Custody Team

What projects did you work on during your crypternship?

I was lucky to have the opportunity to work on a cross-functional project for my internship that involved directly contributing to one of Coinbase’s Q1 objectives and key results (OKRs). During my time, Coinbase was trying to transition to using more shared services. This transition included migrating all Coinbase products (Consumer, Custody, Pro) to use a unified ledger for computing balance. I had complete ownership over Custody’s transition to this ledger.

Throughout the project, I was able to work with multiple teams, spanning the Payments, Infrastructure, Consumer and Data teams. I set up and attended meetings on behalf of my project, communicated progress to various stakeholders, and also got to work with another awesome teammate near the end of the project to push it to the finish line.

At every step of the way during my internship, I was given the responsibility to do work that made a meaningful contribution to the company. My work felt like it was important to the company’s success. My teammates trusted me to complete my work, and always provided me with support if I needed it.

I’m super thankful for the entire Custody team and Coinbase for making this internship experience worth HODL-ing onto.

Natalie Pekker — Software Engineer, Cryptern Alumni

Can you tell us about your Coinbase Crypternship experience?

As an intern, I got to work on real projects with impact, and I was treated like a real employee in a lot of ways. People who joined my team after I started sometimes didn’t even realize I was an intern for weeks. It was an authentic taste of what it would be like to work at Coinbase full-time after college. One of the most important things for me in my career is feeling challenged by the work I do in a way that helps me grow (while also not worrying about burnout), and after my internship, I knew that Coinbase was the right place for me.

“People who joined my team after I started sometimes didn’t even realize I was an intern for weeks.”

I loved my internship not only because of the work I got to do and the mentorship I received, but also because of the friendships I made. For example, my intern class got really close — we would get dinner together at the office almost every day. The number of interns from my class (roughly half) who returned to Coinbase full-time is a huge testament to the quality of the internship. We remain close to this day, and having them around made the transition to post-grad life a lot less daunting.

Allie Ilijevski — Compliance Cryptern

Tell us about yourself?

I am a first generation American, college, and law student based in Chicago, Illinois! I speak fluent Macedonian and have two little sisters with a huge age gap (16 years). I currently focus on business and compliance law at Loyola University Chicago School of Law and intend to start my career in compliance.

What made you decide to apply to the Crypternship program?

I initially learned about Coinbase during my senior year at the University of Houston. A bunch of my college friends were extremely hyped up about what was then considered to be this crazy concept of “crypto.” Before I applied to the Crypternship program, I did my own research about Coinbase’s mission, vision, and strategy and found that they perfectly aligned with my career aspirations. Coinbase is also known across the crypto world as being the pioneer in its field, and who wouldn’t want to work for a company that is such a powerhouse!

Vrushabh Jambhulkar — Software Engineer Cryptern, Consumer Team

What was the highlight of your Cryptern experience?

Oh boy, where do I start? My internship at Coinbase was such a wonderful learning experience. Even though my internship was completely remote, my team and the university recruitment team never made me feel that way. I gained a lot of professional experience working with my team especially from my mentor and my manager. Their guidance helped me to write high quality, well-tested code. Apart from the technical experience I have received during my internship, I learned a lot of non-technical skills as well. I understood that although planning and preparation may not be fun, it plays a very important role as well, like writing a well laid out technical document/plan. I also improved my communication skills and was able to communicate with all the stakeholders for the project. I feel like I have grown a lot in my professional career and am a lot more confident to work in the industry. All in all, it was awesome working at Coinbase and I can’t wait to get back to work again with the team.

Would you recommend our program?

Absolutely. The Coinbase internship program is a very rewarding experience for both the interns and the company. We get to work on real problems that directly impact the customers. And working under so many talented people in the industry you learn much more than just technical knowledge. Everyone is very welcoming and helpful; they will make sure that you are getting every resource that is required for you to learn and grow in your career. They will push you to do things that are outside your comfort zone, for example when my manager noticed that I have not been very prompt in communicating with the project channel with updates, he urged me to send out updates every week so I could improve upon my communication skills, which sure did help me to a great extent and it also helped me become more social with people. Coinbase has an awesome university recruitment team that makes sure you are never overwhelmed with work, and they organized so many fun events/workshops like my favorite pizza making workshop, terrarium building workshop, and many more. I highly recommend this program to everyone.

Namita Nair — Software Engineer Cryptern, Security Team

What did you learn about the working world during your Crypternship?

I learned that effective communication is essential while working in a team, and we should always have a mindset of “continuous learning” . Coding is often the easiest part, the important part is defining the project scope and requirements perfectly. Documentation is equally important as coding.

What was most rewarding about your Crypternship? What was most challenging?

The most rewarding part was being able to talk to and work with brilliant and motivated people. I was able to work in a company culture that aligned with my values. I felt my work as an intern was valuable — my code shipped to production. The challenging aspects would be the steep learning curve, compounded by the fact that the internship was remote. I had to learn Golang, working in a MonoRepo, AWS Lambda functions on the job. I learned “how to learn,” and asking for help when stuck was encouraged, so I was able to remain productive throughout.

Want to help us build the future of money? Join our team as a Cryptern or UniGrad: See open positions


Meet the Coinbase Crypterns who are building the future of money was originally published in The Coinbase Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


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