Interview: Learn about Elliot’s Hands-on Internship Experience at a Global Startup



November 1, 2021

Having previously worked for the global satellite company, Maxar, Elliot wanted to gain experience from an early-stage company and took a break from his studies at the University of Michigan to join the Glint team as a software engineering intern

What drew you to Glint Solar?

I was drawn to Glint’s mission to mitigate climate change by accelerating the floating solar revolution. I had not heard of floating solar before finding Glint, but the more I learned about it, the more it seemed like a super exciting and rapidly growing space as well as an opportunity to do meaningful work. I was also excited about the opportunity to join a smaller team at an early-stage startup.

What were you hoping to learn or what skills did you wish to gain by joining the Glint team?

My main goals were to become a stronger full-stack software engineer and learn more about the other aspects of running a business in addition to engineering. I had not worked in the renewable energy sector before, so I also wanted to learn more about floating solar and cleantech in general.

Ultimately, Glint was a great place to do all of these. During my time here, I had the opportunity to work across all parts of our tech stack and became more familiar with the product development lifecycle and the business development side of Glint. I also learned much about the technical side of floating solar, from calculating PV energy output to evaluating a potential site for a floating solar project.

What was your favorite project or feature that you worked on during your tenure at Glint?

My first project was building the minimum viable product (MVP) of SEEmarine, which we built and delivered to the customer in my first three weeks at Glint. SEEmarine lets customers identify the most attractive nearshore solar sites. Coming from a much larger company, I thought it was pretty exciting to be working on customer-facing projects right off the bat. Over the next few months, we worked closely with the customer to scale up the MVP by adding more data, improving the user interface, and making the site analysis more dynamic.

From the beginning, I was immediately given a lot of responsibility for important projects like SEEmarine (and later SEEregion, Glint’s main software for inland lakes) which I was really grateful for, and learned a lot through it.

What’s the biggest takeaway from your time at Glint?

In addition to more full-stack development experience, I learned a lot about effectively prioritizing projects. At an early-stage startup like Glint, there are always lots of fires to put out or projects that we would like to do eventually, but Glint has a strong focus on shipping new features quickly to get feedback from the customer. To deliver valuable products and new features to the customer as quickly as we wanted to, it was important to be critical about what to build next (or whether we should even be building a feature in the first place).

What is your favorite memory with the team?

I enjoyed product development and planning discussions with everyone. These meetings involved most of the business and engineering teams, so they were great opportunities to collaborate with Glint’s business team and learn more about product development. I had not been involved with the product development process before joining Glint, so I enjoyed having the opportunity to build mockups and help to prioritize different projects. I liked Glint’s deliberate, customer-focused product development and prioritization process, and I think it worked well—it was great to see the growth of the product, the team, and our customer base during my time here. Finally, I also really enjoyed seeing how well Glint’s customers responded to the product I helped build. Customers loving your product is every company’s dream.

Alexis Clemons