My Tech Internship Experience (Part 1)
Before the internship
I had started to learn tech and was in serious need of an internship — somewhere to put to use all the knowledge I have gathered into doing real world projects. I applied to some organizations. Some never got back while some replied with no action pointer as to what next to do about the application. You could just get a thank-you-for-applying message and that was the end of it. I didn’t relent in my efforts to get an internship because most of the job descriptions I found were something I knew I could do but, in the meantime, something interesting happened. (Drum rolls).
The first time I built a website and hosted it, I reached out to a colleague of mine to review and give me honest feedback and constructive criticism about it. I knew he had experience with building websites and that’s why I reached out to him. He checked it out and commented on the color combination, that it could be better and I could read up on Web Colors and Typography. I took the honest feedback and I changed the color which gave the website a cooler look and feel.
A year after, my colleague called to ask if I still did my “website thing” and I said yes. Then he said his company wanted to train interns and doesn’t know if I will be interested. Of course, I will be interested! I told him that I have been looking for internships, all to no avail and he took it up from there. Then something else happened!
I was waiting to get a call for an interview or to come start the internship but none was forthcoming. Days rolled into weeks, weeks into months and still, no call or email. I still kept the good spirit and I continued learning. Later on, I got a 3-month internship with an Edtech company to be a content developer which I did for 3 months. It was a renewable contract which I never renewed but I contributed in my own little way to the organization through Mathematics and Further Mathematics subject contents.
In the third month at the Edtech company, I got a mail saying I should come for an interview at my colleague’s company. Imagine how many months had gone past before I was finally called. It was a tech internship and I was really interested. I went for the interview (which is another interesting story on its own) and finally, I made it to the tech internship.
My First Day at the Internship
It is amazing to know that I still have an HTML file in which I documented my first day at the tech internship. My job role was “Software Developer Intern”. I was introduced to amazing members of staff and my team lead is one of the best in the world. He showed me around and after breakfast, I was seated at my workspace with a company laptop to begin the journey of a 6-month internship in Software Development.
On the first day, I took an online course on Pluralsight. The course title is “What is Programming?”. The course instructor is Simon Allardice (you might want to check him out). The course taught me a lot about programming and I finished the course same day. It was very interesting.
Moving on, there were other courses. The next course was a Web Development course on Coursera and there was another one from Lynda by Simon Allardice too titled “Foundations of Programming”. I just loved the fact that I was learning a whole lot.
Then came the bomb!
It was just few weeks into the internship when all interns heard the killer news. We were to develop a full-blown application. For the software developer interns, we will be writing backend codes using the C# (pronounced C-Sharp) programming language and the .NET framework. Interns in all departments were to work on this project from start to finish and the Software Development Cycle was going to come into play here.
Now, what was my issue? I had never written C# codes in my life and now, I was to develop a full-blown application with it and the project deadline was about 2 months. Where was I or the rest of the team supposed to start from?
I had to summon courage and try to tell myself that I wouldn’t be working on it alone. I had other amazing software developer interns on my team and if they believe we could pull this through then, we can.
One good thing was that we had awesome senior colleagues who were willing to put us through. They were there to answer our questions and they recommended online materials like books, video tutorials, and online courses to help us get started — at least to understand the C# programming language and the .NET Framework.
For the first time, I heard terms I had not heard before. There was even another language called Razor that we had to learn as the backend developers. It was information overload and I was drowning in all of these.
Believe me, I wished someone could just wake me up from the dream but alas, it was no dream. It was my reality staring me in the face.
But did we make it?
Find out in the second part of my tech internship experience.