In about a week, I’ll start working at Datadog as a product design intern. FYI I’m VERY excited to start 😭
In this article, I want to share how and why I decided to go.
Now, I am fully aware of how difficult it is to land an internship or job in the current market. So, if you find this article offensive, I understand and apologize in advance.
I just want to share the framework I used to decide on and document my design journey.
For context, I got into both Datadog and LinkedIn as a product design intern for 2023 summer.
I know - this is an extremely good problem to have. I had a really hard time trying to decide which place to go.
On one side:
Who the hell doesn’t go to LinkedIn if they get in? Are you crazy? It’s LINKEDIN!!!
On the other side:
But damn… I’m starting to get very interested in what Datadog is doing… Technical product design sounds like a great new challenge...
As you can imagine, I had a lot of those internal dialogues. And they weren’t going anywhere.
Thus, I came across the video below created by Chloe Shih - a PM at Discord.
In the video, she used a decision matrix framework, and it was the perfect solution for me. Let me break down what I did (my decision matrix).
Categories are things you care about a company. Here are some examples:
For this step, delve deep into your values and ask yourself
What do I truly care about in a company?
Then, after you wrote down all categories, create a new left column and assign weights for each of them.
The weight is a number that reflects how much you care about the category.
The range is up to you. What I used was a scale from 1 - 10. 1 means not important at all, and 10 means extremely important.
Be honest. I put “company clout" as a 9. Oops.
Now, add each of your options as its own column. This one should be very straightforward.
This is arguably the most important part. Now you need to rate each of the options based on the categories out of 10.
Multiply the score you gave by the weight of the category. Then, add up all the points to get the final score.
Finally, compare the final scores and see which one is higher. Oftentimes, you may get surprised by the result (I did).
In the end, Datadog’s final score was higher than LinkedIn’s. In short, I would say these are the top reasons:
Generally, at a big company, an intern’s project scope can be very, very small. It’s just hard to avoid.
With LinkedIn, the application process was extremely smooth. And I enjoyed the conversations with the designer & design managers.
But, I felt like the project scope is way too small and not the most exciting. Regardless, a big shout-out to Nair for taking the time to chat with me about her team & intern expectations!
On the other hand, last year’s design intern at Datadog shipped her project. And my hiring manager stressed that each team will give interns the ability to ship something.
See the difference?
The second deciding factor was
How interested am I in the team & their work?
For me, that’s a no-brainer: Datadog.
It’s interesting because I never thought I'll design technical B2B products. But, after talking to Becky from last year and learning more about Datadog, I became super interested. Not to mention I got hooked by a fascinating presentation titled “Technical Product Design.” Shout out to Billy for sending me this.
Also, I came across these two wonderful articles written by Vanessa Ng - Sr Product Designer at Segment.
In short, I became super interested in designing technical products and saw it as a new challenge. So, that was a quick decision for me.
The last deciding factor wasn’t on a single category. It was because, for all the other categories, both Datadog and LinkedIn had similar scores.
Thus, I decided on Datadog.
Passing on LinkedIn for me was extremely hard.
I spend a decent amount of time on the platform (trying to reduce it a ton). And it’s big tech. It has dat clout. It’s shiny. It has a great office. It has…
But, ultimately those did not matter because they didn’t align with what I truly wanted.
At this stage, I value
And now, I’m super SUPER excited to get started at Datadog! I will be working on the Logs & Observability team under Roz! This team was my top choice since it aligns with my intention of designing technical products!
If, in the future, you face a situation where you have to decide between options, I hope this article can help you.
I’m extremely grateful for people sharing their frameworks & advice online. And I want to do the same.
As the internship goes on, I will be posting articles on my experience working at Datadog!
Thank you for being awesome and reading this far! :)
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out on LinkedIn, Twitter, or by email. Will love to set up a casual call and chat!