My Softwire Internship – Florence
21 September 2011, by Florence Driscoll
I am currently two months into a ten week summer internship with Softwire and am fairly sure that spending your summer holidays doing a full time job is not meant to be this fun. It was clear that this wasn’t going to be your average summer job from the beginning: the towering pick and mix display that dominated Softwire’s stall at the careers fair was one clue, as were the potatoes they gave to students to encourage them to apply!
I applied to Softwire because I was looking for a job which used the logical skills which I had been developing in my maths degree. I had assumed that my complete lack of previous experience would prevent me from finding a job in software development but Softwire did not require any prior knowledge, just an interest in computing and an aptitude for problem solving. Before I arrived, Softwire supported me in developing a basic knowledge of HTML and C#, but on arriving here I realised that there was a lot more to learn!
Before arriving at Softwire I was concerned that my inexperience compared to Softwire’s full time developers would mean that I was relegated to making tea and photocopying. I couldn’t have been more wrong. At Softwire you’re thrown in at the deep end, and while there is a huge amount of support, with everyone in the office happy to help at all times, this is not an internship for people who want a lazy summer! Learning on the job has meant that my skills have developed faster than I thought possible and I believe that the past eight weeks have taught me more than I would have learnt in years at many other companies.
Having never worked in an office before, I wasn’t really sure what to expect of working life. However, this definitely wasn’t it! There’s no other way to put it, Softwire is just a ridiculously fun place to work. The office is home to a pool table, table tennis and a fully equipped games room and requests for players frequently go round the office when someone wants a break from work. There are also regular morale events, from picnics to pub trips. Of course, that isn’t to say that people here spend all their time playing games. One thing that’s obvious when you come to Softwire is how much people love their jobs, and having worked here for a few months, it’s very clear why they do.
I have found that every new task I’ve taken on has made me think in new and interesting ways to come up with creative solutions for different problems. In addition I have been encouraged to keep learning, by reading outside the scope of my project and following up things that have particularly interested me. I will come away from Softwire having developed a product of which I’m truly proud and with a whole set of useful skills on the side.
I would strongly encourage anyone interested in software development to apply to Softwire; I’ve had a fantastic experience here. Software development seems to be a career which allows you to have the best of both worlds, combining the problem solving side of academia with the satisfaction of being able to finish a project and have a real product to supply to a customer. This internship has given me nothing but a positive impression of both the software industry in general and Softwire in particular. I can’t recommend it highly enough to anyone who is looking to work in this field.