Renaud Vilmart (Mines de Nancy) did an Engineering Internship at EURA NOVA from June to September. In the article below, Renaud describes his experience as an intern.

Last summer, I had the opportunity to be an intern at EURA NOVA. From the 22nd of June to the 11th of September, I worked on an internal project aimed at improving Euranovians’ daily lives. In a nutshell, I had to design an app that could automatically generate documents when possible.

The web application was deployed using Docker for “containerisation”, and Ansible. It uses a PostgreSQL database in order to stock Euranovians’ data, which is mixed to templates by the application when it generates the document. The core of the app itself was developed using Clojure, a Lisp dialect. The user interface uses the usual trio HTML/CSS/JavaScript.

The final app was to be used by every employee of the company, and more specifically by the Business and Human Resources departments. By the end of my internship, it could generate logbooks. Logbooks are employees’ detailed resumes aimed at EURA NOVA’s clients. They come in either HTML, ODT, or PDF format. The application was designed to make it easy to add new templates, documents, or file formats.

I have had the opportunity to see more than mere technical aspects: I learned about what a company specialised in consultancy and solution delivery was like. Well, this is not any consulting company; it is EURA NOVA. Indeed, I believe this experience was quite unique.

First, regarding work, the company uses agile methods, which means that I could communicate a lot with anyone in the company. I had daily meetings with my supervisor, so I could never get lost. Whenever I was stuck on a problem, I could easily go and disturb any person who might have had the answer I needed. Finally, I had frequent meetings with my “clients” in order to present my work of the moment in the form of a proof-of-concept at first, and then of demonstrations. With these I could have frequent feedback on their expectations and wanted features and looks.

Then, on a human level, I found there was a great atmosphere ! This might have been emphasised by the fact that many people were taking turns to go on holiday … Anyway, we usually spent lunch all together, and we carpooled to go and get food, when we did not simply eat outside, at Jean-Lou’s frites shop for instance !

I could also mention some Euranovian events I have attended: the EODE, which is an informal event to keep in touch with the company’s news, a LAN party featuring Counter Strike that took place on a Sunday, the “X-talks”, a gathering in which Euranovians can share their knowledge on a chosen topic, … Or the epic battles of Street Fighter that took place during the lunch break: they consisted of the video game, of course, not employees actually fist-fighting! This was preserved for the boxing sessions, that also took place during lunch break, in fact.

Finally, this internship allowed me to put theoretical knowledge into practice — which I desperately needed — in quite a large project. This helped me gain confidence in my ability to work on computing projects, both regarding technical aspects, and more “project-linked” aspects — communication, the right use of Git, methods used to conduct the project … What I really appreciated is that the project, I think, was more challenging than a standard “bac+4” internship project because I took part in the app’s architecture’s design, I used a wider range of technologies than I thought, …

Renaud Vilmart

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