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.
If I’m being really honest, when I first started looking for an internship this summer, I really didn’t have any preference as to where I ended up. What I was mainly looking for was a job where I could make some money over the summer months and get some relevant experience in the field of software development. That said, when it actually came to applying to various places, Administrate really stood out to me. Not only did they promise a challenge that was atypical of other internships I had seen, they also invoked sensibilities about the pursuit of perfection, which really resonated with me.
On my first day I met the whole development team who I would be working with for the next few months. Chris, Administrate’s Chief Technical Officer, showed me to my workstation, which was already set up and ready to go. The first couple of days served as an introductory period to the company and all the work I would be doing. However, this really didn’t last for long! In the first week Murray, who was also a summer intern, and myself were tasked with the development of the new control panel for the Administrate system.
This meant that key features of the entire Administrate product where being left in the hands of mere interns! This did seem quite daunting as we were working with a system which we had no familiarity with, and were using technologies which I personally had no experience of. Needless to say this was a bold decision, but Administrate make it clear from the outset that you’ll be thrown into the real work fairly quickly. On top of all that, it is worth bearing in mind that previous to this my main development experience had mainly consisted of my university coursework.
Even though it may have seemed a little overwhelming at first, much was to be gained for diving right in, as this challenge gave me the opportunity to learn new programming languages, and to use a variety of unfamiliar development tools. I also got to try out these new skills in a professional setting while working on an actual product, which meant I received frequent feedback from the rest of the team, which encouraged me to constantly refine my work in order to improve the user experience.
Sometimes doing something is the best way to learn, and I found that using a programming language to create production quality code is perhaps the best way to learn to use it. Having to learn the like of AngularJS and Python on the fly gives greater credence to the idea that the program you want to write transcends the language you write it in. Of course each language has a host of differences. For example, programs in angular may exhibit unusual behaviour due to asynchronous functions. More important that those differences however is the way to approach problems and break them down. The problem at a high level is the same no matter the language, and the general solution will also be the same.
Besides the control panel project, Administrate also afforded me the time to learn during work hours through TeamTreehouse , an online interactive education tool. In addition to that, the development team were also assigned books to read, which we discussed as a group each week. The main literary interest here was Steve McConnell’s Code Complete, which is a fairly long book, too long some might say! The most significant thing I have taken away from having read it is that managing complexity takes priority above all other factors when developing a product, as the book is primarily a collection of ideas with which to do that.
So, overall how do I feel about my internship with Administrate? I obviously got very lucky! Unlike other internships that are out there, this one involves doing real work, getting paid to learn, and free coffee! Administrate creates a relaxed yet productive working environment, as well as giving you a four day week, meaning you never resent having to get up in the morning. The SCRUM methodology prevents stagnation and advocates autonomy. The company instills a set of values such as transparency and accountability, which are key to its success. It is pretty much the ideal place to work!