Words of Advice to Prospective Software Developer Interns

Many times as Software Developers, we can be so prideful of our abilities which leads to a lot of boasting about what we can do and build within a short time.

Recently, a developer asked if I knew of any organization that was planning to hire Software Developers for the summer. One of the main things that he highlighted to me was that the jobs that he has been presented with “aren’t paying him enough based on his knowledge and skills. Instantly I told him that he shouldn’t be worrying so much about actually being compensated a high salary. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be curious if you’re being paid or not, but don’t let it be the primary reason because you will miss on an opportunity to earn and gain more experience.

Personally, if you’re an intern, in most cases, you are approaching a company from the perspective not having your first degree, and that you’re there to gain valuable experience. One of the main goals of an internship should be to learn. This type of goal leads to you becoming more open to learning. The main point I am trying to illustrate is the amount of learning that happens after the perceived mastery. It isn’t that you aren’t competent in the area you’re pushing, but that there is so much to it.

When you have a realistic view of what it takes to master a subject, you won’t stop learning. And the hunger and passion for knowing more will always be rampant in your blood.

Surrounding yourself with Senior Engineers/Developers, like-minded and humble is one of the best ways to build your career in Software Development. When you share your experience and also bounce thoughts and ideas off others, you’re also able to learn from them, and even prevent a mistake that they have made in the past.

This touches another aspect of being humble; you must choose your mentors wisely. Some of the key qualities to look out for in a Dev mentor are:

  • Developers who care about you and helping you grow your wide range of skills
  • Developers who constructively challenge your instinct, such as:
    • Why are you making this decision?
    • What is the rationale behind doing it this way?

Instead of them just telling you what to do without an explanation.

  • The Engineer promotes independent decision making in the light of becoming one
  • And finally, the mentor pays keen attention to details and is willing to justify it with reasoning.

In an ever-changing field like Software Development, full mastery is impossible. New concepts, tools, technologies are introduced and added to the field regularly. So, it’s your job to stay up to date and always be a student, both accepting corrections and learning. You should note that this principle applies to all areas of life, not just specific to Software Development.

The more you try to be humble as a developer, the more open and welcoming our community will become. The better our community will become.”


Contributed by: Daval Gregory from Jamaica. Daval is a member of the CCST Discord group from the G5 Cyber Security Foundation Ltd. Learn more about CCST (Caribbean Cyber Support Team) by visiting caribbeancst.org. CCST is a collaborative group on the Discord platform for Caribbean people in IT, from beginners to experts.

Connect with him on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/daval-gregory-869b84172/

Disclaimer: All views expressed in this article are Daval’s personal views and do not represent the opinions of any entity.

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