11. April, 2019

Full Throttle Intern

By Benjamin Treadwell

Interning at any company can sound like a dauting thing. But going out there, trying it first hand, can prove to be some of the most fun one could had ever dreamt of.

Welcome to the company

Oh boy - being the first and only multimedia design student interning a Prolike, I discovered the vast differences between front-end developers and back-end developers. With the knowledge I gained, I’m wholly convinced that there’s no way a fullstack developer can master every single little thing there is to know about making websites - it’s just not possible!


Maybe let me roll back the time a little…


I started my 4th semesters internship in January of last year. And during that time, I’ve been introduced to a fair few new technologies, languages and programmes. And let me tell you something; coming from the background of a multimedia design student - to a software oriented place like this - I had my hands full for the first month or so, just trying to wrap my head around everything at once.


But it was nonetheless something I was prepared for, before starting out. I think my skillset as a multimedia design student contributed strongly towards me landing my internship in the first place. With the capabilities I had aquired over the course of my education, I would naturally slot into the company, not as someone who was supposed to be left alone with responsibility for all of the companys visual identity, but I as somone who could help with some pointers where needed.

Starting out

The whole basis for my internship at my time at Prolike, was to help redesign their previous website. Joining me was another intern who came from a not to different background as mine. Together we spent the first week or two getting the lowdown on how exactly we were to go about accomplishing this task, with the companys workflow and identity intact.


One of the first things I was charged with joining in on, on the basis of my skillset, was something I had tried a few times before; helping to shape visual elements of a website before production, by creating fully fledged mockups in Adobe XD.


During this process, I absorbed one piece of advice in particular, that has stuck by me ever since. When designing websites for a customer, a friend, or anyone besides yourself, proof of perception is everything. The ability to learn and understand exactly what your customer wants before hurling hours into their project, can really save yourself from that next briefing with your client where they looks oh so disappointed, because expectations doesn’t match reality.


This advice would further down the line would prove to be quite valuable.

Racking up the responsibility

As time progressed, the website started to come together quite nicely. Around the big release day of the site, my fellow intern and I, started ever so slowly to latch onto other projects, where all the knowledge we had gained so far, came in handy.


Coinciding with my internship, I was joined by two software development interns, who reached out to me a few times for help with the design of their project. As time progressed, I increasingly became part of their project, where the development process wasn’t too unlike what I had experienced with the Prolike website. On my part that meant, everytime they wanted to implement something into their project, I had to design it, convince them of it, and then code it. Eat. Sleep. Repeat. And I loved it!


Meanwhile, the boss of the business darted around, finding us more and more customers to get involved with. And I have to say, some of the projects he found, sounded amazing! A lot of the work I’d do for all of these clients would mainly be visually of course. But particularly the latest one he found sounded awesome. It was basically a project that would allow everyone at Prolike to contribute with their skill sets, making it a real company project!


At this point, it was safe to say that we all had our hands full. I had landed myself an intership at a place where no one and nothing stood still. This was it. This was what I had signed up for, when I first chose this road of education. The real deal baby!

Slowly winding down

I was relishing my surroundings every single day. To me, I had been assigned the perfect role of being the front-end fireman who came to the rescue when someone had a CSS fire to put out, or when someone needed a mockup for their projects. This was everything I had hoped for - and more - when starting out at Prolike.


As I was having my most fun, school reminded me, it was all an illusion. I was time to come home. Home to assignments, homework and early mornings. The duration of my internship was only so long, and it was time for me to focus on a pesky little intern exam.


Luckily for me, I was offered a chance to write my final assignment, by continuing my work at the company. Before ending my internship, we had already planned ahead for the future, and started to look into possible customers I could intertwine into my final assignment, before becoming a graduate multimedia designer.

What was all the fuss about?

I’m not quite sure about everything that happened, but I can tell you that over the course of my internship, I learned so much, evolved a lot as a developer, and was affirmed that my choice of education indeed was the right one for me!


I was lucky enough to be awarded with a student job afterwards, and the effort I put into my intern examn landed me with a big fat B+! Without going totally overboard, I must admit, that this whole internship thing has genuinely blown away all expectations I could’ve had from the get go.


But getting back to my initial point. I’ve learned so much during my time here. And to my understanding, I’ve only learned the very basics in order to be able to take part of the companys pipeline. I’ve certainly achieved what I set out to, by helping with creating visual identities. And I’m still certain, that being a fullstack developer that masters everything is impossible.


And that’s also okay. To me, that just means that I want to become as good as a front-end developer that I can, which for now is enough for me to master.