Israeli Social Travel and Software Development: Update 1

After taking a few weeks in Jerusalem to settle in, I started my internship at GoWith on Monday, July 2. One week prior to the start of the internship, our CEO notified us of some major changes in our roadmap and goals for the summer. I can’t go into detail about what exactly these were, because I’m under a confidentiality agreement with the startup, but I’ll speak generally about it. The biggest new information I gained was that we’d be focusing on iOS development using Swift and Xcode. Quick changes and directional shifts like this are, of course, normal in a startup environment, and I knew this going in. Still, my first week of iOS development presented significant challenges.

My first few days at the company were consumed by simply adjusting to the work atmosphere of the startup. GoWith had me working in a startup accelerator, sharing an office space with several other startups. One of the most interesting things about my time so far has been seeing these other startups work on their innovative ideas. These other startups are also younger than GoWith, which has allowed me to gain a perspective on the different stages of startups. This coupled with last week’s visit to the office of Mobileye (a startup developing autonomous vehicle technology, purchased in 2017 by Intel for $15 billion) has allowed me to begin learning about the diversity of Israel’s tech startups.

I was the last intern of ten to start work at GoWith this summer, so my first day kind of felt like a jump straight into the deep end. The other interns all had a week or two under their belts already, and luckily for me, they were happy to help me get my bearings over the first few days. Like me, none of the other interns knew anything about Swift before starting work, but they still shared what they’d learned so far, which was helpful. My main challenge this week has been trying to develop for iOS without a Mac of my own. Since Xcode (Apple’s IDE for iOS development) is only available on Mac, and I only brought a PC, I’ve been running Xcode on a virtual machine, which has been unoptimal. Another intern will be bringing in their older, spare Mac next week, which will hopefully be a better option for development. Logisitical challenges like this happen almost hourly in GoWith and other small startups, and I’m sure I’ll learn more about how to deal with them as they come. The startup culture here has been very interesting so far, and I hope to learn much more about it as the weeks continue!