As someone who had just graduated from high school, interning at a software company like HCSS felt extremely intimidating. The only experience I’ve had with software development was from the courses I took in school and some personal projects I’ve done in my free time. So when I was assigned to work with the Android team, I was worried that I would hold the team back due to my inexperience.
However, my learning experience was surprisingly smooth. I was given basic tasks at first, such as adding fields to the user interface or performing simple bug fixes. Occasionally I’d run into some challenges or issues, but none that I felt was insurmountable. One of the skills I had to learn was to be willing to ask questions. Early on I would spend hours trying to solve a problem that had a simple solution, or spend time working on a feature just to realize that I had misunderstood the objective at the end. Over time, I realized that it was more efficient to ask for help once I’ve exhausted my options of figuring out the problem on my own or to clarify the details of my task if I feel there is any ambiguity.
I was also introduced to code review in HCSS, which is a system to ensure quality by having developers review each other’s code and request any changes they feel will make the code better. For me, code reviews were my primary source to learn about good coding practices and industry standards. Although I would sometimes feel disappointed in how many mistakes I made, I was able to gauge how much I needed to improve, and I was able to learn from each mistake in the code review.
The most surprising aspect of HCSS for me was how much emphasis the company puts on employee health and wellness. Compared to my previous experiences in fast food, where the businesses have little regard for their employees, HCSS actually cares about the work environment and the wellbeing of its employees, which is evident through all the amenities provided. For me, this makes me motivated to work harder and give back to the company.
Overall, I definitely learned several valuable skills and lessons from my internship at HCSS, and I’m continuing to learn more each day. HCSS gave me exposure to professional software development and its practices, as well as the opportunity to work with and meet brilliant people. The experience I gained is priceless, and I couldn’t ask for more from my internship.
Credit: Photography by Josh Espinoza