Final Post: Social Travel/Software Development in Jerusalem

It’s been a few weeks since my internship at GoWith ended and I’ve since returned to the States. Now that I’m somewhat removed from it, it’s kind of hard to believe how quickly my time overseas went by! I was the last intern to leave, and on my last day, our CEO leveled with me about his experience over the summer. Though the team didn’t meet the goal of putting out a complete (or near-complete) app in 2 months’ time, the idea seems to have been overly ambitious considering our collective lack of experience. There are also things I personally wish I’d done differently, mostly relating to using my time at work better. I focused most of my energy on visiting family and sightseeing, making use of the city and country where I was spending my time, rather than the job I was working. I could’ve made a better effort to learn from my peers and my resources. So, though I did learn a lot overseas, but I didn’t learn as much about software development as I could’ve. Still, I hope to put the skills I’ve learned to use in the coming year and in future pursuits.

Israeli Social Travel and Software Development: Update 3

Today marks the final day of my second-to-last week working at GoWith. In the two weeks since my last update, it feels like a lot has happened, but not a lot of progress has been made. Development has hit a ton of snags in all aspects of the project. Integrating all of our app’s different features that were developed independently without a ton of communication between teams. Because no one on our team had ever developed an iOS app before, each one of us was independently learning throughout the development process. As such, we made a lot of mistakes early on that made it very difficult to stitch together the different features we’d been developing. As an example, there was no centralized Xcode project for the app– each of us (working on our own respective features in teams of 2) had our own project for our own feature. In addition, version control was only used by some of the teams, and those that did used their own private repositories instead of a central codebase to branch from. It’s been a learning experience for everyone, but I do very much wish that I could’ve had a bit more advice or guidance.

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Israeli Social Travel and Software Development: Update 2

Today was the last day of my third week at GoWith, marking the halfway point in my internship period. It’s hard to believe that my time in this country is already more than half over. In the last two weeks, my work partner (another intern) and I have been slowly chipping away at our delegated portion of GoWith’s app. The largest challenge of this has been working with new iOS libraries and APIs in order to get the functionality we need. This is exacerbated by the my (and the rest of the team’s) lack of experience with iOS. Everyone in the company has been learning and helping each other out, though I can’t help but feel like

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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.

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Abstract: Travel-based Social Customs and Software Development in Israel

GoWith is a Jerusalem-based startup that seeks to provide passengers on trains and planes with more venues for social interaction during their travels. To do this, they employ AI-based software to connect passengers with new people they may otherwise not have met. As a participant in the program jInternship, I will be spending 6 weeks of my summer working as an intern at this startup. My research that I conduct as I work at GoWith will be twofold. First, I’d like to better understand what the norms are for social interaction on public transit in Israel and other countries in the Middle East and Europe, and how they compare to that of the US. The second part of my research will be focused on the startup culture and high-tech sector in Israel, a country dubbed the “startup nation” for its plethora of new tech companies and embrace of new technologies in all fields. This research is important because it will contribute to a better understanding of Israel’s role in the global information technology landscape.