“The hands-on experience I gained during the internship was incredibly fulfilling” | Easy LMS talks

In our interview series, Easy LMS talks, we ask colleagues to talk about their jobs. What makes their work fun and challenging? This time, it is Lucian’s turn to talk about doing a summer internship at Easy LMS.

Content Manager & HR Officer
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Every year, Easy LMS organizes a summer internship for talented software engineers. What’s it like for a relatively inexperienced engineer to work on a large, complex SaaS product? How do we ensure that interns don't sink during those six weeks but rather stay afloat and enjoy real working life? Lucian experienced it last summer and is happy to share his opinion!

Interviewee Profile:

Name: Lucian
Work experience at Easy LMS: 6 weeks 
Current role: Back-End Software Engineer (part-time) 

Last summer, you spent six weeks with us and another intern working within the organization. Why did you choose this? You could have gone for a beach vacation abroad.😎 

I'd rather align my work experience with my Computer Science studies

“There's quite a long summer break at the university if you manage to ace all your courses. So, combining a vacation with gaining work experience is doable. The easy way to earn extra money is by working as a dishwasher or a bartender in a local restaurant, but I personally find that a bit of a waste of time. I'd rather align my work experience with my Computer Science studies. I felt I could learn a lot here that isn't taught at the university and could be useful later in my studies.”

Did you actually learn things here that you didn't learn at the university?

“Absolutely! University tends to be rather theoretical. Something like how a development process works remains abstract on paper. Now, I was hands-on and got to experience firsthand how decisions are made, both on a macro and micro level. Understanding how quality assurance works was an eye-opener. Additionally, I learned a lot about test-driven development and continuous delivery.”

Six weeks is, of course, a short time to become familiar with years of code. How did you ensure you didn’t get overwhelmed?

“By not being too hard on myself, for starters. I had the mindset that I didn't need to know everything; this was purely a learning experience. My coach, Nils, emphasized this during the summer internship as well. He provided active guidance throughout the six weeks. He designed an interactive onboarding program that I successfully completed. This program included online courses, reading a book, and workshops with colleagues. It roughly consisted of two parts: (1) becoming familiar with the company, processes, and development stack and (2) working on a specific portion of the software. The latter part was calming because you work within a small section and don’t have to tackle the entire legacy. Nils also programmed with us, making it easy for him to step in when I got stuck.”

Did you actually create something that clients use?

Working on something in multiple iterations was refreshing

“We've enabled consultants to personalize each customer's academy by allowing them to set a unique favicon. This enhancement ensures that academies align seamlessly with the customer's branding, offering a tailor-made experience. It might sound simple, but it was challenging, and I’m proud of it! Working on something in multiple iterations was refreshing. You learn something from every step and carry that experience into the next iteration. There's a significant sense of progress, the best feeling.”

During the summer internship, you suddenly work with colleagues who have much more experience. How did you experience that?

“It was great! Just by pair programming, I learned a lot. I also felt very welcome. There was a welcome drink, and we received a small gift on the first day. What stuck with me the most was the relaxed atmosphere. Lunch is sacred. Everyone takes half an hour to have lunch together. People are realistic about what they can accomplish in a day; there are no unrealistic expectations.”

Would you recommend other talented software engineers to do a summer internship?

“I wholeheartedly encourage anyone eager to put their skills into action and tackle real-world challenges to consider the summer internship. The hands-on experience I gained during the internship was incredibly fulfilling, and the valuable skills I honed are directly transferable to my academic studies and future career endeavors.”