Lessons from a CS Internship


[Music] Hey there, I just got back from an Internship
out in Utah working for Ancestry.com and I thought it would be useful for me to make
a video that condenses my thoughts a little bit and shared some of the more subjective
lessons. Some of them are work-related and some of
them were more so for what you should do on your weekend. So yeah let’s get started with the work-related
lessons. I can guarantee you that during your first
internship you’ll run into things you’ve never seen before. For instance, deployment systems, it’s rather
dangerous for companies to deploy untested code to customers so companies set up environments that are safe
places for code to be tested Don’t be afraid of these new things and
be sure to ask lots of questions because it’s the fastest way to grow. No joke during my first 2 weeks I asked over
50 questions on all kinds of things and my teammates were happy to hear them. Don’t take on more than 1 or 2 stories at a
time. I’m saying this because I messed this up
personally. At one time I had 4 stories and I kept having
to force other people to wait for me to finish something else. You’ll be context switching enough with
1 or 2 stories. Also after a few days, I began to feel tired
and sluggish after work which isn’t something that you want. Don’t expect to be writing 100s of lines of
code per day. For reference, I wrote about 50 lines per
day during my internship. I also tend to commit like 3 or 4 times a
day which means GitHub tracks every change even if it’s one character. I at least had this idea of a “Professional
Developer” in my head. Someone who works in the Software Engineering
field and knows how to solve any problem, they know what packages to use, what data
structures to use and it’s just a matter of coding the thing up for them. I’m here that doesn’t happen, and these people
don’t really exist. Rather the processes looks more like, “Huh
I’ve heard of this thing before”, let’s see how to solve it then they start skimming articles
and eventually they know what to do. It’s fine to Google things and it’s ok to
not know everything. Notice that I’m not saying that you don’t
have to memorize anything, just looking stuff up occasionally, is fine. You don’t want to spend your time Googling
and your company won’t be very happy with you if that’s what you do all-day. If your company offers access to LinkedIn
Learning, I’d suggest taking advantage of it. There’s are all kinds of courses that you can
take like Linux basics, Introduction to Photography or Video Editing. The good news for you is that it’s free training
from professionals out in the field. I know for me at least networking isn’t
something that I like to do but you need to do it. An internship is a great opportunity for networking
because most people want to grow their networks, and you should definitely take advantage of
it. As you network, you get better and better
at it and it becomes less annoying. It’s not really fun to network but later
in your career, you’ll be thankful to have a large network. Take every opportunity to become friends with
your coworkers and other interns. This isn’t like High School or College where
everyone is looking for new friends, people already have their cliques. If you don’t do this, you’ll find that
you’re sitting around the house every day after work and on weekends. Which gets boring pretty quick. It’s pretty likely that you’re going to
travel for your internship. That means that you’re gonna run into things
that you’ve never seen before. For me, in Utah, there are these things known
as soda shops which are similar to ice cream parlors except that they just serve soda mixed
with other stuff. I didn’t even know they existed before I
got here and I really enjoyed trying them out. I’d suggest traveling around on your weekends. Traveling is a lot of fun and it’s a great
way to get to know the other interns. If you don’t have a car then try to find
someone who does so you can plan trips together. If you don’t know what’s around you can
ask your coworkers or other locals that you meet during your internship. I’d just like to extend a thank you to Ancestry
[Stuttering] for providing me this internship. It’s been a lot of fun and I learned a ton. And I really enjoyed it. Thank you.

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