Published August 2, 2016

The life of an iOS intern

Hi! I am Ania, an iOS intern at Schibsted Tech Polska. We might have met before, in the article about the internship program, which I totally recommend you to check out if you haven’t done it yet. Here, I want to share with you my experience from this internship:)

A traveler with passion

I graduated from the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kiev, where I studied Applied Mathematics. After 4 years of my studies, I decided to change my major to Computer Science for Master’s Degree at Jagiellonian University and I moved to Cracow. Looking back I understand that I made the right choice. The first semester was a huge challenge but it gave me the best thing I could ever ask for — finding out the thing I am passionate about, developing for iOS. I took such course at the university and right after that I started searching for an iOS internship in Cracow. At that time I could only dream about joining Schibsted Tech Polska for the summer internship program but the CV was already sent! 🙂 Meanwhile, I completed another two-month-long iOS internship, where I learned a lot.

Another thing I am very passionate about is traveling. Sometimes I feel like I can’t live without exploring new places in the world. Searching for the cheapest tickets, finding new destinations, talking with the locals in a sign language and every other thing connected with traveling gives me tons of inspiration. I used to volunteer a lot before. Once I was volunteering in Indonesia for 1,5 month, where I was teaching English to orphans and students near Papua Island. It was probably one of the best things I’ve ever done.

A weather girl: how did I get to develop one of the most popular apps in Norway?

Let me first tell you what was before the beginning of the internship. Right after the technical interview, which was the last step in the recruitment process, I understood, that these are the people I want to learn from and to work with. That was such a friendly talk. So I was so happy to find out that I was selected! Just a few days before the start of the internship, I received an e-mail from Michał Apanowicz, my mentor. He wrote a brief information about the project I would work in, asked whether there was something specific I would like to learn during the internship, and said to reserve Tuesday evening for a dinner with our Norwegian colleagues, that would arrive to Cracow to discuss a project. How cool was that?

At Schibsted I work in the VG team, one of the most popular tabloids in Norway. Together with another intern – Marcin Mucha – I work on a new version of a weather iOS app — Pent. The idea of this service is to compare forecasts from two popular Norwegian weather applications. The user doesn’t need to check each of them separately! It is so simple and great at the same time that Pent is one of the most popular weather applications in Norway. I feel such responsibility while working on this project, yet I also know that I’ve got people to help me if needed. It feels incredible.

The price of using new technologies

Oh, and the most important and pleasant part — the application is being written in Swift! Or not so pleasant… as it turned out a bit later it was going to be Swift 3. That means developing for iOS 10 and working in Xcode 8 beta all of the time.
For those of you who think that it is just a great experience as you are working with new technologies, as I actually had thought myself, please remember: these are beta versions for a reason 🙂 Of course, I still think that it is a lovely programming language but at the same time I am learning how to be patient a lot these days 😀

First days, first steps to building a team

The first day of the internship was great. Basically, we were configuring our equipment, downloading Xcode and all other programs that we might need, installing brew, CocoaPods, etc., and even learning how to use the microwave in the office (it is not easy at all, believe me :D).
That very first day we also watched a WWDC 2016 video “Concurrent Programming With GCD in Swift 3″. I found the practice of watching such videos with all other iOS developers really nice! It is a great way of developing yourself out of the specific segment of iOS you’re currently working in.

The next day our Norwegian colleagues arrived. We had a couple of meetings together with our team for the next 2 days, where we were given information about Pent and we set the long-term roadmap together. The Pent team consists of a Product Manager, STP coordinator, two iOS interns, two Front-end interns, two experienced developers, who are our mentors, and two UX designers. During the meeting everybody could suggest any changes to the project or to the working plan. I was just sitting and thinking “Pinch me”. We were just interns but our opinion mattered. Also, we learned a lot of new terms from the management process. The Product Manager, Padraic Woods, presented to us the Objectives and Key Results of our summer project. It is a popular technique for setting and communicating goals and results in organizations. As for the daily Stand-up, we decided to have it online, which means we should write anytime before 10 a.m. basically 2 things: what we were working on yesterday and what we are planning to do today.This decision was made taking into the account that our team is based in different countries and the written form would be easier than making video-calls. Besides that, our mentors agreed to run a quick daily code-review with each of us and help if needed. In the evening we had a dinner and I understood how important it was, as on the next day everybody felt a lot more comfortable while talking about the project.

On Thursday our iOS team in Pent project – me, Marcin and our mentor Michał set tasks for the first sprint. And the funniest part began 🙂