I'm Jack and I've just completed a summer internship in the dev team within CANDDi. I've learnt more lessons than you could shake a stick at in my three months here. Being a web developer requires a lot of skills, and surprisingly, knowing how to code doesn't count as much as you'd think.
I’m Jack and I’ve just completed a summer internship in the dev team within CANDDi. I’ve learnt more lessons than you could shake a stick at in my three months here. Being a web developer requires a lot of skills, and surprisingly, knowing how to code doesn’t count as much as you’d think.
The Culture of CANDDi
With the boss wizzing past on a scooter, it’s easy to forget you’re in an office. CANNDi is a fun company that feels more like a strange family than an office. Every employee strives to be the best they can be, but they have fun while they do it. While it definitely wasn’t easy, I have learnt valuable lessons and would recommend this experience to anybody who wishes to pursue it!
My Time In The Dev Team
I worked as a member of the development team. Along with Matty, Tom, Logan, Enzo, and Anosh, we worked on new features to improve CANDDi for our clients.
We had a fortnightly planning meeting where each team member’s tasks were assessed and broken down. This meeting is crucial. If the meeting went well, your next two weeks were gonna be a piece of cake. But if the planning hadn’t gone well, expect pain and unforeseen circumstances. The team is a friendly bunch though, and if a dev is thoroughly stuck with a problem, teammates offer advice. It can really help to have a fresh pair of eyes glance over a sticky situation.
Most of my time at CANDDi was spent building the Tracking Check and the Signature Generator from the ground up. Working on my own project gave me a well-rounded experience of front-end and back-end web development. Some of the smaller jobs included UX improvements, debugging, and adding features requests to canddi.link, canddi.download, and the Admin dashboard.
What did I learn at CANDDi?
Problem-solving At the start of the 10 weeks I found encountering problems very frustrating. I would get ‘tunnel vision’ and try to fix the problem where I was at. I learnt to take a step back, and look at the problem with a wider field of view. By looking at the whole problem, and not being afraid to discard work, better solutions can be found.
Planning Ahead The key to completing difficult work is to break the work down into steps. I never fully appreciated this until I saw how powerful planning was. Building the Tracking Check took longer than expected, as I had to learn about Backbone.js, Node.js, AWS, Serverless, and about debugging various problems. However, with the second project, Tom and I planned the steps necessary to complete each job. This helped me to build this project in a fraction of the time it took to build the first project.
Communication I found it difficult to talk sometimes when it came to tech. I tend to use a lot of pronouns when I talk too. Miscommunication caused me a lot of frustration towards the start of my time in the office. But in time I learnt to be clearer when I spoke, how writing notes can save your butt, and to not be embarrased when you didn’t know something. There’s nothing wrong with asking what a term means or saying you don’t understand something. With good communication you will help yourself, and others around you, to learn and progress faster.
No matter where you work, you get paid for getting the job done, not for working hard or simply showing up. You could write down every word that’s said in a meeting and still fail to plan for the next two weeks. If you want to be the best, you’ll have to balance theory and research with getting stuck in and just getting the job done. Also, not being afraid to put in extra time can do wonders when you’re learning company operations or a new framework.
So what’s next? Hackathons. Anyone can learn the syntax of a programming langauge and print “Hello World!”. But not everybody plans ahead, works well in a team, or communicates well. These are the skills of a good developer. And these are the traits I want to continue building on in the upcoming months. Thanks again for a fantastic summer, guys!