The Secret Behind Google’s CodeU

D'Nae Ferguson
3 min readAug 3, 2018
Our Login Page

For those who know, kudos.

Google has created a virtual pre-internship that allows students to program during a 12-week period and gain insider knowledge on how to secure a highly coveted paid-internship. This insider knowledge includes three mock interviews, resume workshops and interactive career sessions.

**Disclaimer** Participation in the CodeU program does not ensure a paid internship.

My Experience

Getting an invitation to participate in a program by Google was truly an honor — I may or may not have pinched myself.

Prior to starting the program I had taken two introduction to programming classes in Java and some experience in UI design. Upon completing the program, I gained a greater understanding of back-end programming, HTML and .CSS.

The best part about this program is that it is extremely manageable. Since it is virtual, you create your own schedule — you are your own boss. Your project advisors are there to help guide you, should you fall into a pit of programming despair but, it is completely self-driven.

Our Product

My team and I created a chat-based web application with some pretty cool features!

Our app allows users to chat with one another, reply directly to messages, upload profile images and profile bios, view others’ profiles, stay up to date with live updates, and if the user has administrative status they can track the daily stats of the app.

Users can upload their own profile images and bios

Reflection / Q&A

My group and I benefited tremendously from this program and want to share a few tidbits.

What is the most important thing you learned during this project?:

AD: I learned how to work with a team on the same code using Github and communicating with one another to ask questions and help each other to add to our app.

GM: The most important thing I learned was related to the development cycle — agile development, the usage of Github, continuous integration and the importance of Unit tests.

What do you wish you had spent more time on or done differently?:

AD: I wish I had spent more time using and learning about the data stores because I still don’t fully understand them.

GM: We had planned to add a conversation recommendation system, that feature was going to be very interesting, but we weren’t able to work on that due to other priorities.

What part of the project did you do your best work on?:

AD: I did my best work on the UI of the app. I had never used .css or html so I spent a lot of time learning about them so I could implement a lot of different UI features.

GM: I did my best in every feature I worked, however continuous integration was the one that challenged me most, this was because I started the feature 3 days before release and i had to learn a lot, specially configuring a remote computer to run the tests, and setup the credentials.

What was the most enjoyable part of this project?:

AD: Learning about Google and talking to a lot of the software engineers was my favorite part of CodeU.

GM: I can’t decide for one: being part of an international team and the mock interviews.

How could the project advisors/CodeU team change this project to make it better next time?:

AD: I don’t think I would change anything. Everyone was very helpful with guidance in the right direction so there were a lot of opportunities to learn.

GM: I read that java servlets are not used that much anymore. Maybe consider using a trendiest technology, reactJS for frontend, node.js for backend could be a possibility.