1. Join an amazing team, build amazing thingsThis one seems pretty obvious—HubSpot has an amazing product and co-ops have the good fortune to work on it. But a killer product does not always mean an incredible co-op experience. The incredible experience at HubSpot largely comes from the way we work together. A co-op at HubSpot joins a small team of 2-4 engineers and works closely with their Tech Lead to push code to production on their first day. Each group of engineers is paired with a Product Manager and a Designer to form a small, autonomous team that fully owns every stage of an app's lifecycle, from mockups to maintenence. A co-op becomes an integral part of a team by playing an an almost identical role to a fulltime developer. It might sound a bit intimidating a first, but luckily everyone has a team to support them!
2. Break stuff (and then fix it)
If you're not breaking things, you're not moving fast enough. HubSpot engineers work in an environment that encourages building, testing, and shipping code many times per day. At that pace, everyone is bound to ship some bad code at one point or another. It's not the end of the world, and often it's one of the most valuable learning experiences a newbie developer can have. You simply don't know "real world work experience" (or real fear, for that matter) until you've had to quickly roll back a deploy or attend a critsit review meeting. Someone might even show up at your desk with a real life fubar.
3. Feel overwhelming pride for your work
Building cool features is fun, but it's even better when you know that your work is helping someone else. Co-ops get to work on some amazing projects that have a huge impact on other people. Whether that work is building internal tools to make the lives of other HubSpot employees easier, or exciting new features that HubSpot users can enjoy, people notice your work. HubSpot even has an internal "cheers" system that allows people to congratulate and thank other employees for work they’ve done, so that no good work goes unnoticed. Be proud of your work—you deserve it!
4. Stand on the shoulders of giantsThe people that work here are smart. Need help with CoffeeScript? No problem—someone who works here literally wrote the book on CoffeeScript. Use Stack Overflow often? Cool—you might work day to day with someone whose reputation is in the top 0.04% of all time. You will run into mind-boggling challenges no matter where you work, but at HubSpot, there is a whole team of brilliant people who are willing, able, and excited to help out. We're nearing the completion of our co-ops at HubSpot, and we agree that we've learned way more from co-workers than from most (dare we say all?) of the classes we've taken at school.
5. Become a resource for your team
HubSpot is a hiring machine, and within a six month stint, a co-op could end up as one of the most "senior" developers on their team. Like any other full-timer on a 3 or 4 person team, a co-op will probably end up knowing all there is to know about about parts of a service or app. How cool is it to know that people will start coming to you for questions?
6. Delight your users, change their livesIf you’re too humble to admit your work is amazing, try sitting among thousands of people at HubSpot’s Inbound conference as they cheer when Brian and Dharmesh unveil a feature you developed. HubSpot's software really improves peoples' lives, and you get to be a part of that. The changes you make reach users all around the world. Many of these people can’t keep their love for your work quiet, and will talk about that feature on social media. You can be sure that your work will be enjoyed by many.
7. Learn to really push yourself
Co-ops have completed some pretty impressive projects at HubSpot, and it's paved the way for future co-ops to be trusted with some really cool work. There's tons of time to have fun with coworkers (and we really know how to have fun), but there is also a huge sense of responsibility that comes with our high-impact projects. Understanding the value of these projects pushes us to grow as developers and learn to work super hard. One of the co-ops this semester has a record-holding 79-day GitHub contributions streak, and he did it just for fun. While we are not expected to be that extreme (looking at you, Zach!) we certainly aren't an apathetic, bored, or disinterested bunch.
8. Be part of something specialCo-ops at HubSpot get to participate in "Intern Lunch & Learn" events, where we gather and have lunch with different execs across the company. It's a cool opportunity to meet and chat with HubSpot leadership, and understand the story and trajectory of HubSpot from their perspectives. We've also got weekly Tech Talks, awesome dev events, board game nights, beach house weeks in the summer, ski chalet weeks in the winter, all the candy in the world, a nap room, etc etc etc. Basically, we've got great perks and great people to enjoy them with.