Being an Intern is About Getting your Mind Blown Regularly
I think it would be a good idea to paint a brief picture of what the past 6-8 months have looked like for me, in order to provide a little bit more context for my expectations and experience of being an intern at Cheeky Monkey Media.
I began my internship at Cheeky Monkey at the end of a five-month coding Bootcamp, called Epicodus, based in Portland, OR. Before delving into the world of web development, the bulk of my experience was in customer service and outdoor conservation work.
Going into my adventure at Epicodus, I had little to no familiarity with coding, and I don’t think that my friends or family would single me out as the most technically savvy person of the bunch.
Despite my lack of knowledge, I was intrigued by web development and the opportunities it offers. So after a few online courses, I decided it was something I wanted to try out professionally.
Why Cheeky Monkey
Though being the ultra nerd that I am, I mentioned that if I could have free pick of all the spaceships in the known ‘verse, I would probably choose Serenity from the show Firefly.)
What to Expect Going into an Internship
It is rather hard to know what to expect going into a web development internship when the only other experience you’ve had is in a classroom environment with dozens of other students helping with troubleshooting and instructors to call on to lend a hand when the going gets real tough. All I wanted going into the internship was to be able to practice what I had learned at Epicodus in a real world environment, and to hopefully learn some new stuff in the process.
Did the Internship Deliver?
I would say that the internship definitely delivered!
I learned plenty of new things at Cheeky Monkey. To start, I became more familiar with Drupal, Pantheon, JIRA, Git and navigating working with a team remotely. The other intern Jared and I spent a decent chunk of time learning about behavior-driven development (BDD) using a testing framework called Behat with Drupal. I got to spend some time helping out with fixing some styling bugs on CMM’s shiny new Drupal 8 site, which was pretty neat not having much prior experience with Drupal 8. I also had the opportunity to work on real client websites, which was very exciting and at times very nerve wracking.
Sometimes not even Google can Save You
The only real frustration that I ran into during the five weeks was the adjustment to working remotely. As someone so new to this industry, it goes without saying that there are times when not even Google can save me.
I became sort of spoiled by the face-to-face help we received as students at Epicodus, and while Jared and I received plenty of help from the amazing developers at Cheeky Monkey, there were definitely some times when they had other obligations, and we were left to figure things out on our own.
Most of the time we were successful, but not without some serious head banging, increased caffeine, intake and pleading to the computer programming gods to bless us with better problem-solving skills.
Learning is Constant
Like everything else, working remotely has a bit of a learning curve, but I would like to think that I am getting better at it the more I am able to practice.
I think if there is one thing that continues to dawn on me on a weekly or even daily basis as I continue on this journey as a junior developer, is that learning is absolutely constant in this industry. My mind is blown on a regular basis, and I learn or expand my knowledge every single day. It certainly makes for exciting work and constantly forces me to better myself, which is a great way to spend my time day to day.
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