“Internship helped me in choosing my career.” – experience of 3 interns at Inchoo

Lucija, Hrvoje and Magdalena - interns at Inchoo

Last couple of months, some new faces were at Inchoo. That were our interns Lucija, Hrvoje and Magdalena.

Lucija Glavas is at 2nd year of Computer Science, Hrvoje Jukic is year away from his Process Computing Master’s degree and Magdalena Kules is in her 3rd year of Information Sciences. At first glance their education maybe looks alike, but trust us, it’s not.

At Inchoo, we welcome students who show enthusiasm and will to learn and to explore working in different IT companies with various technologies. We appreciate “youngsters” who are not afraid to try out, maybe fail and after that rise and find out in what direction they want to direct their career. That’s why we always accept students who want to learn, come for internship and make sure to learn them a thing or two.

How was it with Lucija, Hrvoje and Magdalena?

Our teams took every intern like one of their own. Things were pretty interesting since Lucija, Hrvoje and Magdalena came from different educational backgrounds, had various knowledge levels and interest in what they want to learn and gain from this internship.

Team Leaders, from the teams that hosted interns, had a challenging job – exploring the knowledge interns already had, see what they are interested in to learn about and give them new knowledge and practice that combines all of that. So they were leading Lucija and Magdalena that have basic programming knowledge, but are enthusiastic and hard working. One is interested in fronted and other prefers backend development, but isn’t so sure yet. And then, there’s Hrvoje who is advanced developer that likes complexity in development, but he is also interested in business processes within Inchoo.

In this joint interview, you can find out what Lucija, Magdalena and Hrvoje have to say about their internship experience, what’s most interesting thing they’ve learned and to whom would they recommend this kind of internship.

What was your background in development before this internship?

Lucija: Honestly, it took me a long time to decide for this adventure and sign up as an intern at Inchoo, because I had only basic development knowledge. In high school, I’ve gained knowledge about the basics of C programming languages, but I never developed any project by my own. I didn’t even know the basics of HTML, so I was quite insecure and thought that I wouldn’t be able to get a grip on everything and that I would be very difficult to learn anything in just one month.

Hrvoje: For me, programming was a hobby. I’ve been programming for 4 years and worked on some projects, mostly C# based, which implies OOP knowledge. I’ve had experience with PHP and databases so that change wasn’t an issue, also, I’ve had experience with ORM vendors: Entity Framework and Eloquent. I’ve never met with the EAV model, and I’m glad I’ve discovered it.

I know HTML, CSS and JavaScript, but frontend never attracted me. All of this made solid ground to build big things. You need to know basic pretty well, but one doesn’t have the time to type HTML, PHP, SQL to make a site. It is already made by another person, you just need to learn how to use the framework. It’s equally important to know common patterns of development, like MVC. Technologies are different, but the patterns are the same. I think we don’t emphasize that enough. I used GitHub previously, but wasn’t familiar with Magento. It demanded a lot of previous knowledge.

Magdalena: I’ve met with basics of programming in college, so there’s a lot of room for new learning and improvement. This is one of the areas where knowledge that’s gained in college is not enough, but it takes a lot of learning by yourself. Programming is always growing because of the new technologies and trends, so we’ll have to learn it trough our whole life.

Did internship met your expectations?

Lucija: It met more than that! I never thought that I’ll overcome everything that was putted in front of me, and frankly I’m very proud of myself. The team was very obliging and gave me lots of interactive materials from which one can learn and helped me when I needed them to. I’m used to learn by myself, make mistakes by myself and correct myself. Therefore, they might have had the feeling that they weren’t helpful enough, but their discussions, interactions, interest in mine and their’s work, were a big boost for me to learn as much as I can and, one day, call myself a developer as them.

Hrvoje: I am very pleased with the internship. Besides programming, I wanted to see the inside structure of the organisation, feel the atmosphere at work and see with what problems they meet.
The atmosphere was relaxed, but productive. I noticed that a lot of attention was given to interpersonal relationships and mood of the employees. That’s something I really liked.

What was the most interesting thing you’ve learned at internship?

Lucija: I consider myself a creative person and like most girls I give a lot of importance to aesthetics. When it comes to frontend development, aesthetically beautiful websites are created with CSS. This is why CSS was the most interesting part of frontend. I enjoyed playing with all of the functions and seeing that one line of code can change entire page layout. Now when I open a page on the Internet, in my head I’m imagining how it’s code looks like.

Hrvoje: I’m glad I’ve met with GitHub. Now I already use it for some personal projects. Makes me want to finish one thing before I move on to the next one. I’m working a lot cleaner now.

I liked working with XML files in Magento, using templates, opportunities for developers when working on administration interface. With a bit of code it’s possible to achieve a lot and it already has a predefined interface.

Magdalena: Since I’m interested in backend development, a lot of stuff are abstract and hard to understand, but when you try it out on a concrete example, it all becomes clearer. For me, most interesting part was learning OOP. It’s definitely something I want to get a hold of in the future, since now it’s concept and usage are a lot clearer to me.

Did this internship helped you to understand better what career you would like for yourself?

Lucija: Yes, it helped me a lot! Before internship, I wasn’t sure what I’m good at in development. In high school, when thinking about my future and career, I wanted a job that connects my love and need for creative expression and programming. Frontend gives me the opportunity to connect my passion and work and leave a signature on everything that I code. I came to Inchoo to see what interests me and to test myself. Internship prompted me to learn more, and reminded not to give up and/or doubt myself when something is difficult.

I would recommend this kind of experience to every student, because it’s ideal way to realise how much you’re interested in a specific area of work, how much knowledge it requires to make a living out of it and how to get more knowledge. Moreover, internship is the best choice for students who have a desire to learn and work on their skills, and not just passively concede to the circumstances of life.

Hrvoje: It certainly helped me too. I always question my knowledge and skills, but I can’t do it by my own. Every programmer sooner or later comes to point where he must compare his way of work with others. IT is rapidly changing and things get simplified and complicated at the same time. You must stay in the loop all of the time.

I’ve often wondered whether backend development job is as I’ve imagined. Now, I’m convinced that it could be a relaxing job where I can come cheerful to work. Internship experience pushed me even more to that direction and gave me confidence that backend development is my future area of expertise.

Magdalena: I’m not done with the full internship yet, but I see that it will help me in the decision of which area of development i prefer more – backend or frontend. In addition, internship encouraged me to take more responsibilities and task by myself. Another positive aspect is learning to work in team, which’s very important when it comes to failure or success in work. I would recommend everyone who is interested in development to go on internship and figure out if that’s what they really want to do, or to solve their dilemma if they are more interested in frontend or backend development – some students just don’t know. Among all, internship will help you adopt good work habits.

Hrvoje, internship at Inchoo is not for everyone. To which student profiles would you recommend it to?

Hrvoje: There is no college in Osijek, Croatia that I could say that it’s students have necessary programming background to deal with Magento. Few of the classes covered some parts of the area, but it’s realisation is superficial. But, that’s not a limitation nor an excuse. What one needs, he can find it on the internet. It all depends on the individual. You must be persistent and prepare to invest in yourself for the long run. And after all, it’s important that one has love for programming and problem solving.

Well, you’ve met our interns and hopefully felt the atmosphere. We are glad to be a part of these stories. These kind of experiences helped them, and us, to grow and work on our skills.

To every student out there, that struggles with “I don’t know what do I want to do in life” question – if you don’t try out what is out there, you will never know.

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