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#1 AVReidy  Icon User is offline

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What do companies want out of a programming intern?

Posted 21 August 2011 - 09:51 AM

What are the necessary programming skills required for an internship in Java/C# programming, for example? I read that companies want a programmer who is very well educated on the topic, but wants to get hands on experience in the real world. Is it true that companies want this type of free work? I suppose they don't want to have to train their interns.

If any of you know what is expected, please let me know. Specific programming concepts would be appreciated as well.

Thanks!

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#2 Dogstopper  Icon User is offline

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Re: What do companies want out of a programming intern?

Posted 21 August 2011 - 10:04 AM

I worked as an intern this summer doing Android programming, but most of my focus was on physics. I had no experience in neutron-based physics at all and I learned from scratch. Though, I had a thorough background in coding.

So, what I think is that if you are competent in coding, have a desire to learn (that's key), and you are willing to mess with topics that you know nothing about, then that's what you need.
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#3 AVReidy  Icon User is offline

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Re: What do companies want out of a programming intern?

Posted 21 August 2011 - 10:12 AM

My dad works as an IT director for a company called Snagajob.com and he told me that his engineers use C# which is what I'm currently learning. I really want to learn, but I don't think I am proficient enough in C# or OOP in general as my programming education consists of this website, YouTube, and two books. I have two more years until I'm done with high school.

They want college students, I expect?

This post has been edited by AVReidy: 21 August 2011 - 10:18 AM

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#4 Dogstopper  Icon User is offline

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Re: What do companies want out of a programming intern?

Posted 21 August 2011 - 10:26 AM

I am a high school student entering my senior year and am also totally self taught. So, in your position, I would spend a lot of time building a repertoire of programs that you learn off of AND some demos that you can use when you apply. If you stick around DIC for a fair amount of time, especially in our fantastic C# forum, you should be good!
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#5 ShadowsEdge19  Icon User is offline

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Re: What do companies want out of a programming intern?

Posted 21 August 2011 - 01:07 PM

I've just started a job where they are using a language that was completely unknown to me up until I saw it for myself in the interview when they showed me what they used to build their systems, what I did pick up on, and I think they did too, was that I recognized that the language (KCML) looked similar to Visual Basic in terms of structure and design.

Since I already had knowledge of VB and they weren't expecting me to know everything about the language on my first day they have been doing that as part of my training like they do for every new employee, even internally for employees that want to experience a different aspect of the company.
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#6 jjsaw5  Icon User is offline

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Re: What do companies want out of a programming intern?

Posted 22 August 2011 - 06:11 AM

I think the important thing to know about interning is that you're not expected to come in and jump right into programming. In my experience as an intern and working with several interns over the past six years is that companies are more concerned about the following....
Your work ethic. Are you coming in each day and applying yourself to the tasks given to you. Are you asking questions and seeking out help when you need it. Are you just sitting at your desk surfing the internet all day?
Ability to grasp concepts and process. Are you able to pick up what your are being asked to work on? Can you follow the their process and coding standards.

I could go on, but i think the important thing to note is that your internship is like temporary and sometimes cheap employee eval for that company. They are testing you out to see if you are worth pursuing for a full time position or if your not, it's easy for them to let you go because your internship is usually over when you go back to school or by a certain date (either given to you by the company or you give them a date).
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#7 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: What do companies want out of a programming intern?

Posted 22 August 2011 - 08:26 AM

Ability to go for coffee is often a big plus.
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#8 AVReidy  Icon User is offline

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Re: What do companies want out of a programming intern?

Posted 01 September 2011 - 05:59 AM

I feel like they won't hire a 16-year-old intern, especially for programming. I'm not on the fast track to Harvard or anything.

Does anybody else think they will discriminate because of age? I mean they probably should in my case because I'm not a fantastic programmer.

This post has been edited by AVReidy: 01 September 2011 - 06:01 AM

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#9 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: What do companies want out of a programming intern?

Posted 01 September 2011 - 07:54 AM

Quote

Does anybody else think they will discriminate because of age? I mean they probably should in my case because I'm not a fantastic programmer.
In that case they're hardly discriminating on account of age, are they? They're discriminating on the basis of you're not very good and maybe you should learn on your own time.
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#10 AVReidy  Icon User is offline

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Re: What do companies want out of a programming intern?

Posted 01 September 2011 - 09:20 AM

I guess I'm asking what programming knowledge/concepts are expected as a minimum requirement to be hired as an intern.

This post has been edited by AVReidy: 01 September 2011 - 09:21 AM

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#11 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: What do companies want out of a programming intern?

Posted 01 September 2011 - 10:03 AM

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I guess I'm asking what programming knowledge/concepts are expected as a minimum requirement to be hired as an intern.


Ability to make a positive contribution to the work. What that is depends on the work in question. For an internship, you should be working at a level where it's worth a developer's time to check your work. Odds are the contributions you're asked for will be minimal in scope, at the start, and will increase as you show competence. So you might literally be asked to go for coffee at first, while someone's figuring out what it is you're good for. You might be asked to read over some code and comment it - this is a "get to know the codebase" exercise for you, and a chance for the developer to get a sense of how much you're understanding of what they write. If you can't look at a batch of code and understand it, then you're probably going to have a hard time working on it.
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