Orientation and First Weeks
At the time I started my co-op at Celayix, the company was preparing for a huge app release, and hence, my employer didn't have time for any pieces of training. Instead, he assigned one of the Senior Developers to be my mentor and I started coding right away. So, be prepared to figure a lot of problems out by yourself and ask a lot of questions! Google was my best friend at that time.
Day to Day
I started my day by checking my email, scrolling over the tickets that I was assigned to, and setting up the goals for the day. The position was fully remote, so during the day, I was either in a Zoom meeting, or in a process of developing a new feature, or fixing some system bugs. I also read a huge amount of documentation of the tools the company used and googled a lot, so be ready to absorb info like a sponge!
Learning and Adaptation
The most valuable thing you can get from the co-op is the knowledge that you won't be able to get anywhere but in the industry. For example, writing a clean code that follows all the development community's conventions are rarely taught at the school. However, it's a vital skill that is needed in the industry and that all professional developers should have.
The learning process in the industry also differs from the process in the school:
- You are learning by actually doing things
- Say you need to learn some tool that is needed for your work. Nobody is going to give you any lectures like in school. You'll have to learn most of the things by yourself
- Be ready to constantly get constructive criticism. It's totally fine that you don't know or failed something. You are a co-op, and you don't know a lot of things by definition.
Accomplishments and Challenges
At the beginning of my co-op, my goal was to get as many tickets as I can a get them done as quickly as possible, so I can show my manager that I'm a great intern. I rushed over the documentation, skipped some important sections, wrote bad code that "smelled" but worked. I wanted to do everything quickly, so I could get my next ticket, and although most of my initial implementations worked fine, I ignored the fact that an approach to the solution I chose was not the most efficient. This was a huge mistake that my manager did not like at all.
Don't rush and make sure you fully understand the requirements of the ticket and the application system you are working with. Remember that quality is far more important than quantity.
I think that Celayix Software is a great place to have your co-op. Everybody in the company is super helpful and kind, and you'll learn and get a lot of skills. After such an experience at Celayix, now getting back to school, I feel much more confident. I know what to expect after the graduation and I know which courses to take during remaining 2 years at school to succeed in the indusrty.