Organizing this year’s edition of our summer internship required overcoming numerous obstacles during the unstable times. But despite the fact that it started one month later than usual and was held mostly remotely, it finally happened! After two months of being part of Schibsted, we asked our interns what they think about kick starting their IT careers during such a strange year as 2020.
Unfortunately, we were forced to scale down our program a little bit. But after a series of online tests, interviews, we invited 4 brave young people to start their IT careers at Schibsted. Meet Nazar, Ola, Karolina & Grzesiek.
Life is too short for boring internships
One of the principles of our internship program is #codethatmatters. The first months of young software engineers are too valuable for them to waste their time and keep them away from the real tasks. Writing code ending up in the production environment is, on the other hand, a demanding start for inexperienced developers. How was it for them?
Nazar was happy that his project didn’t involve any old code refactor:
“During my first week I already got into the real work. I received a brand new testing project, written originally in Python, now needed to be rewritten in Java. I like this approach, due to the fact that I could learn a lot and had time to think about solving issues and being able to discuss it with the team.”
Karolina started working in a team handling multiple projects at the same time and quickly had to learn a lot of backend:
“My first task was to update the readme file. I was really surprised that my tasks are self-dependent and challenging for me. My job was to implement tags for the articles, I worked with a backend API, database and I always had something to do. Best of all, I always felt like a regular team member.”
The crucial element of this setup is our internship mentor who takes care of each intern during the entire time.
Ola asked about it replied “I always felt understood and that there are not stupid questions, it’s just a matter of learning.”. Karolina followed “I had 1-2-1s every second week with the team leader. I was in touch with my mentor all the time who kept inspiring me, with books, blog articles, etc.”.
What have they learnt during two months of the internship at Schibsted?
“I learnt to ask proper questions, always keeping in mind how valuable the time of my team members is. I feel humbled about diving deep into specific topics. The second thing is planning things and estimating my tasks”.
Ola focused on the tools that are part of professional IT setup:
“Working in a distributed team, Jira, GitHub, a set of different tools needed for my daily work.”
Grzesiek focused on his approach to coding “I learnt how to write clean code – to get smoothly through a code review. AWS was a dark magic for me at first, but now I got used to it.”
Karolina really liked the whole project management setup. “I had a chance to work with Scrum in my previous job, but in my current team we have Daily, Retro and spring planning, which is even more Scrum. I also learnt a lot about functional programming and how to work with Jira and multiple repositories”.
Demanding remote onboarding – what was the experience?
Nazar: “I had a glimpse of this setup at the university. But the good thing is that Schibsted offices remained opened (side note: up to 20% is the current limit). It was refreshing to meet with my mentor in person to get the most out of it”.
Grzesiek “We had VC standups, mob programming sessions and I was surprised that it worked, despite the lack of physical meetings. The team gave me a really warm welcome which helped a lot.”
Karolina said that this was all new to her “I’ve never been working remotely and this was all new to me. But the team gave me a huge support to make my start a smooth one.”
As you can see, this setup puts a lot of pressure on our mentors and the team, especially as it was all new to us. We ran internally through multiple discussions, but in the end looks like another position on the “New skills acquired in 2020” list.
Internship going forward
The future of our internship program remains safe and stable, but its final form will continue to evolve over time. Before we go, time for the final advice for young people still waiting for a start of their IT careers, before applying for an internship like ours:
Nazar points out that you can already start your preparations:
“It’s worth taking time to learn speaking in front of a webcam and keep trying to leave your comfort zone.”
Grzesiek points out the importance of the preparation phase “Be well prepared and try to not stress too much.”
And last but not least, Karolina shares something that is easy to miss:
“Try to learn not only how something works, but most importantly, what it is for. And why it is set up like that”.
Good luck with your future career choices and stay tuned!
Expect the first wave of news regarding the 2021 edition of the summer internship in Q2 2021.