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Interns adapt fast with ZapTap

Gloria Choi Sep 5, 2018 • 3 min read

Last June, Sang Saephan and Glo Tran joined ZapLabs as interns for the mobile development team. Over the course of ten weeks, they learned to navigate the codebase, manage their workflow, and work across teams. Sang and Glo quickly adapted to the culture and tempo at ZapLabs, and even implemented a new product feature, called ZapTap.

What is ZapTap?

ZapTap serves as an extra security measure for agents on mobile, asking them to verify their identity on launch. For agents who store sensitive information on their Zap account, it’s important to keep the mobile experience secure.

The Process

As mobile developers, Sang (on iOS) and Glo (on Android) played key roles in the implementation of ZapTap. Working closely with the product team, they tackled the questions, 1) How will agents use and access ZapTap? and 2) What can we feasibly build in our 10-week  time constraint?

The user flow looked straightforward at first:

  1. Open mobile Zap
  2. Verify fingerprint
  3. Enter Zap

But it quickly evolved into something more complex.

One of the scoping issues the team faced was feature placement. Sang explained, “There was some confusion on the user flow because of the differences between iOS and Android.” The Android app had a Settings page where the Fingerprint feature could live, whereas the iOS did not.  

For Glo, the process was difficult at times, “Initially, we were all learning about our roles and it could be challenging to communicate with other interns. We spent a lot of time trying to understand what was in our scope.”

Sang and Glo had to find strategies to resolve both group-level challenges and personal ones. At first, Sang had trouble understanding the codebase and Glo struggled to find time away from meetings. The two quickly learned to rely on their coworkers for support. Glo said, “If I was stuck on something, I would just pull up a chair to any of the Android engineers and they were always available to help. My desk surfing got to a point where even if I didn’t have questions, I would work next to them.”

By the end of the internship, Glo helped to implement ZapTap on the Settings page for Android devices, while Sang placed the iOS feature on the login page.

As interns, Sang and Glo revelled in the chance to own a product feature from scoping all the way through to implementation. The two completed the internship having improved their skills as developers, but also with a deeper understanding of project management and collaboration. As Sang explained, “One thing I’m taking away from the internship is the skill of communicating and collaborating with teams. For any project, I learned communication is important.” Glo left off with a positive note, “I must have learned more in the last 2 months than in my several years in classes. My time at Zap has been a great experience.”

The internship program came to a close by early August. Sang and Glo wrapped up the internship with a project to showcase and a growing Linkedin network, but we at ZapLabs weren’t quite ready to let go.

Lucky for us, the two shared a similar sentiment. Now, we’re excited to bring them on as full-time hires. Congrats, Sang and Glo!

Gloria Choi

Gloria is a Product Marketing Associate at ZapLabs, supporting the team to develop engaging content for the Community and to mediate product communications between internal and external stakeholders. Gloria is a recent graduate of UC Berkeley, where she received her BA in English.