"This internship was a great addition to my study."
Easy LMS has built up a nice list of Proteus members that have completed a summer internship as a software developer. In the Corona summer of 2020, Dennis was added to this list. "I have never doubted whether I would do this."
Why did you decide to follow the summer internship?
"I saw the advertisement for the summer internship in my first year of study. I was really interested, but I thought I would be too young and inexperienced. So, I didn't apply. After finishing my bachelor's degree, I felt confident enough to apply. I wanted to gain more practical experience. That was my main trigger to write a motivation letter. I noticed that fellow students with a side job at a software development company could take in complex theoretical information more quickly. Their mental model about software development was more enriched. I wanted to have that too."
Did you check if you could do a similar internship at a different company?
"Actually, no! I had already heard many positive stories about the company from Proteus members. They praised the atmosphere, guidance, and practical experience you gain because you participate in a team as a regular team member. I have never doubted whether I would do this. Besides, the COVID-19 pandemic ruined my summer plans. This summer internship was an excellent alternative."
How was the application procedure?
"Due to COVID-19, the majority of the application procedure happened online. I first talked with Jeroen, founder/CEO/CSO, and Caroline, communication specialist. The primary goal of the first conversation was to get to know the company a bit better. What is the atmosphere like? What are the values and goals of the company? The second conversation was more about the job. I talked with Job, founder/CTO, and Joan, lead back-end developer. This conversation took place at the office because I needed to do an assignment. I was a little nervous about that because I felt the pressure to prove myself. But the stress and tension were immediately gone after meeting Job and Joan. They were very cooperative and helped me when needed."
How did you feel after completing the assignment?
"I was pretty confident about it. Of course, I could have done things smarter and better. But Job and Joan showed a positive vibe. So, I went home with peace of mind. Moreover, my mindset was like, 'I will be super happy if they hire me for the summer internship, but if they hire someone else, that's okay too, because I've learned a lot about this procedure.”
"Within a day, I heard back with the outcome of the second conversation. That was quick and a relief. I didn't have to sit in suspense for long."
What was so appealing about Easy LMS?
The company has an open culture, and everyone is very friendly
"The positive atmosphere, for sure! The company has an open culture, and everyone is very friendly. At least, that is what I was told. Other Proteus members told me about the team activities, like the barbecues, Friday afternoon drinks, and team outings. Joining Easy LMS sounded like a small step from student life to working life. It was sort of a ‘warm bath’ where the transition is not very big, but still big enough to experience what it is like to work and be part of a company."
How was your first week?
"It was actually very strange. You get to work directly on a system of which you know little to nothing. I was also immediately part of the team. That meant going along with daily routines such as stand-up, team meetings, solving a bug, or building a feature. That was exciting because your first reaction is: ‘can I do all this?’ But that uncertainty disappeared quickly. Partly because I received good support and everyone was accommodating."
"When you're new at a company, you have an extra urge to prove yourself. You want to perform, add value, and you don't want to make any mistakes. After a few weeks, I was more relaxed. I learned that making mistakes is okay, as long as you learn from them."
What is a typical working day for an intern?
"My working day started at 9.00 am. I first read some messages on Slack, our internal communication channel, and checked my schedule. I picked up where I left off the day before and would dedicate time to program a simple solution for a complex problem. If you are in complete focus, lunchtime comes around quickly.”
"We would have lunch at 12:30 pm. During COVID-19, this meant eating alone or with my housemate. But when you are at the office, all colleagues have lunch together. After lunch, we did a stand-up where we discussed the project's status and distributed work. Most of the time, you dive into a problem with a colleague, do some code reviews, or participate in a meeting to make user stories for a new feature. Time always flies!"
"Good to know: there is still plenty of time for coffee breaks."
What was the best thing about the summer internship?
"Definitely the atmosphere! We work hard, but we play hard too. Everyone is very open and helpful. I never felt that I couldn’t ask for help. Besides that, it was pretty awesome to build something that clients will use. You get immediate feedback on what you've made. It makes a difference if you add value for clients."
What was the most important lesson learned?
My knowledge about developing has grown massively
"My knowledge about developing has grown massively. Now, I have a better conceptual model of the development process itself.”
“Easy LMS has a sophisticated architecture. I finally had the chance to look into the architecture of a robust software system. It gave me a good impression of what is needed to build such a tool. This was exactly the experience I missed from my study projects."
Would you recommend following the summer internship to other students?
"Yes, it was a great addition to my study."