What was the greatest comeback in 2021? Some would say James Bond and ‘No time to die’, others would opt for Adele with the ‘30’ album, but let’s be honest – there was no other comeback like the Summer Internship at VirtusLab! A dozen interns, several teams, multiple challenging tasks, plenty of events, having fun together and…. being part of #VLteam!
Our recruitment process for Summer Internship 2022 is on, so we wanted to give some space for last year’s interns to share their experiences. Check their insights below!
How did you like your beginnings with VirtusLab?
Jędrzej (Scala Intern in Graph Buddy team): From the very first day, I had such a great experience here at VirtusLab! My project was perfect for an intern because it allowed me to combine university classes and work. Starting from smooth onboarding, followed by going through the first task and code review and finally, learning from my mistakes. I can’t underline how much I have learned and grown as a software developer in such a short yet very fruitful time.
Karolina (Frontend Intern in Eva team): At first, there was a lot of frustration due to a lack of my professional experience. But I think that’s a thing every intern is doomed to 🙂 But in general, I really liked being an intern at VirtusLab. The company organizes a lot of integration, even only for interns where you can meet people in a similar situation to yours and support each other in the future.
What was the hardest challenge that you had to face?
Jola (Scala Intern in NFS team): I don’t know if it was the hardest challenge, but at first, figuring out when to ask for help and when to solve the problem by yourself was quite difficult for me. Sometimes you just need a little more time and effort to find the solution and make your code work. The feeling that you did it on your own is pretty rewarding. However, there are also situations when the help of your teammates is crucial, otherwise, you will just waste a lot of time. It is important to remember that you are still learning, and asking questions to more experienced colleagues is an excellent opportunity to broaden your knowledge.
Szymon (Cloud Intern in Operator Service team): There were many different challenges. From maintaining a quite popular open-source project (working on its codebase, helping users solve their issues, and doing code reviews for the contributors), to learning how to research the problems of the users to develop a product that best fits their needs.
During the internship, I also had a chance to take a shot at public speaking, once as a panelist, and once as a host of a discussion on how to start in Cloud Engineering. Speaking in front of the crowd was stressful at first, though I think I’m getting the hang of it.
But the biggest challenge I faced was learning the ropes around working with our project since it uses a couple of technologies I had little or no experience with. Thankfully, I could always rely on the help of my teammates and I got up to speed pretty quickly.
What surprised you the most?
Maks (Scala Intern in Nexelem team): The thing that surprised me the most was the number of new messages when I opened my email inbox on the first day. My first thought was, “With receiving so many messages each day, will I find time to do anything other than reading new messages?”. In the following days, the number of messages decreased several times. With this knowledge, opening your inbox on the first day will be much less overwhelming. It is so that the beginning of an internship is usually a lot of organizational matters, which ultimately go quickly and efficiently in VL!
What was your greatest fear during the internship?
Kinga (Frontend Intern in NFS team): The beginning of the internship was hard for me. I didn’t have any university degree in IT related field, and it was my first job. I was struggling with almost every task, and I felt like it took me forever to do them. At that moment, I was most afraid that someone would regret hiring me or be completely disappointed with my work while I was doing all I could. Luckily it never happened, and I got a lot of support.
Which day would you like to relive and why?
Jędrzej: If I had to choose only one, I would select not one day but one trip. It was a weekend trip to Szczyrk that took place in October. Not only have I finally met my co-workers in times of remote work, but also had a great time trying new activities such as enduro or riding electric bikes in the mountains. It was a perfect opportunity to meet the rest of the team and management.
What is your favourite memory/flashback from the internship?
Maks: One of the most rewarding experiences during the internship was receiving three approvals on a pull request. Receiving an acceptance of a solved assignment during an interactive course may seem similar, but receiving acceptances from real people is something completely different. I could compare it to receiving your first grade in elementary school.
Szymon: Meeting the whole team in person for the first time. Our team is split between two cities, and we primarily work remotely, so I was happy to get a chance to meet everyone, grab a beer & have fun after work.
How was the cooperation with your team?
Jola: From the very beginning of my internship, I felt part of the team. Everyone was kind and understanding. I could always count on their help. Also, the atmosphere in the team was great. We had several opportunities to spend some time outside of work and have fun together.
What is the most valuable lesson that you learned during the internship?
Kinga: I don’t know if there is one specific thing that I could point to. I’ve learnt that sometimes it takes way more time than expected to solve a problem, that I can always count on my team or that requirements for tasks can change multiple times, and it’s completely normal. The whole internship was one big valuable lesson.
Would you recommend the VirtusLab internship programme to your friend?
Karolina: I would definitely recommend the VirtusLab internship programme to my friend because it allows developing your skills while working on real projects. What’s more, I really like that each intern has a mentor and cooperates with more experienced developers. One of the disadvantages is that when you become independent, your mentor can switch to another intern that needs more help. In that case, you lose more experienced dev to learn from. But at VL, you can always talk with the right person and solve the problem together if you have any concerns or/and problems in your current situation.