An internship is one of the most important opportunities a student can have during their education. Immersing yourself in the real-world applications of your field is often an immensely rewarding, challenging, and formative experience. The networking and potential career opportunities are just the icing on the cake. At Arcitecta we pride ourselves on the internship experience we deliver and know that we’re giving the next generation of computer scientists the skills and experience they need to thrive going forward.
A Standard Day.
Two of our interns, Jun Yen and Fidelio, are nearing the end of their time here with us. Both are from Monash University, studying degrees in computer science. With their duties being in software development – something I don’t know a whole lot about – I asked them what a typical day looks like for them. Jun Yen replied, ‘a regular day for me involves a daily stand up meeting where I talk about what I’m working on, studying research papers, drafting technical specifications, discussing problems and their solutions with Jason, the CTO, and writing code of course!’ Our practical, hands-on approach, where our interns check in with the dev team daily, sets us apart from other companies where interns get lost in the pack. By checking in with our junior devs consistently, we ensure a positive trajectory for their growth. While having feedback sessions is important to any young professional's growth, we believe it’s equally important to deliver a range of development opportunities.
Both interns reacted positively to different approaches and experiences. For Fidelio, seeing our approach to writing software was illuminating, ‘the most valuable thing I learned during my internship at Arcitecta is their methodology, which is a first principles methodology. First principles states that it is better to understand the fundamental level of the technology or concept, instead of using some predefined implementations online. I used that methodology to create some astounding solutions.’ Fidelio continued, ‘by sticking to that mindset, we are avoiding those biases and limitations that have been pre-determined and we could always improve our own workings, which could lead to creating better solutions.’
For Jun Yen mentoring played a big role in his development. When asked what part of Arcitecta’s internship process helped him develop the most he responded ‘it would have to be the whiteboard sessions I have with Jason. Working on a whiteboard and bouncing ideas off of each other helped me see the manner in which problems can be picked apart and solved.’ Jason, despite being CTO, always finds time for mentoring our interns, ensuring they’re approaching problems in new and diverse ways, while also imparting his extensive knowledge in computer science.
“Being able to deliver such a marked improvement to a core component of the company has got to be my proudest accomplishment here.”
It's all well and good to hear about what they liked, but what did they work on? Both Fidelio and Jun Yen spent a large amount of time on implementing an improved compressed index. This usually takes shape in a sequence compression challenge. Fidelio attests that ‘the problem statement for that challenge was deviously simple, but in reality, it’s a truly complex problem.’ The code they were writing was integral to the product, as this index empowers XODB®, our very own house-built proprietary database that sits at the core of Mediaflux®. For context of its importance, Jun Yen says ‘XODB® is how we are able to uniquely scale with our customers’ needs to store and index billions and trillions of assets.’ Through guidance, research, and discussion, both our interns were given the foundation they needed to work on projects vital to Arcitecta’s business. However, building a solution was a challenge all in itself.
Prior to starting this Jun Yen stated he had ‘close to zero knowledge of database internals or compression algorithms.’ Both were pushed outside of their comfort zones, with Fidelio needing to develop a personal approach, ‘it is a huge-scale problem and the most challenging part of it is there are no clear or predefined steps on how to approach and solve it. I needed to determine the steps and approach on my own to be able to progress.’ However, they persevered and delivered a solution. Here’s how Jun Yen found success ‘I managed by immersing myself in the problem I was assigned, studying research papers, reading books, and having technical discussions with my peers and Jason. Through all this, I have managed to really deepen my knowledge of the stack.’ But it’s not enough to create a solution for a challenge, a big part of feeling like your job matters is seeing it work in the real-world.
Both our interns were eager to see how their solution performed. Fidelio said, ‘integrating my solution using Arcitecta Software to see how my data structure implementation works in a real-world environment was really exciting for me.’ Their code is still implemented in our database today, helping us achieve optimal information density, and by extension, helping our customers all over the world. ‘Being able to deliver such a marked improvement to a core component of the company has got to be my proudest accomplishment here,’ said Jun Yen.
Why Choose Arcitecta?
Working at Arcitecta is a great experience for any young professional, but maybe this is best summed up by our intern’s responses to whether or not they would recommend an Arcitecta internship. ‘Absolutely! If you are looking to push yourself to grow your technical capabilities and study to solve large, challenging problems, Arcitecta would be the right place for you to try,’ Jun Yen replied. Fidelio added, ‘Yes, I would highly recommend an Arcitecta internship to my peers. I gained a lot of knowledge from the internship, and I have improved my hard and soft skills as an individual while contributing to their real-world projects.’ For a rewarding, hands on internship experience, Arcitecta delivers.
If you’re interested in an Arcitecta internship, visit: https://www.arcitecta.com/careers/internship/.