Each summer, Swimlane hosts interns in collaboration with the University of Colorado Law School’s Silicon Flatirons Center’s Startup Summer program—a 10-week program that brings undergraduate students from around the country to Denver and Boulder for the summer experience of a lifetime. This summer, we were lucky to host Jimmy Cerone and Cole Simon. And while we’re sad to see them go, we’re excited to see how their time at Swimlane will shape their burgeoning careers.
As a parting gift to the rest of the Swimlane team, Cerone and Simon shared some reflections on their time at Swimlane, cybersecurity, the startup world and peanut M&M’s.
What did you do at Swimlane?
Cerone: I worked with the integrations team to make third-party tools talk to each other on Swimlane’s platform. One of my favorite projects was testing bundles on virtual machines.
Simon: I worked with the marketing team as a digital marketing intern. I crafted engagement campaigns, social media posts and improved existing content to boost Swimlane’s online presence.
What was your most meaningful experience?
Cerone: I had an opportunity to give a presentation at OWASP [Open Web Application Security Project] Denver with Swimlane Community Manager Emma Furtado. One of the technical sales people was supposed to give the talk, but he had to be onsite with a customer, so I got to step in. Until this point, I had been focused on building integrations. This gave me an opportunity to gain context in the cybersecurity world and learn more about Swimlane.
Simon: I worked on the new Swimlane website, collaborating with our UI/UX team, sales team and other key stakeholders to create a functional, beautiful and informative website. I enjoy web development but had never had an experience building a site from the ground up.
What was the most challenging part of your internship?
Cerone: Working with multiple stakeholders. I would often work with my supervisor on code reviews, vendors on getting credentials and our quality assurance team on testing. It was challenging to stay organized and juggle multiple projects with multiple people.
Simon: I had no prior experience in B2B or technical marketing. Understanding the ins and outs of Swimlane and the cybersecurity world was a steep learning curve.
What’s one thing that surprised you about Swimlane?
Cerone: Our team (and especially Cody, our CEO) is obsessed with peanut M&M’s. It seems like we go through a Costco-sized jar of peanut M&M’s weekly.
Simon: Even though it’s been around for a few years and has a lot of employees, Swimlane still operates like a fresh startup. In addition to the in-office snacks and standing desks, we are willing to try new things and collaborate across departments.
What did you learn about cybersecurity?
Cerone: We don’t think about it enough. People don’t consider how to carefully handle customer data as much as they should. In the startup world especially, data security doesn’t seem to be a priority until it’s too late.
Simon: It’s incredibly dynamic and stands at a crossroads with automation, orchestration and AI all changing the way cybersecurity works. These new tools are being implemented to keep up with rapid changes in the threat landscape.
How did your experience change your plans for the future?
Cerone: I’m planning to switch majors to computer science. I saw all of the really cool things that you can do with coding, and it really opened up a new world for me.
Simon: I was introduced to HTML and CSS, and I hope to pursue more of that in the future. I want to move further into the marketing and public relations world because I enjoyed engaging with people and coming up with creative ways to tell stories about products to make them accessible and interesting.
Jimmy Cerone is originally from Indiana and attends Hope College, a small liberal arts school in Michigan. He has been studying electrical engineering and describes himself as “passionate about coding, automation and understanding how technology can improve and simplify our daily lives.”
Cole Simon is from Baltimore, Maryland and attends Colorado College, a small college in Colorado Springs where students take one class at a time for three and a half-week intensive blocks. He is studying economics and environmental issues and describes himself as “passionate about startups, design and marketing.”