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An intern’s clash with software development

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As you might be aware, we’re always trying to evangelize software development. Luckily, we’re making strides with having more candidates for our work experience programme. This past month, it was Isak’s turn - a 3rd year Maths student at the prestigious Warwick University.Here’s what his thoughts were on his time spent with us:

The first time I met anyone from Black Pepper was at one of the careers fairs at Warwick University. Mark and Rhys were standing in their booth, complete with matching polos rocking the Black Pepper logo. Since they were the only local company around, they were probably one of the smaller companies there, I thought. While talking to Mark, he mentioned the Agile approach they were using. Agile is a reaction to the more traditional Waterfall approach. While Waterfall works linearly - the client comes to you with a request, your company carries out that request and delivers it as it is done - Agile takes a radically different approach, working incrementally, showing the intermediate product to the client and incorporating any new ideas or critique. I found this really interesting. The week after I started crafting my cover letter.

During my one-month internship at Black Pepper, I have gotten to know the culture around here fairly well. People here are very open, something that I have appreciated a lot as an intern. You are made to feel part of the team and everyone talked to me about anything, even though there seemed to be a tendency for topics to drift towards cycling. It's probably the unofficial sport around here, and if I'd have stayed longer I would probably have gotten sucked in too.

Eventually I got involved with some of the projects around. For one of them I had to teach myself HTML/ CSS and Bootstrap. HTML is the way to make websites come alive by telling the screen how to position different elements such as texts or pictures. Bootstrap is a framework for HTML made for rapid web development. Besides this, I also got to take part in the company's sales process, setting up meetings and doing market research.

Looking back at everything, I can safely say that I have learned a lot about many different things. Even though I might consider myself more of a technical person rather than a sales one, it has been important for me to see how all the parts of the company fit together. In order for the software developers to do a good job, the sales team has to make sure they understand the needs of the client and get an exchange of ideas going. By making wireframes for websites I have increased my knowledge in how they function. With this, I have a basic grasp of the most popular languages of the web such as JavaScript and how the web is built on a larger scale, something that is getting more and more important to know with the advancement of new smart devices.

I was hoping this internship would help me get a better understanding of the software development market and get me started with coding. And it has. Not only did I get to enjoy spending time at Black Pepper, but I also learned quite a bit. And who knows, maybe I’ll be back soon :)

If you're interested in our work experience programme, give us a shout.