Each summer we welcome a couple of interns to join the team here at Administrate, usually on the technical team, but also in the marketing team this year. 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.
I started my internship at Administrate after completing my second year at university, with little experience of working on group projects, and certainly nothing like the size and complexity of the Administrate system. It was also my first experience of working in an office and learning what that entails, so it was definitely a new experience for me.
On the first day alone I learned a lot about the software development process and gained essential skills I had yet to develop, such as programming in PHP, using Git for version control, and tracing and debugging other people’s code. I never thought that after just a few days at work, I would have code running in production, being used by real businesses to help them run their training programs. It was a fantastic learning experience to see languages and structures I had learned at university being used in a real, large scale program rather than just writing lots of small basic projects to do menial tasks.
The majority of my time at the company was spent on transitioning and rewriting the application’s settings panel into the new system, which meant I was carrying on from work started by the interns last year. This introduced me to a number of new frameworks, from AngularJS for the front-end visual aspects, to Flask and SQLAlchemy for dealing with fetching and updating data from the database. It was great to be trusted to work on something integral to the user experience of the software like this.
It was also a relief to see that at Administrate we would be treated and trusted just like any other full-time employee, rather than just being given small menial tasks with little effort required.
Besides working on the settings panel, we had plenty of opportunities to work on solving bugs when they appeared. I gained great insight into the real bug fixing process and the steps you have to go through, from gathering information from the client, to tracking down the issue, to writing a test plan, and finally getting your code reviewed and tested. Maintenance is a key part of the software development process, and I know that the experience I gained in this area will help me in debugging my own future projects.
We were also given the chance to educate ourselves and develop new skills. The department organised a weekly book club, where we read through Steve McConnell’s book, Code Complete. It effectively broke down the theory and methodology of programming and helped me really understand why we had been taught to do certain things in certain ways, as well as how to build better software from the ground up. We were also given access to the educational website TeamTreehouse, where we could take courses in a wide variety of programming languages and topics to expand our knowledge further. For me this was a different and interesting way to learn, and a great way to dip my toe into essential and useful topics that I had never really had the opportunity to play with before joining Administrate.
For my first insight into my future career, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience than at Administrate.