From Ghent to Santa Barbara: Interning at AppScale

Posted by Matthias Van Den Eede on 2/25/16 1:57 PM

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How does a student of International Business Management from Belgium end up in one of the most beautiful cities of the world- Santa Barbara, California?

I just finished my finals in June and started to look for a summer job to earn some extra money. Interested in sales and IT, I ended up talking to Geert who is the CEO of a startup company in Ghent named Mobicage. They developed a software named Rogerthat and use it for one of their products ‘Our City App’. Our City App is a wonderful mobile communication platform that allows the inhabitants of the city to communicate, place orders, etc. with the local merchants of their city. Our City App provides the necessary e-commerce tools to the local merchants so that they can compete with the big companies.

I knew that I had to do an internship outside Belgium next year, so I asked Geert if there was an opportunity for this. I really wanted to go to ‘the place to be’ to do business, the United States. This is where AppScale Systems came into the picture. He introduced me to Woody, who is CEO of AppScale.

AppScale is a startup located in Santa Barbara, California. AppScale provides cloud technologies to their customers, and because they have a partnership with Google, any app that executes on Google App Engine also executes on AppScale. They help companies solve problems and improve efficiency. One of those problems is running their application in China. Because off the "Great Firewall", a lot of companies who are running their application on Google App Engine cannot run this in a datacenter inside mainland China. AppScale implements the Google App Engine API’s allowing users to move their App Engine applications to AppScale unmodified, while providing the same service as Google App Engine. Basically, AppScale provides the service that allows companies to run their application in whatever datacenter their business demands. The link between AppScale and Mobicage is that Mobicage uses the services of AppScale for on-premise deployment for their product Rogerthat.

After some Skype calls with Woody I received some wonderful news. This small town student from Belgium was going to Santa Barbara! The preparations for my visa and internship could begin. Woody and Geert provided me with some wonderful projects that I was going to do during my internship. I was going to work with some wonderful people with a lot of experience in sales, marketing and product development.

So here I am, my first week in the United States living the California life style. My first impressions? I think I am in paradise. Palm trees everywhere, the sun is always shining, a beautiful beach and very friendly people. Going to work does not feel like going to work. Yes, you have to work hard but the way things go in the office are so nice that before you know the day is already done. I am looking forward to explore Santa Barbara and learn a lot during my internship.

- Matthias Van Den Eede, Intern at AppScale

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