Hi, I’m Daniel. I am a third year software engineering student at McGill University and I just spent 10 incredible weeks working at Busbud. I worked at this startup through a program called The Fellowship, which was created by Montreal-based venture capital Real Ventures. The program’s goal is to foster talent in entrepreneurship by giving a group of developers, designers, and marketers the opportunity to work at a startup and to learn the ins and outs of entrepreneurship.
The moment I heard about the fellowship I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my summer. The program brought together the two things that I had been craving to learn since high school: Startups and entrepreneurship. The startups that were part of the fellowship were all funded by Real Ventures, and as part of the application process I was asked which one interested me the most, so I began reading about the challenges and problems they were each solving.
Some of the startups I knew beforehand, like Frank and Oak and Breather, were both interesting places with ideas that I found very appealing. And then there where others that I had never heard of before, like Busbud. As I went through Busbud’s website, the first thing I did was type ‘Caracas to Valencia’ in the search bar, which is a popular route in Venezuela, where I am from originally. Seeing the route show up when I clicked ‘search’ blew my mind! I couldn’t believe how simple it was for a traveler to book a bus ticket connecting two cities in a remote country in South America.
I became really interested in Busbud’s huge vision: Unifying the fragmented bus industry through a web platform. This massive problem was something that I wanted to understand and that I knew would push my technical skills even further. So I submitted my application, and after interviews with both Real Ventures and Busbud CEO and co-founder LP Maurice, I was accepted! After 10 awesome weeks, here are 10 reasons why my internship at Busbud was memorable.
1. The team
Each and every one of the people building Busbud is extremely talented and unique. I still remember the days when I was getting to know the engineering and business teams. Everyone was open, friendly, and helped me when I felt unsure about how to approach a problem. It was awesome to have a two-minute chat with someone and completely shift my way of thinking about a problem.
2. The software stack
It was great to expand my technical skills working with technologies that I didn’t have much experience with before joining Busbud. Getting to know cutting-edge stuff like Node and Express really opened my mind to different styles of programming. I also got to build some cool features for the frontend using backbone.
3. The office
The office is a huge open space with a lounge area, kitchen, Ping-Pong table, standing desks, and spacious working areas. It beats any of the places I saw during the fellowship; and trust me, I visited a lot of startups.
4. Team lunch
Each Wednesday, the entire team enjoys a catered lunch together. It is a great time to get to know everyone better and learn more about the fields others have experience in, like product management and business development.
5. Code reviews
At Busbud, code is pushed to production pretty much on a daily basis. As part of this process, every new feature is peer reviewed by other developers. This feedback process allowed me to learn a lot from looking at code written by others, and to improve my own standards by having others look at my work.
6. The World Cup
It was a lot of fun to watch many of the World Cup games here at the office and to see the Brazil Bus Finder feature go live. This happened at the beginning of my fellowship, and I thought it was awesome to see how creative the feature was, along with all the buzz it generated on social media.
7. The timeline
In 10 weeks, I saw Busbud publicly announce their 9M series A round of funding, launch bus routes in Brazil and Spain, grow the size of the team, and adopt a new organizational structure more suitable for a later-stage startup. I can’t state how valuable it was to see all these events and changes take place; it really complemented everything I learned about entrepreneurship from the fellowship.
8. The meaningful work
Everything I worked on during my internship felt tangible and relevant to the development of the product. It feels great to push features that I know brought some value to the startup as a whole.
9. How everything ties together
The business team, the data-science team, and the engineering team all work closely together on tasks that continuously allow Busbud to expand its coverage and serve an increasingly better product. It is inspiring to see everyone work hard to meet the next big challenge.
10. The coffee machine
I forgot to mention they have a coffee machine the size of a mini fridge. If you are into coffee, this is where you’ll want to work!
I got so much out of my time here. Busbud offers an incredible environment fuelled by passionate people that are looking to learn, grow, and create. If you think this is an environment you’d enjoy being a part of, don’t hesitate reaching out – they’re always hiring!
Last photo credit: Alain Wong