What an IT Internship can teach you.
What courses don’t teach you, an internship can!
When I started off with my Computer Science Courses, I was scared. When I wrote my first few lines of code, most of my batchmates had already written tons and tons of lines of code in C++, Java and Python. Some of them had found solace in competitive coding and a few even told me, “Computer Vision is my field of choice.” All I could do was manage a forced smile while internally I was horrified and began reconsidering my choice of Computer Science as a future career. What was supposed to be a new and exciting learning opportunity for me was not a level-playing field after all. My initial exposure to Computer Science had been fun and welcoming and my curiosity to learn more made me opt for a B.E. in it. Also, there was Maths in C.S, a subject I pretty much enjoyed in my higher secondary. All of this started coming to me again.
And then an internship happened. It changed my outlook of me, it brushed up my software engineering skills and it gave me what Algorithms and Data Structure Courses couldn’t do, apart from making me love CS in bits and pieces, it gave me a newfound Confidence.
The Imposter Syndrome
Often, many of us feel that we know less than “others”, how will I finish off so much work in such a short deadline, maybe I am slow at learning,
Insert a list of your worries and questions here, the ones which drive you to the edges of overthinking, the ones that give you sleepless nights and the ones that make you feel like you’re nothing but a novice.
There’s always a difference between our perceived ability and actual ability. The only reason you might not do well as you colleagues is because you worry more about this than complete the work assigned to you. Here’s how an internship helps to overcome this.
As an intern, you have your own desk, computer, a manager or higher authority to report to and you get to enjoy the company perks too. There’s something feel good about that. You are assigned responsibilities at par with the employees and held responsible for deliverables and projects. You can solve tickets and issues. Complete your project and there’s a lot of appreciation. You mess up and there’s lot to learn. Remember one thing, Everyone starts off as a beginner at some point.
Throughout your internship, you can see your confidence going through all those levels. A strong confidence can make you do things you could have never imagined.
The First Code Review
The first few weeks is the Information Gain phase. You understand the documentation of the code. You discuss your queries and concerns with your mentor and the team. You familiarise yourself with the tools and technologies they use and what is expected of you as an Intern. You get the existing code working and note down the behaviour of the application/system.
The actual learning phase involves requirement specs, design and code. You use your problem solving skills and try to come up with different solutions and compare their ease and efficiency. You traverse your way through the huge codebase and well add a few lines of code yourself. You read documentations of API’s, struggle with language syntax . Your first code review reminds you that well, this is *industry code*, not a class coding assignment and your back to being a beginner. You might have written tons of lines of code before but following industry standards is a big challenge. And well, if you haven’t, then it’s an even bigger challenge. You could have named a variable wrong or you used nested if-else to such an extent that it hampers the readability of the code. You could have struggled with git commands and looked them up on StackOverflow to get them right. Then there’s the long debates with the reviewer on a particular thing you don’t agree with and that’s where you put your amazing convincing skills to use. It can take a large no of iterations of your review till it looks near perfect and in all this, you end up forgetting that this learning after all. Remember the happiness when it’s finally give the thumb up?
Now compare the first with the last one. Loads of difference. You know better. You are wiser. You don’t make much of those silly mistakes. You have git at your command.
The end product
and you now have a boosted confidence.