Intern Corner: Nathaniel settles into life at Nova

Tags: Intern, Nova, Intern Corner, software development

Every summer Nova takes on software development interns to share a little 'real world experience' with the next generation of software developers.  We're having a great time with the three that have joined us this year and they're doing some brilliant work.  Nathaniel Faries is one of the interns and here he shares his experience so far....

Blog by Nova Software Development Intern, Nathaniel Faries

When I started University in the fall of 2011, I had done very little research into how applicable or usable my course of study, software engineering, would be in Bermuda.  I knew there were IT jobs on the island of course, but I didn’t think there was much more than just IT departments in companies, which is a job I knew wasn’t for me.  Going into university I knew I wanted to be making programs, designing software, and getting into the nitty-gritty of software development.   I did not think I could find a company that did these things here in Bermuda.

But then I found out about Nova.  Working here has been an amazing experience thus far, providing much learning and experience in the software development field, especially in web development.  As a teen, I played around with HTML and JavaScript, though I didn’t make very much progress with either of them.  It gave me a very limited view into how web design worked, and to me it was a completely separate domain from building software.  This has been shown to be not the case, as during my time here with Nova I’ve been working solely on a website using C# and MVC, two things that I have never used before.  While it has been a rather steep learning curve and at times felt like being tossed into the deep end, the other interns and senior developers here have been very helpful if ever I had a problem.

With my work on this project, I was started with some simple bug-fixing so I could find my way around the program a little before actually trying to add anything to it; understanding what information was stored where and in what ways it could be reached and used to achieve different things, how the program was designed and laid out, and what functions were available in MVC and LINQ.  I found this to be a very helpful way to start work as it gave me practical, hands on programming experience (as opposed to watching tutorial videos, which are great, but don’t compare to doing the real thing in training value) while still being reasonably simple, allowing me to actually make progress and complete things.

Having now gained some experience with the program, I am currently working on more detailed work in the refactoring of a specific section of the website; basically, taking what is already implemented and polishing it up, adding a few new features, and fixing some minor bugs.  I’m excited to see what I else will learn and be able to do with this.

Overall, my experience here at Nova has been very positive, encouraging, and useful in learning about software development as a whole.  Not just the coding, nor just the design, but all aspects of it together.

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