Aamir Mansoor, a beloved software engineering intern at Causes.com, came to us from the prestigious Waterloo University in Toronto, Canada on a four-month internship. A delightful, smart, and soft-spoken addition to the Causes family, Aamir opened up to us during a fireside chat last week on his last day at the company. Aamir — who boasts a Hulk-ish muscular build — has a robust knowledge of superheroes, and is the official Foursquare mayor of Causes. He decided to enlighten us with stories about his engineering highlights, what he’ll take back to college at Waterloo, and how he may very well be the (un)official ping pong champion of the office. Below is the Q&A.
Alejandro De La Cruz: Tell us about your first experience with Causes.com.
Aamir Mansoor: I found the company interesting immediately because of the way Jimmy (VP of Engineering) was interviewing me. I remember him asking me to solve problems, but distinctly not caring how I solved them. He just wanted to see what my problem-solving was like. I also remember interviewing for almost two hours and talking about superheroes.
ADLC: What surprised you at Causes?
AM: The first day I got here, we had a monthly meeting. I was here for 10 minutes, and no one knew me. But I remember everyone was so transparent about the company. Not a lot of startups are open about finances, company direction, and business, but I found it to be amazing that the team was so open, especially with me.
ADLC: It is an empowering experience to know you’re on the same page with everyone.
AM: Yeah. It cut down a lot of barriers.
ADLC: Tell me about your first experiences working on the live site.
AM: As soon as I was set up, I was pushing code to the live site. I had only been in the office for 30 minutes, but it was very cool.
AM: Well, you don’t hear about getting to work on a live site, not knowing anything, and actually making changes to something you’ve just seen. It was exciting, really exciting, and everyone was really helpful.
ADLC: Did you make mistakes?
AM: I made so many mistakes.
ADLC: Like what?
AM: Last week we tested an analytics function for Causes, and while we were working on it, I realized there was code not being used. After assessing the code, I decided to delete it. Turns out some part of the code was being used on the homepage.
AM: Yeah. Adam (engineer) came up to me and said ‘I think the site is broken.’ The site was down and people couldn’t access [Birthday Wishes]. I began restoring the code slowly, but everyone was really cool about it.
ADLC: No one beat you up?
AM: Nope. I thought I’d get interrogated a little more, but it was really a casual experience.
ADLC: Have you ever broken a site this big?
AM: No. I’ve never worked on a site this big before.
ADLC: What was your favorite aspect of the engineering team?
AM: I really like the fact that it’s an engineering team that works on all projects. We’re not just a mobile team, or a site team, but we’re one team. Over here, everyone is collaborating. During my internship, I worked with everyone on the team. And that’s amazing.
ADLC: What’s the best thing you worked on?
AM: The best thing that I can brag about is the AT&T campaign with Adam. We started coding it on a Thursday and we needed to finish it by Friday. I was taking it slow, making sure things were perfect, and I remember Adam saying ‘we need to finish it.’ We launched the page in two days and it was amazing. I told my friends about it and told them how cool it was that we launched a campaign like this so quickly.
ADLC: So I want to shift gears a bit. If you could take anyone from the office with you to Canada, who would it be?
AM I believe there are three people from Australia [working at Causes], but I would just want to take one of them; it doesn’t matter, just one of them. I’d love to see an Australian in Canada because Canada and Australia share the same queen.
ADLC: Oh. You have queen love.
AM: Yeah. Exactly.
ADLC: Jon (Designer) asked me to ask you if you feel guilty abandoning us?
AM: I feel guilty abandoning Jon.
ADLC: This question comes from almost everyone on the team: who is the best looking person in the office?
AM James Windon. It’s his hair. [Ed Note: This answer came milliseconds after the question was asked. Aamir didn't miss a beat.
ADLC: Wonderful. Well, Aamir. It has truly been a pleasure getting to know you, to work with you, and to learn from you. We’ve all really enjoyed your presence. Lastly, can you tell me something you will miss?
AM Yes. I have to go back home and make my own lunches and dinners now! But, really, I’ll miss my team. I’ll be checking on Causes from Waterloo to see how Causes 2.0 is unfolding because so many great things are happening.