How do I get the most out of my co-op job?
May 23, 2012 1:24 PM Subscribe
Programmers and other IT folks: what advice can you give a programmer co-op student to help her get the most out of this summer job experience?
posted by kitcat to work & money (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'm almost a month into a summer co-op doing some programming (along with two other students) at a large company. What I want most out of this is to learn how to be a more skillful and knowledgeable programmer. I've learned a few things so far, but not nearly as much as I had hoped. Our team lead is too busy to give us much guidance. To give you an idea of what we are doing, we were given a .NET application to re-target to 4.0 and refactor (largely, do whatever ReSharper suggests). While we're done with that one, I'm still not sure I understand what the program actually does and how it does it. We're about to do the same with another application - happily, there is more documentation for it. Things seem disorganized. The company does not have coding standards set up. For this next project, we apparently won't be able to test our code with any data. I feel uncomfortable with the lack of structure. Maybe this is typical, though.
Luckily, we have great access to a lot of employees who are happy and enthusiastic about helping us. I just find that I don't know what to ask them. Also, sometimes I feel a little afraid to reveal the extent of my ignorance. I don't know how to make the best of all of this and to get the most out of such a great opportunity. I find that I roam Google pretty aimlessly trying to learn about technologies or coding techniques that I'm encountering, but things aren't really fitting together for me.
I apologize that this is a pretty rambling question. What I'm looking for is advice, from new or seasoned programmers/IT people. How do I really take the reigns here and walk out this at the end of the summer feeling learned and accomplished?