My name is Jack Rosen, and I just finished an 8-month co-op as an iOS developer. Although that was my official title, I was given opportunities to do so much more than just write code for the iOS app. Throughout my time, I was able to work on the iOS app, in backend services, and for the data science system. I was also given the responsibility of delivering presentations to the company about systems I worked on and to the iOS team about some new tooling that I created.
Throughout my experience, I was treated as if I were a full-time member of the team, given the responsibility to work independently, and going through the same processes related to code review and development. As a college student, I have seen many blog posts from my peers reflecting on their co-op and internship experience, and I wanted to do my part to showcase the incredible work done at WHOOP. Here are some reasons to work here:
You Want Responsibility Over Your Work:
From the first day of being at WHOOP, my manager and team stressed the importance of ownership over the product. I started working on the new Overview Screen, which was mostly finished, but had critical bugs that needed to be fixed. Once I started fixing bugs and making enhancements, my team diverted all feedback about this new feature (specifically feedback relating to the iOS implementation) to me, thus giving me responsibility and ownership over my work.
This is a really important pillar to engineering at WHOOP; take command of what you are working on, so that you can do the best work possible. As I continued my time here, I was given more responsibility, from being able to work closely in the architectural design & development of the Journal feature to creating the new and improved Voice of WHOOP system.
All developers are in charge of the whole lifecycle of their code, which includes writing unit tests, programming, creating integration tests, and maintaining the code. Each developer can focus on their current project, without being forced to context switch and lose valuable time re-integrating themselves into the code. I owned my part as well, which made me feel like a valued team member.
You Want to Advance Your Career:
At WHOOP, there is a focus on advancing your career. Within my first two weeks, there was a presentation given to all new hires, titled “How to Level Up”, which focused on the roles that all jobs play at WHOOP and the responsibilities at each level. Countless co-workers took ownership of their projects and were rewarded with advancements in the company. While advancing your career might lead to becoming a manager, that career path is not forced upon the developers. The “How to Level Up” talk emphasized that there is room for career advancement even if you do not want to become a manager; there are important levels for engineers that are solely focused on code.
Since I was a co-op and my time at Whoop would inevitably end in 8 months, I was not eligible for certain career advancement opportunities but was still able to have important discussions about my career trajectory. That does not mean the same type of discussions around my career did not take place. At our weekly 1:1 meeting, my manager and I discussed future opportunities and career growth, both at the company and in the industry at large. I was given the opportunity to meet with some really important members of the company over lunch, and discuss the general landscape of the tech industry, where WHOOP fits in, and the many forms that my career can take.
You Want to Meet Amazing People:
The WHOOP office has a large kitchen with areas to eat and reheat food, plus make coffee or kombucha. Employees are constantly eating lunch together while discussing cool projects or just common interests. During the first two months of my co-op (while the office was open), I met a variety of people who had an interest in tech, health, and many other things. I had many 1:1 lunches with engineers on different teams, which gave me the opportunity to learn about a lot of different people’s perspectives on the company, their career, and life in general.
Even though the office closing due to the pandemic ended the ability to do in-person 1:1 lunches, it did not destroy the culture which emphasizes inclusion and meeting new people. Pretty soon after all work went remote, the company started a “virtual coffee date” program to continue fostering inter-team friendships. Even the CEO partook in these coffee dates.
While meeting with people at lunch and through coffee dates can help build friendship, normal day-to-day communication at the company helped build work relationships. There was a Slack channel for my team, which we used to discuss the current projects we were working on. Each team had a similar channel, so that everyone would be up to date on the team goals for the week and project timelines. When working on cross-team efforts, I was able to know the correct person to contact and build a relationship with them while working closely to meet a deadline. This was most evident when working on the Voice of WHOOP system. That system entailed aggregating data from many different data sources owned by numerous teams. I was able to make connections with the “owners” of the data and utilize Slack and Zoom to discuss issues working within their systems and find solutions to problems.
You Want to Improve Your Fitness:
WHOOP is a fitness, health, and tech company. In other words, though tech is integral to the company, fitness and health are as well. The first thing you get when arriving at the company is a WHOOP strap and an account. This gives you access to all of the features of the product — sleep tracking, Recovery score, and Strain calculation. This has helped me tremendously.
By listening to the app recommendations and being more conscious of my fitness, I have become much healthier and more fit. I have learned so much about my body, and leveraged WHOOP to gain insights about my fitness. Another way in which the company promotes fitness is through employee programs. A program we rolled out is a $100 sleep bonus for reaching 85% of your sleep need for the month. This incentivized a full-night sleep and helped me promote better sleep habits. Just from working at a fitness company, I felt supported to become more fit and active.
Overall, my time here was filled with incredible people supporting me as I worked on many interesting projects. The responsibility given to me helped foster a feeling of inclusion on my team and within the company. The discussions about my future helped shine a light on different paths forward in the tech industry. The communication with a lot of interesting people helped drive innovation within the company and create friendships that will last. And to top it all off, I was able to improve my fitness tremendously due to the insights gained while being in the WHOOP platform.
I cannot thank the company enough for giving me the opportunity to work on some really interesting projects that have already been released to customers (and more to come!). WHOOP is an incredible startup with a great environment which values their employees and their customers. I always felt valued while working at the company, and was really appreciative to be given the opportunity to write this blog post.