Siddhant Dubey

A Summer In San Francisco

2008: I’m 5, I want to play games on Cartoon Network’s website. Yet, I can’t be bothered to memorize the URL, so I repeatedly ask my mom to jot it down for me. Each time, I lose the scrap of paper, dooming myself to ask her again the following day. This marks my first dance with technology.

2013: I’m a 10-year-old sitting next to my father, watching C# tutorials on Microsoft’s Channel 9. A family friend gives us a Visual Studio Pro license, and for a time, I dive headfirst into the world of C#. Like most childhood hobbies, this one fades away.

2015 arrives. I’m 12 and haven’t touched Visual Studio in over a year. For extra credit, I build a calculator app for math class by copying code snippets from online tutorials.

2017: As middle school draws to a close, I become fascinated with becoming a Software Engineer. There was never another path. I “learn” Python and dream about going to San Francisco.

High school arrives, I become a significantly better script kiddie but shy away from anything truly difficult.

2021: Freshman year of college begins. Internship hunting kicks off, and I land a Software Engineer internship at Red Hat. I love it, and it leaves me wanting more.

2023: The dream materializes. I start my internship at Amazon in San Francisco.

Melodramatic introduction aside, working as a software engineer in San Francisco is what I had been dreaming of on and off since middle school. I touched down in San Francisco on May 12th, 2023, and left on August 5th, 2023. This post is a reflection on that experience, inspired by quinn.



I was a software development engineer intern at Amazon Music, working on improving the listening experience for new users. I wrote a lot of Java and touched pretty interesting parts of the backend, including the sequencing algorithm.

things I liked

team: My team was awesome! Everyone was incredibly supportive, intelligent, and fun to hang around with. I had access to everything I needed to grow as an engineer, and I could not have asked for a better group of people to hang out with.

work: I worked on a feature that would be used by a lot of people, which was awesome. Being entrusted with actual responsibilities as an intern was great; knowing that other people are going to use your work is a great motivator.

things I didn’t like

speed of development: Onboarding + the technical design review cycle + unforeseen complications in project specifications meant it took a while before I got to write code for my project. I understand that as a full-time engineer, I’d have more time to actually sit down and ship features, but I did find this to be a little saddening. Even though I did finish my project, I feel like if I’d had another month, I probably could have shipped a ton more.

things I learned

technical design: Writing technical design documents and thoroughly considering technical solutions before coding were good practices for me. I’ve always been a headfirst kind of guy, writing code first and asking questions later. Having to slow down and dive deeper into solution space before settling on one is an invaluable skill that I’m glad I’ve finally internalized.

writing good code: The side projects I’ve written have had very little thought put towards their style. This has come back to bite me in the neck many times since. Obviously, spaghetti code usually doesn’t fly at a big tech company, and I finally took the time to write properly structured code that other people could understand. I always knew this was important, but I’d never really had to do it before. I’ll try and do this as much as I can with my own side projects in the future.

the city

things I liked

weather: The summer was fantastic, usually sunny with a bay breeze. It’s pretty much my ideal climate for a summer.

food: There’s a lot of great food in the city, much better than what you get in Atlanta and especially Charlotte. Special shout out to Birdbox in Mission Bay.

vibe: SF, to me, is energizing and hope-inducing. There’s something infused in the atmosphere of the city that makes me feel great.

nature: There are forests, mountains, lakes, and the ocean, all within a 1.5-hour drive. It’s beautiful.

walkability: Public transit is alright, and I can walk to everything I need, which is my ideal situation.

things I didn’t like

expensive: The city is tremendously expensive rent-wise, but that’s just the price you pay to live there. Otherwise, it’s not that much worse than a city like Atlanta.

crime, dirtiness, etc..: Although not as bad as many in the media will have you believe, SF does have a sanitation problem. It’s bearable, but the city has failed many people, and that just shouldn’t be the case in an area being propped up by the incredibly wealthy tech industry.

The Dream

I think this summer was a good sample of what my dream life might look like. I love the city, I love writing code, and I love building things. Still, finding a job where I’m building things I’m truly excited about is difficult. A great team of people to work with can make this problem fade to the background, but every once in a while, I wake up and think to myself: “Is this really what I want to be spending my time on?”. More specifically, my dream job doesn’t involve working on projects that exist solely to capture user engagement. I know I’m capable of great work, and I feel that I should be putting that to use while I still have the time and energy to do so. So, if you’re looking for a software engineer to join your team starting in the Summer of 2024, then email me at For more info, read this: hire me.