The arrival of summer means relaxation to a lot of students. Late night study sessions cease and stressful examinations come to a halt.
For college students, the word “internship” is not unfamiliar. The best way to approach an internship is not as a requirement, but as a stepping stone to opportunities. This post won’t serve as a simple guide to getting an internship. This post is for the dreamers, the goal-setters, the doers, and the people who believe that the steps taken now will undoubtedly shape and strengthen their future
The beginning of 3rd Year got me confused. I knew I always wanted to be a coder for life but at this point of time, I was not sure where to go? What to look for?What technologies to work on?
Determining what job, role or company I should aspire to during my search for a summer internship seemed like a mammoth task. The only thing I was clear about was that I wanted an entirely different work experience compared to that of my previous work experiences.Going back to the same type of role could have been easierbut it could have prevented me from taking the once in a lifetime occasion of stepping out of my comfort zone and exploring new avenues. I wanted to learn new technologies, add more skills to my skillset and on top of everything I wanted to do something phenomenal- a lifetime experience that I will stay with me forever.
“Take risks now and do something bold. You won’t regret it”
Get on the roller coaster – it’s fun!
Welcome to the real world. The world of early mornings and hard work. I thought I was prepared for it, but what did I know? I had been living in a bubble of collegiate superiority. I knew what I wanted, and nothing was going to stand in my way.
It’s been a month into my internship, I realize I didn’t know what I was getting myself into.
But I love this internship — I’m coding, making project that people are using daily. That’s great. But I consistently have to wake up early in the morning to get ready for work and arrive on time. Nope it aint over yet! Wait for the locals to come be ready to face the wave of people like the Spartans every day.
I have to be productive for many consecutive hours a day, instead of just an hour-and-a-half here, and an hour-and-a-half there for classes. It’s hard.I wake up super early in the morning, immediately start working and am productive for eight full hours, six days a week.. I’m learning now that without this transitory internship that’s shifting me from the schooling environment which has cushioned me my entire life, into the new world that may bethe rest of my life, I might as well be stuck in the middle of the Pacific without so much as a life vest.
Make yourself comfortable, just not too much
You will find yourself in a new place, with lots of unknown faces making smiling gestures. Obviously you may not remember the names of each and every person, that you have been introduced to during your orientation unless you are Mike Ross with a photographic memory from Suits.
Approaching someone may be difficult at first but don’t hesitate to do that. Make new friends know their position, learn from them how they do their job. Talk to them, ask them about their transition into their position.
We were going to build a progressive web app for doctors (doctor dashboard) that will help the doctors of Wellthy to get the stats of their patients and know them better.
A challenge arrived. I was given this buffer period of one week to get the insights of Progressive web Apps, Spring framework, firebase, Amazon Web Services – Elastic Load Balancer(ELB). Damn! Lots of thing assigned on the very first day.
Everything was new to me. But I was excited to learn everybit of it. I have had prior experience on web apps so Progressive web apps and its integration with firebase went smoothly, I was able to land a demo app in 1 day. Thanks to the amazing documentation of google on Progressive Web Apps and firebase, that made this possible.
Spring Mvc was a pain in the ass. I have worked on MVC based framework before but this was different. The environment was different. I had to deal with Eclipse, A gigantic blue monster that cover up your window and provide you very little space to write codes. A very boring white screen with blue syntax highlighting that i was not used to. I was comfortable with vim before and then i realised how difficult your life can be. Setting up the existing Wellthy’s project took me 2.5 days. I was unable to understand a single bit of the errors that i saw. Thanks to the team member who came to rescue me. 3.5 days were gone and i was left with less than 2 days to have my hands on Spring.
Spring Boot, Spring Core, AOP(Aspect oriented programming) became my nightmare. Googling didn’t help but left me out with some encrypted definitions and examples that used to haunt me in my dreams.
“You never know the magical power of amazing things you may land up on randomly”
So while searching the song “you don’t own me” on youtube, I got a recommendation tutorial on spring that says spring mvc in 45 mins. (My recommendations were flooded with spring topics) I went through it and I found that it was not that difficult. All I had to do was forget everything that I have learnt till now and think of it in peaceful mind. Thanks to that tutorial. Now I was ready with a spring demo app to show. I was proud of myself. Some good karma!
Since that day every day has been pretty the same for me. Learning something new, Integrating it in the app, Fixing the bugs and moving on to the next thing. I loved this approach.
I’m used to learn by myself, make mistakes by myself and correct myself.
The discussions, interactions, interest in my work and their work, were a boost for me to learn as much as I can and one day, call myself a developer, just like them. Besides programming, I do want to explore the organisation, feel the atmosphere at work and seewhat problems exist.
The atmosphere was relaxedbut productive. That’s something I really liked.
Experimental vs production ready
As an intern, you often have to multitask and manage or work on multiple segments of projects each day. Some of them are obviously short and take just a few hours or days to complete while others can take a week or even more to complete. Managing multiple segments and deadlines at work can be stressful, so it is important to take the time to organize your work and schedule.
Companies that often have tight and stressful deadlines like to ask their applicants how they handle pressure.
They do this for two reasons:
- To make sure you understand that if you take the job, there is going to be a lot of pressure.
- To see if you can prove to them that you handle deadline pressure well.
Prioritizing the tasks within the deadline, giving a certain time frame to each task and staying focused on these ‘tasks deadlines’ to ensure they help handle pressure.
Do backup all your work, while working on your way through the deadline to avoid ‘accidents’ along the way. Keeping your sense of humor intact will surely help!
“ Don’t forget to smile and pat yourself on the back once the deadline is successfully met! ”
Wellthy had hired three interns one for front end(Jay), one for backend and one for android development(Ajay). I was the backend guy(Om). Along with jay and ajay, I was working with our Team Lead, other backend guys, designers and pretty much everyone else to get the job done and laugh while we are at it.