Every summer at HCSS, approximately 20 interns are hired to work during their summer break from universities around the country. An internship at HCSS is not an ordinary one: there is no getting coffee for others or spending hours filing papers. An internship at HCSS is extraordinary: working on real work just like the other employees, a full agenda of career developing classes and workshops, and experiencing the unique company culture with fun activities alongside other interns and coworkers.
Even though HCSS is a tech company, the summer was full of opportunity in many facets of the technology industry, from marketing to software development to product management and strategy. All of the interns had one major thing in common through their differing career paths and aspirations: diving into the construction industry for the first time.
We asked the interns what they thought about working in technology for the construction industry, all of them agreeing that it was full of learning opportunities and had a lot more in store than they expected it to.
“What is interesting about working in the construction (software) industry?”
“When people tend to think of the construction industry, software isn’t the first place their mind tends to go to. It’s interesting to witness and actually be a part of something that makes the infrastructure we use more efficient.” – Aleena Khan, Software Development Intern, University of Houston
“Society has groomed the current generation to connect all computer science jobs to large, popular tech companies, like Google, Microsoft, and Facebook. When I first got into coding in high school, I too gave into this misconception and failed to see the major implications technology can have in countless other industries. However, with a bit more technical and life experience, my eyes were opened to all of the lives that can be changed with coding. With this perspective in mind, in high school, I published an Adopt-A-Spot app to help clean up my campus and even help Hurricane Harvey victims. Because of this experience, I was especially excited to join the Android team at HCSS and continue to impact others through technology. I started working here just over a month ago and have spent most of my time working on the HCSS Field app and its exciting features. Specifically, I helped run data migrations for more efficient database access. One thing I love about my job is that I get to see the results of my hard work in two aspects. First, it’s always satisfying seeing something you code come to life on the phone you’re holding in your hand. Especially in the modern day in which phones take up such a considerable amount of our lives, I have such a greater appreciation for everything that goes into an app. However, I can also take pride in the fact that the Android team’s work will help the thousands of workers in the construction industry that use our apps.” – Prashanth Pai, Software Development Intern, Rice University
“I find developing software to overcome performance bottlenecks by automating existing processes to be the most interesting aspect about working in the construction software industry.” – William Zhao, Software Development Intern, Texas A&M University
“For me, the most interesting part about working in the construction software industry is understanding how the needs of the construction industry shape the various software aspects/products we create.” – Shreya Vaidya, Software Development Intern, Cornell University
“The coolest thing to me about the construction software industry is the variance of topics I deal with. Not only am I working on projects most software companies deal with (i.e. website design, app development), but I also get to apply it to a field I didn’t know much about (construction). Construction is even cooler than I imagined, and it’s nice to know that I am making a group of worker’s jobs easier and more streamlined with the products I work on. Construction is important – it builds the literal foundations of our society, and I’m happy to be able to help improve it. Plus, I now know the simple difference between vertical construction and horizontal construction, haha.” – Dylan Theriot, Software Development Intern, Texas A&M University
“What will you take away from working in this industry?”
“Since this is my first actual internship related to the software development field, pretty much everything I’ve learned is going to be a take away – from industry standards, to code syntax.” – Aleena Khan, Software Development Intern, University of Houston
“My biggest takeaway from my internship so far is that a computer screen really shouldn’t be seen a wall that restricts developers from engaging with software users. Rather, it’s a door into the everyday, ordinary lives of the common person, and we as leaders in technology have the rare opportunity of making those lives extraordinary.” -Prashanth Pai, Software Development Intern, Rice University
“Learning more about building focused, practical products to effectively target
a niche market.” – William Zhao, Software Development Intern, Texas A&M University
“I will take away a much better understanding of consumer needs and the careful balance that comes with optimizing for company-related factors while simultaneously ensuring that we exceed customer expectations.” – Shreya Vaidya, Software Development Intern, Cornell University
“It is so important to understand your customers and the problems they face, not the problems you think they are facing. That’s one of the many things HCSS does really well – they understand their customers. And the success of HCSS is a testament to this. It’s crazy to think a bunch of people who are often coding behind a desk can understand and help ease the problems of workers out in the field. Even with no experience in the construction industry, I can understand the impact of HCSS’ products on the field. That clarity as a software company and the extremes HCSS goes to for a customer focused company are really admirable, and they are what I will take away the most from working in this industry.” – Dylan Theriot, Software Development Intern, Texas A&M University
We wish all of our interns the best of luck in their future endeavors and hope that they had a great experience spending their summer at HCSS, making friends, bonding with teamwork, gaining invaluable experience, and building the foundation to their careers.