Our Junior Developer Internship Programme - What You’ll Learn
When finishing college, there’s a question we all ask ourselves: what’s next?
At LearnUpon, we’re big believers in creating career opportunities for post-graduates. That’s why we decided to launch our three-month internship program for Junior Developers.
In February of 2019, we started the search for our first group of interns. The goal was to train them in different areas of web development, with a focus on Ruby on Rails (our main technology). Hugely successful, we received many impressive applications, but in the end, four candidates stood out - Dragoš, Igor, Nada, and Nikola.
Now, full-time team members, Dragoš, Igor, and Nikola share their experiences of the program, and insights on what it’s like working as Junior Developers at LearnUpon.
What did the internship involve?
The internship aimed to reflect the Scrum methodology. Interns worked alongside the Scrum team - two Senior Developers, a Project Manager, a Product Owner, and a QA.
Planned in detail by our development team (thanks Marija), the main focus was on learning the fundamentals of Ruby. We provided each intern with books and training courses on the subject and they were assigned tasks based on real-life development scenarios.
Igor: “Our main tasks revolved around refactoring Ruby and Angular code, and writing in some new functionalities. There was a smooth transition from theoretical to practical, real-world tasks. It encompassed everything there is to know about being a modern-day web and software developer.“
Completing each task helped the interns to understand the basic concepts of language and development. Soon, they started working on our main product - LearnUpon’s app.
Dragoš: “We went through all the processes that teams normally go through in one sprint. This way, we were introduced to the processes as part of the internship, making it much much easier for us to adapt to the approach they use when it came to working on the web app.“
The team experience
Each intern was assigned a dedicated mentor who guided and helped them throughout the programme. This created a collaborative, and supportive learning environment. Mentors, Nikola and Sinisa, encouraged our interns to be confident in their abilities, to ask questions when they were unsure of how to proceed, and to learn from the challenges they experienced.
Having these mentors had another benefit for each of our interns - they all noted that not only did they learn from a technical perspective, but they also improved their communication and organizational skills.
Nikola: “Working with the team could not have gone better. Everyone helped us learn what it means to be part of LearnUpon. We had their support with our daily tasks, and we felt no pressure. I am grateful for this experience as I now know what it’s really like to work in a development team.”
What challenges did the interns face?
For our team of interns, the whole process was challenging because this was the first time they had encountered Ruby as a programming language.
Dragoš: “At first, it seems quite simple, but then you realize that you must take care of every little thing, look at where it’s used, and whether making a change will affect other parts of the code. In the beginning, it was hard for me to understand what I was being asked to do, but with the help of my mentor, everything became clearer. After a while, I picked up the logic, then I could understand what was needed on my own. After that, everything went much faster, and I didn't have to ask for help as often. “
Advice for potential Junior Developer Interns
An internship is a great first step in building your career. We asked our internship graduates to give their best advice for anyone considering taking part in an internship programme. Here’s what they said:
- Be proactive - do tasks, practice, read, and research on your own while still at college
- Communicate the goals you want to achieve
- Trust yourself and your abilities to learn and adapt
- Mistakes happen to everyone - it’s a learning curve
- Ask lots of questions
- Stay open-minded
- Take every experience as a chance for growth and development, because in the end, it’s all part of your professional journey