Helpful advice on completing a rewarding internship

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Posted 14th November 2018, By Orianne T
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Background

As a company, ITDev invests in the future of engineering by, amongst other things, offering summer internships to undergraduates. Over the summer of 2018 we had three interns including Matthew. Having enjoyed his time with ITDev, Matthew wanted to share some advice to other undergraduates considering an internship.

 

Team working

I’m Matthew and I’m a second year Computer Science undergraduate. I worked at ITDev for ten weeks over the summer with two other interns. Below I have some advice for undergraduates who are interested in doing an internship.

While I was at ITDev, working in different teams was one of the most important aspects to the internship. It allowed for an efficient work flow; my colleagues were always happy to help whenever I got stuck and we could also brainstorm ideas, coming up with good solutions to various problems we faced. During the first three weeks or so of the internship, I was working on a project with the other two interns, and since we sat near each other, we could collaborate effectively.

I think if you are considering embarking on an internship, it is very important to be prepared to work in a team environment and ask questions when you need help. However, I think you should also try to solve problems yourself first before immediately asking a colleague to help who might be busy with another project!

Agile project teams

During the internship, I was given the opportunity to work in an Agile project team. Specifically, we used the Scrum framework when carrying out an internal project during the beginning of the placement. I found this very useful, since it allowed for efficient planning and collaboration within the team.

Some advice I would give to new interns would be to always have an idea of what you’re going to say during the daily meetings, since this is the best time to identify how well the project is progressing, and whether more time needs to be spent on certain things compared to others. Also, providing realistic time estimates of how long different pieces of work may take will help with making sure the process runs smoothly and will help to identify what the smaller and bigger tasks are. For Scrum development, at the end of a sprint, planning what you are going to say in the retrospective meeting is important. Providing constructive feedback in this meeting will help future sprints go more smoothly.

Learning new languages / technologies

As part of the internship, I needed to pick up new programming languages and technologies relatively quickly in order to complete tasks. This was useful for me since I gained experience in other areas of software development that I hadn’t come across before. For example, I enhanced my knowledge of languages such as Java, PHP, Python, SQL, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, as well as learning about technologies such as Jenkins (including plugin development), Subversion, Git and Drupal.

If you are embarking on an internship, I would say a good way of learning new things is to have a certain goal in mind and try to work towards that goal and if you get stuck, ask others to help until you can piece together a solution to the problem. In particular, when picking up a new programming language or technology, I find it is very useful to use online documentation and example code snippets, as well as advice from colleagues, for help.

Conclusion

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my time at ITDev and would highly recommend it if you are looking for an internship option and have an interest in software or electronics development. The staff are very friendly and there is a welcoming atmosphere to new employees in the office.

The placement allowed me to learn a lot of new things about how software is developed within a work environment and I have a much better idea of how a small business operates in the technology sector.

Internship Opportunities

If an intership with a growing technology design business interests you or you would like to find out more about our internship opportuntities, visit our Careers Page and contact our recruitment team.

 

Orianne

Communications Manager

I recently joined ITDev to assist with project management and marketing as well as the administration side of the business. I've been made to feel very welcome by ITDev and I'm looking forward to contributing to the team and helping the company grow.

I have over 15 years experience of working in fundraising, marketing and project management roles for a number of employers including Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), Bedales Schools, Southampton Solent University, University of Winchester and most recently Hampshire Cultural Trust. Whilst working for VSO, I had the opportunity to work as a volunteer in Zambia; I've also lived in France, Portugal and Australia.

My first degree is a BA in 'French and International Relations'; I then returned to university as a mature student to gain an MA in 'Marketing Management'. My specific area of interest in marketing is Corporate Social Responsbility (CSR) which fits in well with ITDev's company values.

Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my family, going to the gym, attending cultural events and travelling.

View all posts by Orianne    |    View all ITDev team members

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