Vancouver’s tech industry is booming. Many local companies are repeatedly coming out on top of Canadian business rankings - some even say that Vancouver could be on its way to becoming Silicon Valley North!
Many students are breaking into this industry by taking internships, particularly in development. Here at MediaValet, we are proud to continually host driven and inspiring interns and help them get started in the workforce and build useful skills.
When their internship comes to an end, we always ask our interns what it’s like to work in development at MediaValet. In this post, we compiled some of our favourite quotes from past interns and developed the top 5 traits of a killer intern at MediaValet.
1. Flexible to Changes
The development team has a very clear vision of where the product is going, but the path there is never a straight one. There are various curves, pivots and detours that happen along the way, as priorities change and the industry develops. Successful development interns are able to quickly adapt to these changes and confidently take on new responsibilities as needed.
Chavon maximized the value of her time at MediaValet by working on both the front-end and back-end of our solution:
“I was in the back-end team for my first four months at MediaValet. I first started with fixing bugs related to media processing. For example, a specific type of image with color space in CMYK wasn’t able to render to the proper color when uploaded. I got to learn about the tools we used for rendering images and alter commands to process the image so that it renders correctly. I also spent some time researching how to improve the quality and efficiency of renditions for the back-end.
Next, I switched to the front-end team where I started with very little knowledge of the technologies and the code structure. Through fixing some bugs I gained knowledge on the technologies we use and the front-end code structure. I worked on the Keywords 2.0 feature and the full screen for my first month in front-end. These features were already implemented and mainly needed small adjustments to perform properly.”
2. Seeks Creative Solutions to Problems
Being a successful developer often means being able to find creative solutions to complex problems when conditions are not optimal. MediaValet interns need to have a creative mind to help them find solutions when it seems like all hope is lost.
Here’s how Chris applied this tenant:
“I was a front-end web developer, so I worked on building and maintaining features for MediaValet. Fixing bugs was a great way for me to learn how things were done at MediaValet. I joined at a time when a lot of code had already been written. Learning how everything worked was the toughest challenge for me.
Clients also often requested custom features, so I definitely had opportunities to contribute something new. The people at MediaValet were very supportive. This was my first job in web development, and I was encouraged to ask questions and find creative solutions to problems. The mentorship was great and made it so that I could start contributing within the first few days. I like the idea that what I did at MediaValet will impact thousands of people.”
Chavon also had the opportunity to creatively solve a problem for an existing customer:
“I started designing a new feature for a large retailer, adding a grid overlay on the full-screen view of images so that users could mention a specific region of the image in the comments. I began with researching ways I could achieve the grid display, getting the comment section onto the full-screen view, and thinking through different workflows for the feature. Once the workflow was designed, I created a PowerPoint for the customer to review. After the workflow was approved, I started to implement the feature.”
3. Persistent in the Face of Difficulty
Starting up in the development world is no easy task, but when things get tough, MediaValet interns believe that persistence in the face of adversity will prevail.
For Moony, persistence ended up being a virtue:
“I had no experience in building production software so everything is new to me. I struggled a lot in the beginning when I started working here but once I got the hang of it, it became easier.”
The same went for Jocelyn too:
“One of my biggest challenges was understanding how all the different software components interact with each other and finding out about all the complexities of Azure cloud service.”
4. Loves to Learn
While we have goals and deadlines to meet, at MediaValet we also want to ensure that all employees (interns or full-time) have the opportunity to grow. An ideal development intern demonstrates a lifelong commitment to learning and building skills that will help them in the present as well as in the future as their careers continue on.
Jocyeln is a great example that we were lucky to have on our team:
“One of my favourite parts about my internship was working with a great team and having the opportunity to learn something new every week. It was also extremely satisfying when I could fix a bug and watch my ticket queue go down (temporarily). Some of the most valuable things I learned were a new programming language (C#), how to work with Azure APIs and Azure Automation, and Agile software development. And I am proud to say that my intern project became a standalone tool that automates a tedious process.”
5. Matches the Company Culture
While having technical expertise is a virtue, fitting into our company culture is essential. After all, everyone in the office spends 40+ hours with each other every week. That’s why we hire based on personality, as much as we do on skill level.
Successful MediaValet interns have hobbies & interests and fit in well with the other people that work in the office.
Chavon, for example, has a background in biology:
And then there’s Chris, who switched to software after a career in business. Chris enjoyed his internship with MediaValet so much that he decided to stay on as a full-time Web Developer. He is now part of our growing team that is paving the way for cloud-based digital asset management technology!
Moony is the developer in the room who is always talking about food:
And Jocelyn taught us all about an interesting hobby we hadn’t really thought about before (paired with an interesting fruit aversion):
In addition to their qualifications and performance, their personalities and prior backgrounds made these individuals fit wonderfully within our culture of family and fun at MediaValet.
Never heard of digital asset management, but want to learn more before applying for an internship? Have a look at our post “What is Digital Asset Management.” If you are interested in applying for a software development internship at MediaValet, don’t be shy and get in touch!