Every beginning is difficult. Starting out as a software developer makes no exception. Every year, at AXON Soft we organize internship programs, to help students gain experience in the field of software development and practice the things they studied in universities. Also, our internship programs focus on simulating real-life environments, so that our interns can learn by doing, assisted by mentors.
After many internship programs, both on premise and online, five things proved to be a great asset for people starting out as software developers.
1. Understanding the specifications and translating them into code
This is a fundamental skill that’s crucial for success in the field. Understanding the specifications is the cornerstone of software development. It helps you grasp the project’s goals, requirements, and constraints.
Accurate understanding ensures that you deliver a product that aligns with the client’s expectations, reducing the chances of costly revisions and misunderstandings. Don’t hesitate to ask questions when specifications are unclear or incomplete. It’s better to clarify doubts upfront rather than making assumptions that could lead to errors. And an internship that simulates real life environment is the best place to practice.
During an internship program, you will learn how to break down the specifications into smaller, manageable tasks. This makes it easier to tackle the project step by step and ensure that no requirements are overlooked.
“This internship gave me the opportunity to see the importance of collaboration in a professional environment and being involved in a team. It gave me a significant insight into how theoretical knowledge can be turned into practical skills by actively participating in the application development process.” (Ancuta C., Intern 2023)
Our mantra at AXON Soft is write clean and well-structured code. Good coding practices make it easier for you and your colleagues to understand and maintain the codebase. An internship gives you the opportunity to learn how to do things right.
2. Opportunity to experience various technologies
When starting out as a software developer, you may not be sure which technology you enjoy best or which technology is most needed to become the type of programmer you want to commit your career path to.
Working within a team in a real project is a sure way to understand the practical differences between frontend developer, backend developer, and full stack developer, just to name a few categories. An internship program within a software development company offers the opportunity to explore and work with different technologies and methodologies, so that you can get a better understanding of what software development implies and see which ones you enjoy most.
“I had the opportunity to learn a lot of valuable information related to programming in Java, especially related to the use of the Spring Boot framework.” (Luiza R., Intern 2023)
“It was a valuable opportunity from which I learned a lot about the technologies used.” (Cristian I., Intern 2023)
3. How do programming teams work
Being a software developer within an IT company means both working by yourself and with others. Individual work refers to reading and understanding what you need to get done and to write the code. Beyond that, your part of the code will be integrated with other people’s code, so that the end result is a complete solution to be delivered to the client. This implies communication and continuous feedback from others.
It’s important to know how to access the resources, who does what, who to ask for guidance and who to ask for feedback. Also, being a team means discussing the tasks each team member has and the best way to approach them, think of various solutions for every job and decide on common practice, for the best outcome. Coordonation with others is crucial. During an internship program, you’ll gain more experience in this field and develop this important skill.
“I feel that I have learned a lot related not only to Java/Spring development, but also to how to work in a team of software developers, from conventions related to versioning and developing another person’s code, to open, friendly and efficiency.” (Paul M., Intern 2023)
“At the beginning (about the first 2-3 weeks), as expected, there were many new things, maximum confusion, but with the help of the tutors and through the work on the project, little by little, the work went more and more smoothly. Of course, the guides did not stop at explaining how to do, but also how to improve the code. (Mihai R., Intern 2023)
4. Effective communication with project team members
When working in teams (as software developers usually do), effective communication is a must. What is the most effective way to explain what you need or what you coded? What is the best way to ask for feedback? When is the best time to discuss approaches for a task? All these (and others) are not something you can excell at just by reading about it. You must practice it within a company to understand all implications and how to communicate effectively.
An internship is that “safe place” where you are placed in the right context so that you can get a grasp of what does effective communication actually mean and how to improve this essential soft skill.
„The feedback they gave me about my code was complex and explicit, so I was able to easily implement the required changes or improvements.” (Paul S., Intern 2023)
“I liked working in a team, thinking together with the team and discussing our opinions as a team.” (Gabriel S., Intern 2023)
5. Presenting the results
How do you best show the others the code you worked on and the problems you solved? This specific part proved to be extremly important for last year studens who must also prepare their license degree paper.
Moreover, presenting the results is an important skill no matter what career path you choose. You will always have to show others your work, both the results and methodology. Because it’s not only about the outcome, but also about how you got there. Always choose the clean code path. A clear presentation is the key to make your mark and convince others they can rely on your work.
Last but not least, public speaking is also a skill less learned in school and more experienced (and appreciated) in professional life. An internship program is a “safe place” where you can practice this soft skill, get feedback from other interns and from mentors. The mentors are here to help and guide, not to judge.
“I felt that I could ask for help or ask questions, which made the learning process more enjoyable and effective. I am sure that what I have learned will have a significant impact on my future career.” (Luiza R., Intern 2023)
Starting out as a software developer can be overwhelming. We understand and that is why the internship programs at AXON Soft are very well prepared and crafted so that they actually help students gain more knowledge and experience, but also to help clarify career path for each intern.