I have been working as a software development intern at Pythian for more than three months. As a second year student in electrical engineering, it is both unsurprising and somewhat expected that I would be working in the software industry during my first co-op term. I’ve heard complaints from aspiring electrical engineers that most of the available co-op positions are for software. This is especially true for first or second year students, because the knowledge base required for advanced electronics projects has not yet been attained.
I would discourage students from adhering to this viewpoint. Knowledge of programming and software development in the 21st century is invaluable to any kind of engineering. Furthermore, with the high level of involvement and learning involved in working as a software developer at Pythian, I am confident that someone with a thirst for knowledge would find this to be a worthwhile experience.
It began at the interview. As soon as I began talking to my current manager and the human resources representative, I could tell that the position was one I’d be very interested in. They both struck me as very kind, understanding, and most importantly, knowledgeable individuals. It was also very clear to me that the goal of the interview was to determine certain key traits, other than the necessary technical requirements. They were seeking someone who had a drive to participate and learn, as well as someone who was sociable, and who could fit with the team dynamic. Needless to say, after learning what kind of work I would be doing on the team and receiving the job offer, I quickly accepted the position.
After two weeks of orientation, I was immediately tasked with a very interesting project. The project involved creating a script to upgrade the database used by the core code base, which would eventually be used on the actual product that is “Adminiscope”. It was very fulfilling to know that my work, at the beginning of my work term, would be used on a production system to apply new features.
After this project, I was assigned more interesting projects, which required even more learning. At this point of my co-op term, I have touched almost all aspects of the Adminiscope software, and my abilities in software development have grown to a significant degree. It is very important to note, that learning all these new skills would have been much more difficult if not for the constant guidance of the friendly, knowledgeable, and experienced people I have had the pleasure to work with.
If what I have already stated is not enough to encourage you to work at Pythian, then their unique corporate culture should convince you. While working here, I never once felt that my work or input was less valuable then others just because I was a co-op student. Participation is actively encouraged. Learning more about the company as a whole is also supported through “BORG” meetings with various senior level staff. I have had a few conversions with the CEO himself, and have learned something of significance every time. It is also a very good feeling to be told by someone of such status in the company that the work you are doing is meaningful, appreciated, and most of all, why it’s important.
I have absolutely no regrets, and I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to work in such a stimulating environment. I can say without doubt that in my three and a half months at Pythian, I have learned more about programming and software development than I have in my entire academic career. It is truly a worthwhile learning experience for those seeking a challenge. I hope my story will encourage you to apply for Pythian’s internship program, and I wish you luck in getting the position.
Interested in working for Pythian? Check out our open positions.