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My First Internship Experience

mwong068 profile image Megan ・3 min read

I have officially completed my internship! Wow, what a rollercoaster it has been!

I honestly had an amazing experience and was able to learn so much from working at a small startup in the Bay Area.

I'm so grateful for the experience, especially during a time like this. And I feel that it's given me an awesome start to my software engineering career.

I thought I'd share my experience with you but also some tips I would have given myself pre-internship if I had known.

Tips:

  1. First off and most importantly, be kind to yourself! I found myself being very hard on myself sometimes for not knowing everything right off the bat and needing to ask for help pretty often.

    • I ended up having to use a bunch of technologies that I had no previous experience with. And it was definitely a huge learning curve. So be gentle with yourself and try to take it one step at a time.
    • After numerous talks with other software engineers at different points in their careers, there is one thing I am certain of, everyone struggles! Know that people are going through the same difficulties as you and we're always all learning together.
  2. That being said, don't be afraid to ask for help!

    • I found myself often not wanting to bother my manager, but I also found that struggling in my lonesome was not productive at all. Know that people are often sooooo willing to help and it's totally okay to ask for help!
  3. Communication is key

    • Working fully remote was completely new to me, and I think it brings with it it's own set of difficulties. But one thing I found especially important, as with any position, is communication!
    • Especially being remote, it's not easy for people to gauge where your productivity or progress is at. I made an effort to check in with my manager at the end of the day just to say what I'd gotten done for the day. I think this is the minimum and I could have been more open in my communication, which is something I'll be more aware of for my next position.
    • But I do think it's especially important to let people know if you are having trouble or can't meet a deadline. Always try your best to communicate with your team and manager to ensure everyone is on the same page.
  4. Double check your code before submitting PRs

    • In the beginning of my internship I had never made a pull request before and wasn't really sure of what I was doing. I ended up just pushing my code like I used to do on my own projects. Full of debugging console.logs and messy code.
    • After a few code reviews I realized it wasn't very professional of me to submit my code looking the way that it did while in development. So by the end of my internship I would double check all of my code and ensure it as bug free and dry as possible.
  5. Try to soak up all of the information you can

    • Especially being my first internship, I thought it was so important to try to gain all of the information I could. I mean you will always be continuously learning in this profession, but I wanted to make sure that I'd be a stronger programmer than when I started. After all, the point is to learn more!
  6. Have fun!

    • Work isn't always going to be fun, but make the best of it and know that you're off to a great start to your new career! And of course be proud of yourself for working hard and getting as far as you have.

Thanks so much for reading! I'm really excited to have been able to share this with all of you and I hope it could be helpful for anyone starting their new internships.

Excited for the next chapter and I hope you all have an awesome weekend and stay safe!

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mwong068 profile

Megan

@mwong068

Software Engineer | Experience with Rails, Javascript, and React | Bay Area, CA

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