Diary of a Trineo Intern

Jonathan Hills February 15, 2019

Back in November 2018 it was agreed that I would work for Trineo over summer as an intern until I had worked ~300 hours. Those 300 hours came and went and now, three full and action packed months later, the Trineo Student Summer Intern Extraordinaire Experience™️ is drawing to a close. I now must return to complete my final year at uni. Along the way I have met many many wonderful and incredibly talented people, and have been exposed to a company culture I never really thought could exist.

Starting as a sponge

I began bright eyed and bushy tailed and after having to build a LEGO craft in one of the job interviews, had literally no idea what to expect. I was eager to get into my first taste of industry experience and was warmly welcomed with a free and super delicious team lunch… and two weeks of interactive online tutorials. While it may not have been the explosive start I was expecting, I saw the bigger picture and became a sponge of everything Salesforce. This better prepared me for the real work I was expected to complete.

Eventually actual development began. My role was to work as a developer on internal company software as part of a revamp to improve company productivity. The project itself was agile, and cut up into incremental bursts of development, or ‘Sprints’. This wasn’t my first agile rodeo so I was pretty familiar with the structure and principles, however it was very fresh being exposed to a full workweek of development.

I hit the ground running and began churning out features while under the steady guidance of a very helpful team. My productivity has steadily increased right up to today, where I feel comfortable working within a large amount of code with several moving parts. I was fortunate enough to witness my first real product release, where things I had worked on got into the hands of actual users, which was a great experience.

Gaining actual industry experience

Coming from uni I had little to no idea what to expect–I had large amounts of experience in min wage student jobs, but had absolutely no industry experience related to what I was actually studying. This was a massive developmental step up from anything I had done before in my studies and one of the biggest contrasts I had was the scale and number of design decisions I was responsible for. It was a stark change from a perfectly labelled and semi complete university assignment, where what was required had already been done, and the approach had already been outlined.

I have a notebook on my desk which is almost half full of various notes, scribbles, doodles, and diagrams on ways to approach and ultimately solve challenges I was facing. There were many times where I would begin a solution only to find it would raise more problems down the line and so had to make the choice to either A) deal with that; or B) go back to square one. In the ever changing world of a large codebase, I have found good planning to be the absolute king.

This may or may not be an actual still from a sprint planning session.
This may or may not be an actual still from a sprint planning session.

Not only was I exposed to the development side of things, I was also exposed to the business side of the company. I sat in on many meetings I normally wouldn’t be involved with, purely to observe and soak up information of these processes, and how software is developed from a business standpoint. I found this to be the very interesting, as this is an area which isn’t taught in depth at uni. It also gave me a much broader scope when developing, once again having to always keep the bigger picture in mind. This was hugely rewarding from a personal development perspective and I am looking forward to returning to uni as a much brighter and sharper aspiring software engineer.

The culture at Trineo

I have been absolutely blown away by the internal culture of Trineo itself. From the family photo wall in one of the meeting rooms, to the Slack command where someone will offer to make whoever is interested a cup of tea (one which I have found myself using regularly–gotta stick to the intern stereotype somehow right?), it is very clear that everyone working at Trineo has the same core values of respect + support for one another.

There were times when I had to reach out for help and there was always someone around happy to stop what they were doing to assist me with what I was doing. I have found that Trineo is full of people who care about each other on a much deeper level than just the work they complete together. I have been a part of many interesting and hilarious conversations in the office, both relevant and completely irrelevant to what's being worked on. The Trineo Slack is full of interesting sub channels where people discuss all manner of things from tricks of the trade to a having a laugh over a certain fast food chain making capitalising on the loss of the Big Mac trademark in the EU. Working alongside multiple offices around the world was a bit startling at first but I got used to it very quickly and was never made to feel anything other than very welcome. I’m going to miss the regular friday drinks too, although I’m hoping there are more lagers on offer in future!

What's next?

Which brings us to now. It has been an incredible experience full of learning, great food, many laughs, challenges, and I have had an absolute blast the entire way. But all good things must come to an end, and I am returning to uni a much stronger engineer, with many lessons learnt and memories had. If there's one recurring joke I hear all the time as a student, it’s about how little we’re actually studying and how often we have holidays (re: a lot). This may not be the last you see of this summer intern…

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Until next time,

Jono

Jonathan Hills

Jonathan Hills