Each summer we welcome a couple of interns to join the team here at Administrate, usually on the technical team.  They arrive in June, work until September, get paid a salary, and are treated as full team members with real responsibility for real projects.

If you’re interested in an internship position at Administrate, make sure you check in with us in the early part of each year when we’re interviewing candidates for the upcoming summer.

As the summer draws to an end, and the 13 week internship program as well, I look back through my notebook filled with all the scribblings, references, psuedocode, and URLs I had amassed over my time at Administrate and realise just how quickly the time has flown by. The first few pages had notes on how to SSH into the dev server, how to get onto my dev server, and how to 'stage' a client, while the last few pages had detailed pseduocode of a methods I had designed to resolve a bug a client had reported, alongside a bizarre mapping of an SQL query that joined across 7 different tables. Before I came to this company I was a student who had some practice with some programming languages for assignments but I leave as an actual software developer.

I've learnt a lot of different programming languages while working here and deepened my understanding of the ones I had used before, but I think the main thing I will be taking about from my time at Administrate is how to approach problems and that software development transcends the actual language you write the code in.

If you have the wrong solution to tackling a problem it doesn't matter if you write the solution in PHP or Javascript. It's important to have a process of clearly defining the problem, proposing a solution, and then building that solution.

Textbook and notebook

As well as working with some of Administrate's clients, I also had a lot of time to focus on furthering my education. We were given a chunk of each day during which we could complete training courses on TeamTreehouse, or spend time reading. Reading through Code Complete while discussing the chapters each week with the rest of the team has really helped accelerate my skills in regards to software development and has changed how I approach constructing software, whether it's a simple bug fix or a project that will add to the application. Along with having my code reviewed by another member of the team, the difference in the quality of my work before I started and now is night and day.

Unfortunately, my proposed intern project of revamping how the system handles and generates evaluation forms was scrapped due to complexity, but in the last two weeks I was assigned a small project to extend the search functionality of the application to search on unique Id's, which will improve how the users interact with the application when searching for users, accounts, events and registrations. I'm happy to have something that I created help users when interacting with the application.

Computer touchscreen

Midway through the internship I was given the opportunity to attend Mini Seedcamp, an investment fund & mentoring program where many startups pitch their business to a panel and attending guests. It was a fantastic chance to get a better understanding of the start-up scene in Edinburgh and it was a great opportunity to actually meet and chat to some of the startups informally and get an idea of what their plans are for the near future. I actually received an invite to use one of the start-ups online music service because I expressed my interest in their application. It was an exciting event and really made me want to remain part of the start up scene in the heart of Scotland.

I'm looking forward to returning to university to complete my final year but I'm always going to be looking back on my time at Administrate. I'll miss the team and the time I spent with them as over the summer I built strong friendships with everyone in the company and it's not going to be easy to leave. I'm no longer going to be able to witness the incredible view of Edinburgh Castle from the comfort of my office chair, set to the soundtrack of a local busker playing "Highland Cathedral" on the pan pipes. It always made me feel very patriotic. I definitely won't miss Chris making fun of the variable names I had used in my code.

I applied for the internship position to get experience and I'm leaving with that and even more. The 13 week program has taught me how to develop software, how to stay organised and to break down the problem by continually asking "why" until you no longer need to ask it, and these examples are just a select few. My time with Administrate has installed in me the company's ethics, views, and practices, which will help significantly as I venture out into the world of business and perhaps even my own tech startup one day.