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My First Internship Experience

Avatar photoGroundswell Team
On , In Culture

As my first software internship, Groundswell was my initial experience working as a developer, a chance to test the waters. The whole experience was great: I learned a lot and made some great friends along the way. While working at Groundswell, I received many opportunities for growth (both technically and non-technically) and a close community who was very helpful.

Finding Opportunities in Consulting

Groundswell is a consulting company: that means they work closely with clients on projects, which is unusual for developers. Typically, developers are more insulated from the client, with the majority of interactions going through team leads and project managers. Working in consulting allowed me to find my voice, listen attentively, and gain a better understanding of what was achievable. Working with people in diverse areas of software dev (from QA to DevOps, to project management), gave me more insight and awareness into the differing concerns of various stakeholders. 

Comfortable Culture

Teamwork and trust are two of Groundswell’s core values, and you can see this in day to day interactions. From my experience, most people would be willing to give you a moment of their time to help you resolve a problem. For example, I was comfortable reaching out to senior developers or experts in a given area to get their insights on any particularly tricky bugs or issues I encountered. Given that Groundswell is a smaller company, the leadership structure was very lean; senior management would sometimes reach out for a chat, which I found unique. From regular surveys and discussions, I genuinely felt heard even from more experienced developers and that my perspectives and values mattered.  

Three interns sit around a light coloured wood table each with a laptop in front of them. There are two plants on the table. From left to right is Bowen, Victor, and Andy. Bowen and Andy smile to themselves as they work on their laptops. Victor has a sip of his cider.

Room to Grow 

Groundswell has continuously provided me with growth opportunities. We have weekly developer huddles and lunch-and-learns where you have the chance to listen in on new insights, whether from the development or business side. For instance, my team also held supplementary code huddles weekly to go over best practices, and conduct regular code reviews to help newer members upskill. Groundswell recommends employees (including interns) continually seek opportunities to grow, such as gaining exposure to new technologies on projects. I regularly met with my team lead for individual growth and development meetings to set personal goals. One area that surprised me was that employees were encouraged to reserve a portion of their week for self-paced training that was not project related. For me, this was an opportunity to explore new technologies I was unfamiliar with, read books on best practices, and coding architecture.

Bottom line

I understand, from experience, that job search is quite intensive. Looking back on it, I would have chosen Groundswell without a doubt. If what we have to offer sounds enticing, feel free to reach out for more information.

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