We’ve all seen the classic American films, in which one of the characters becomes an intern and instead of actually learning anything, they basically become a victim of manipulation.
They are always the one to forced into doing everything that no one else wants to do, and no matter how much the intern wants to leave and get out of the grips of the horrible monsters that they call “colleagues”, they know if they leave then it will only be a downward spiral because they will never get another chance. The sheer torture of they go through to try and impress the flock of faces that surround them in the workplace is enough make viewers squirm.
My experience of being an intern has been quite the opposite. Since becoming a part of the Media Suite team, I have had nachos cooked for me; cake, chocolate and every other sweet food you can imagine given to me (thanks Steve), and most importantly, I have been given a greater opportunity to learn than I ever thought that I would.
My journey into web development started last year in July, when I attended the Enspiral Development Academy. I haven’t looked back since. The Dev Academy told us what we should expect when going into a workplace and Media Suite has exceeded all expectations. Although the free cake has a lot to do with this, I think the thing that makes Media Suite so great is the communication.
Entering into the world of programming is challenging to say the least. You will feel like you are in a never ending cycle of hitting your head against the keyboard, but when you fix your first bug, or create something that you can see working yourself, then you will understand the “kick” that we get out of it. Every day there is a new problem – something that needs to be fixed or created. No two issues are the same. This is what makes it so easy for programmers to fall into a rabbit hole of constantly wanting to learn. I struggle to believe that there are people who are just programmers because it’s their job, it takes a certain level of passion.
Upon starting at Media Suite I have been placed into a fairly large scale project, using Angular. I think that the key to my “success” so far has been pair programming. Everyone has their own way of learning and personally, I find that getting stuck in and trying things is the way I learn best. Having someone next to you while programming helps for many reasons. Two brains are better than one, it’s good to have someone else to consult as a sanity check and also if you’re pairing with Mark, then there’s a chance he might even make you a coffee.
I think that the way the project is utilising agile techniques is really beneficial to all parties involved, as it allows everyone to understand more about the who/what/where/when/why/how. In practise, this means that we do have to dedicate a fairly reasonable chunk of time to the various ceremonies which compose the framework, but in return for all of this communication (that, as devs, we struggle with so much), it provides us with a lot more clarity around who’s responsible for each aspect of the project. This means that we know who’s accountable for what within the project.
I think that so far my internship is proving to be pretty successful, I’m learning a lot and I don’t see that slowing down anytime soon, but I also have the opportunity to do so in an exceptional environment.
Of course, I’ve learned a few non-technical things in my time at Media Suite:
- Dad jokes are a very, very serious issue.
- People take serious offence to being taught how to use the correct words – chips and crisps, pants and trousers, jug and kettle – the list goes on.
- Foosball is great.
- Frozen dip is normal.
- Coffee is like petrol, but for humans.
- It is acceptable to eat curry everyday.
- You don’t need an excuse to eat cake – but it does help.