Raised by immigrant parents from the Philippines in California, Russell De Vera found a passion for engineering his freshman year of high school. He continued building his skills and during his sophomore year of college when he landed an engineering internship in UberSTAR, our internship program enabling students with real-work skills, experience, and professional network to succeed in tech. “With it being my first internship, there were a lot of things that I had to learn. My mentor did an amazing job at explaining processes and showing me how things worked. My manager was also very supportive of me, answering all of my questions and giving me constructive feedback during my internship,” he shares below.
Tell us about yourself.
“I was born and raised in Sacramento, California by immigrant parents from the Philippines. At a very young age I was exposed to technology through video games, since my dad loved to play them. Ever since, technology has been a huge part of my life. I also enjoyed building things and had goals of being some type of engineer. Once I was introduced to coding my freshman year of high school, I knew I wanted to become a software engineer because it combined my passion for technology and building. After high school, I attended a small university (California State University, Monterey Bay) where I became a first-generation college graduate and started my software engineering career.”
What did your journey to Uber Engineering look like?
“After only having one interview (and getting rejected) my freshman year of college, I knew I had to do more to be able to land an internship at a tech company. Over the summer and fall, I spent countless hours creating personal projects, practicing technical interview problems, applying to internships, and taking every opportunity to better myself as an engineer. Still, I found myself receiving a lot of rejections from companies, sometimes not even given the chance to interview. And then, I was given an opportunity with my school to apply to Uber’s software engineering internship program. So, I applied and was lucky enough to get an interview.
With all the preparation for technical interviews, I was finally able to showcase my skills. A few weeks later, I was given an offer to be an UberSTAR Software Engineer Intern.”
Tell us about your experience with the UberSTAR Program as an intern.
“My experience in the UberSTAR Program was awesome! It was my sophomore year summer (2021) and internships were remote at the time. My team was based in New York City, and I was in California, so there was a 3-hour time difference that I had to adjust to. I was on the Eater Acquisition team and was given the opportunity to do both iOS and Android, since I didn’t know which one I wanted to work on. This was cool because I was able to learn and explore developing for both platforms. I ended up focusing more on Android and was able to work on a really cool project that was shown on the Uber Eats home feed. I was super excited for my feature to be launched, so I could finally show my friends and family what I had been working on all summer.”
How did your UberSTAR Mentor and Manager prepare you to succeed within Uber Engineering?
“With it being my first internship, there were a lot of things that I had to learn. My mentor did an amazing job at explaining processes and showing me how things worked. My manager was also very supportive of me, answering all of my questions and giving me constructive feedback during my internship. Thanks to their support and the guidance of incredible engineers during my internship, I learned way more than I ever imagined.”
Why did you make the decision to accept a Full-time offer after your internship?
“After UberSTAR, I was fortunate enough to return for another internship the next summer where I was able to continue to work on Android for Uber Eats. I accepted a full-time offer after my second internship because of how much impact I had (even as an intern) and how kind peers were when I asked for help! It felt really good to have the opportunity to work on real projects that are actually used and work with amazing people through it all.”
What can you share about your current or most recent Engineering work/team?
“During my most recent internship, I was on the Uber Eats Mobile Platform team where I was mentored by a Senior Staff Software Engineer. I worked on projects that impacted the entire Uber Eats platform, instead of working on a specific feature or section of the app. This was different from the past internship where I was working on something to acquire more eaters, now I’m working on projects such as app performance, updates, and other core features. It was a great experience learning the ins and outs of the app, working with an awesome team, and being mentored by Jesus, who has helped me become a better engineer and person.”
What role do you play or hope to play for the UberSTAR Program?
“I hope to become an UberSTAR mentor in the future to pass on the incredibly helpful lessons that I learned from my mentors as an intern. Coming from UberSTAR, I understand that it gets a little overwhelming as one of their first internships, so I would love to help guide future interns.”
Any tips for aspiring UberSTAR applicants and interns?
“Looking back, do as much technical interview preparation as you can with LeetCode or practicing interviews with friends. With that you should also work on something that you enjoy, like a personal website or app, to understand the process of building something from the ground up. You should always be eager to learn how things work, whether it be an interview problem solution or how things like apps function, it’s important to stay curious. Keep working hard and you’ll be rewarded!”
Interested in becoming an UberSTAR Intern? Learn more →
Posted by Uber
Auto insurance maintained by Uber
Enhancing safety and responsibility: why programs like Princeton PD Provides Your DD with Uber Transit are beneficial for university towns
Use your Mastercard® for a chance to win a first class trip for 2 to Napa Valley
Access Link Riders’ Choice Program Pilot gains popularity with riders