A quick guide for successful future intern

Difficult times have come for all of us in terms of the COVID-19. For security reasons, many companies decided to completely move to remote work – as we do. Unfortunately, despite the best preparation, not all processes can be carried out remotely. Due to the situation, we decided to freeze the internship program for now. The standards we always try to keep in case of mentoring and development that we would like our trainees to experience are now more difficult to maintain. Lowering standards of mentoring is not an option.

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Summer is the time when you have more free time, so use it well! Lack of an internship does not mean the end of self-development. In addition to reading books, blogs, etc. dedicated to the technologies you are interested in, you also have other opportunities that we strongly recommend to do before the internship.

Participate in online training & meetups

There are a lot of online workshops and training that you can participate in. To your attention, we recommend our latest micro.sphere.it series, which we run online due to coronavirus situation and are completely free of charge. Micro.sphere.it are tech-oriented online sessions packed with regular conference talks and discussions. Meet leaders from tech user groups around the globe, languages’ contributors, as well as real technology rockstars, who will gather to discuss their everyday work, use-cases, and visionary projects for action-packed online events, dedicated to Scala, React, Data, Cloud, Kotlin and Frontend engineering.

You can also join our community and one of the 12 meetup groups that we run or are members of and support. Choose your city (Kraków, Kielce, or Rzeszów) and a group that suits your interests (Java? Scala? Or maybe Data Science?) and be up-to-date with our free workshops and lectures (which currently are also conducting online). This is an opportunity not only to gain new knowledge but also to expand your contacts – creating strong relationships during tech events will help build a valuable network and generate business opportunities.

Work on open-source projects

Probably you know that, but when a project is open-source, that means anybody is free to use, study, modify, and distribute your project for any purpose. Open source is powerful because it lowers the barriers to adoption and collaboration, allowing people to spread and improve projects quickly.

#VLTeam does its best to contribute to open source projects and enhance software that is used by developers around the world. We are significantly committing to more than 40 OS projects like Scala Compiler, MLflow, ScalaIDE, proudly made render, Jenkins Kubernetes Operator, Unicorn, git-machete (and a port to IntelliJ plugin), also support Kotlin & Scala plugins for IntelliJ IDEA (in cooperation with JetBrains) and many more! By creating various tools that improve developers’ daily work we give back to the tech community.

We strongly recommend working on open-source projects for all future interns. If you decide to join the projects we are involved in, we will gladly help you and share our knowledge. This is a very good replacement for summer internships. Many of our interns after joining VL are working on OSS, and even after the end of the internship they still want to contribute to them.

Working on an open-source can give you a lot of benefits, like:

  • Improving coding skills

The only way to truly learn and perfect your craft is to practice, practice, practice. For devs, contributing to OSS means that they not only practice their programming skills, but that they also learn and gain feedback from more accomplished programmers. This is the first-hand experience.

  • Gaining early experience

OSS provides young developers with useful and valuable experience. Contributing to OSS allows developers to become better at reading code produced by others, finding and fixing bugs, and adding their code into the main repository. Gaining real experience before applying for an internship can increase the chances of getting into it and accelerate your career. You can (should!) brag about your work on OSS in your CV/LinkedIn profile.

  • Greater job prospects

In the same way contributing to OSS can help you increase your chances of landing an internship, it can also improve your job and career prospects. Nowadays, when many tech companies receive a CV from a prospective developer, they usually skim over the sheets of paper and spend more time investigating the applicant’s Github account. The fact that OSS is visible to the public means that prospective employers can inspect your code and assess your skills as a developer based on the code you have written. In contrast, commercial software doesn’t provide you with the same proof of your abilities.

How to start

If you have no idea how to start, you can begin your work with one of our VL’s projects. We give you links to the list of tasks with label “good first issue” with which you can easily start your first open-source adventure:

  • git-machete – probably the sharpest git repository organizer & rebase/merge workflow automation tool you’ve ever seen 😉 Here is a link to #goodfirstissue tasks.
  • Jenkins Kubernetes Operator – Jenkins operator is a Kubernetes native operator which fully manages Jenkins on Kubernetes. It was built with immutability and declarative configuration as code in mind. Here is a list of tasks for newcomers.
  • render – a universal data-driven template for generating textual output, as a static binary and a library. You can start your work with these tasks.
  • crypt – a universal cryptographic tool with AWS KMS, GCP KMS, GnuPG, and Azure Key Vault support. Begin your work here.

If you have any questions about these projects feel free to contact us!

Take advantage of your free time and spend this summer working actively on your self-development. Get ready for your future internship at VirtusLab!

Written by

Kasia Pytko
Kasia Pytko Jun 23, 2020