Mentorship and working with the next generation of developers is important to the Planet Argon team. This year, we're making a bigger push to have a more interactive, meaningful internship program. We're kicking off this program with a spring partnership with Epicodus, a Pacific Northwest-based vocational school for aspiring programmers. For five weeks, we have two interns working in-house, James Padilla and Tracie Weitzman. Here's a quick reflection of Tracie's first week at Planet Argon.
After spending five months in coding school at Epicodus, it was great to get hands-on agency coding experience at Planet Argon. Taking the Ruby and Rails track at Epicodus gave me a breadth of knowledge and I was eager to continue learning about backend development and see bigger applications implemented with these technologies.
John and Corinne set expectations during the interview process for the kinds of projects interns would work on, and during my first week I think James and I hit the sweet spot of getting comfortable and being challenged.
After getting to know the team during Monday stand up and setting up our computers, we worked on minor tickets for a news application. Coding projects ranged from checking story mailer notifications, adding database seeds, adding development tests for API calls, updating the sitemap, refactoring code, and building out features. All of the projects built on skills we’d learned in Epicodus, but presented new kinds of challenges that we hadn’t seen before, especially with a larger scale application.
After spending some time getting to know the application features in the beginning of the week, it was great to pair program with John to learn a few more problem solving tips and tackle a gif resizing bug. New tools I’m excited to add to my tool belt include the “git blame” command for showing what revision and which author last edited a file, and using the gem Rubocop which helps identify code styling inconsistencies.
We also gained more experience working on the different versions of the application between seeing development, staging, and production (compared to mostly working on development stages and deploying to Heroku in school). For one of the tickets we worked on, we needed to ask some clarifying questions about issues the client was seeing, and it was satisfying to directly interact with them to figure out a solution.
So far, it’s definitely been a great learning experience being at Planet Argon with getting to try things out and using the team as a resource.