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Austin Hardaway
Austin Hardaway

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An Intern's Point of View

Before I get too far ahead of myself I think I should say a little about me.
As I am writing this post I am starting the first day of the last week of
my second internship. I have worked for a small(ish) insurance and I am currently working for a large well-known company.

So armed with a cup of coffee, most of a CS degree, and just shy of 6 months
in the industry I have some observations. YMMV

  • The coffee is sacred. The coffee is life. Bring down the site, bring down the prod-like environments. DON'T bring down the coffee
  • Everyone has impostor syndrome. The best cure is to focus on the work.
  • At the same time the Dunning–Kruger effect exists too and is alive and well. You'll fall into both buckets at times, try to stay out of both.
  • 5 minutes on Google can save you 10 minutes of trying to find out where the hell your mentor/senior/liege/etc. is at the moment
  • Your senior will feel way less awkward answering questions than you will asking them
  • That guru that seems to have all the answers was an intern at some point too
  • You may have the opportunity to Q&A with upper management or executives. Ask questions. Listen to the answers. Remember that no one has any of this figured out and act accordingly.
  • This will one of the only moments of the entire experience that you will not have any questions. Come prepared.
  • Hopefully your organization reminds you that you are here to learn. If not remind yourself.
  • Your fellow interns will help get you through this experience, be good to them. They'll likely follow suit.
  • Dress well. The way you are perceived is important, at this point your age works against you.
  • Productivity is a false god. Work diligently, but inspired thoughts won't always come in neat 25 or 90 minute intervals.
  • There is a special place in hell for people who take conference calls on speaker in their cubicle.
  • This may be your first job, but it probably won't be your last. Make some mistakes, learn from them, and have some fun

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