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My First Two Days at My Internship

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Thursday was my first day on the job and my internship, and it has definitely been an interesting experience all the way around, though maybe not a traditional internship or job, as my boss is entirely results-oriented.

My Hours
When I met with my boss on Wednesday, he went over hours. Basically, he really doesn't care when we come and go or how long we stay, so long as we are there half the time and are overall productive. This means I have the freedom to work from home. As he has offices around the state, my boss is not always there, and the one full-time employee he has doesn't come in until noon, so I'm usually the first one to open up the office, with my classmate who was also hired coming in a few minutes after me. Thursday (my first day) and Friday, I worked from 8 AM- 5 PM with an hour lunch break in between. And as I have the school portion on Tuesdays from 8:15 AM-12:30 PM, I'll end up working 35 hours per week.

The Work
The focus of the internship this summer is mobile development and programming, and our project is entirely research-based with no deadlines or expectations of what we are to specifically accomplish, only an idea of the result, which means I have the freedom to experiment with whatever technologies I want to (within reason). As we are in the process of patenting the technologies we are developing, I can't go into too much detail about what they are, but I will say that we are doing some very interesting and ground-breaking work. On my first day, I came up with a draft for an XML format to replace UIML, a technology developed by Harmonia, which my boss now owns. The purpsoe of this XML format is to expand where UIML lacks, in the manner of functionality. So far, I have been working exclusively in Java, developing a basic API to render my XML in Java SE and Android, and I've gotten a basic demo to work with Java SE and Swing, which my boss was very impressed with. My solution seems to have completely changed the direction of the project, and will probably lead to us getting most or all of it done by the end of the summer.

In addition to Java and Android, my boss suggested I pick up Erlang as he thinks its "message-based" paradigm will provide insights into solving the project; and as I've been meaning to pick up functional programming, this is a great opportunity. I could also end up picking up Cocoa and Objective-C to develop this on the iPhone. So overall, this is an awesome experience!

There really isn't much formal mentoring going on. I work as a software engineer in a very non-structured environment. That is, there is no lead developer or formal team development, so I guess this is more agile development.'

So far, this is a great job! I get to work with technologies and research-based projects at the advanced college levels, and I have flexible hours, an awesome boss, and best of all, a paid internship writing code for 8 hours a day! It can't get much better than that.

7 Comments On This Entry

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05 July 2010 - 10:54 PM
Sounds great, keep us posted!


05 July 2010 - 11:08 PM
at first i read "an XML format to replace UML" and i was like wtf? sounds sweet though. you are in a really great position work wise being that your boss is pretty laid back about hours and what not.


06 July 2010 - 04:30 AM
Thanks! And the work experience is awesome, especially for a college application (thinking short term)! I haven't touched any UML, thusfar though.


06 July 2010 - 06:37 AM
Sounds like you are a rockstar programmer. :)


06 July 2010 - 10:11 AM
and Mac's conquest of the world begins


06 July 2010 - 08:05 PM
Sounds like fun, I'm a student right now also and am a semester or 2 away from an internship, hopefully I land one as lax as yours :).


08 July 2010 - 09:40 AM
Sounds like you're doing work you like sir. That's a definite plus. :)
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