In the first post of the class, we talked about Non-Disclosure agreements and why they’re important in industry. (I made sure to get the okay from my mentor and supervisor before posting all these so we’re all good!)
In regards to the Non-Disclosure agreement that pretty much everyone has to sign, I can see how important it is, especially in an industry environment. In industry, companies compete with each other to build a product for a specific group of customers. If the blueprints of that product were to get out, then another company could have an advantage over that one. As interns with barely any experience in industry, it is really important to get a grasp of this concept.
I can see how different it is to academia, because I feel like in school, it’s all about sharing and helping others to accomplish something. Everyone had the same project so we could all work together. Now in industry, we can’t do that. Any project that we share could potentially lead to the company losing out on customers in the long run.
Most of my first week consisted of setting up my environment and getting used to the culture of the company. Since the company has a small startup-y feel, it was easy for me to get to know my coworkers and get started quickly. I had conversations with just about everyone about what they did and any lessons that I could take as a software engineering intern. For example, SCRUM and agile development is much more widely used in the industry than in school, so getting used to that idea is very important to get situated with the work environment quickly.
To familiarize myself with the code, my company had me build a basic REST service and test script using many different components of the code for the application they are building. It was very tough to do this because even though I was given a bit of guidance at the beginning, it was still very challenging knowing where each component I needed existed within the large code base. BUT after trucking along, I was able to understand a bit about the organization of their code and where I could find useful utility tools to help me build my service and test. Eventually, I was able to push my code for my first review on Friday!
Because of prior internship experience, I feel that I was able to immerse myself into the environment quicker than before. I knew the questions I had to ask to understand the code base and work environment as well as really try to engage with my coworkers, because they could be my biggest source of help. With that knowledge and experience, I wanted to apply myself further and even started seeing how I could be more of an asset to the company. Eventually, I began changing my attitude from someone who receives things to more of a go-getter. In future weeks in the internship, I want to see how this attitude will affect my work and progress through the summer.