Summer Internship - João Gonçalves

Every year I think that I should take advantage of some of the free time I have in the summer vacations. This is year it was no different so I made it my plan to develop some websites on my own. All I needed were some ideas. While doing that, it came to my attention that Whitesmith was recruiting interns for the summer vacations. It was perfect! If I could join their team I was going to develop new skills in my area of interest and I wouldn't have to think of something to do, they would just tell me what to do.

I didn't think twice. I filled out the form and a few days later they invited me over for an interview. After talking with two of Whitesmiths's members it was obvious that they had the same mentality I do, the same interests that I do, you name it. It was really nice. Some days later I was contacted again with the response I was looking for. They were interested in working with me. So the next day I made the trip to Coimbra, went to the office and met my internship mentors along with another intern who would work alongside me as a developer.

Our project seemed simple enough (or so you would think). We were going to develop a web based dashboard to track data. Firstly our main focus was to track Fitbit data and we would add on that as time went by. As I said the project didn't seem that complex, but after seeing everything that you had to put into it, our project became a little more daunting which was great!
How could it be any fun or teach you anything if it was easy from beginning to end? My greatest difficulty was probably working with Ember.js. I had done web programming before, but my knowledge of the field went as far as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, JQuery and a few libraries and right there I was put to the test with something I had never worked on before in my life. Again, it was pretty cool.
When you are working with some pressure on your shoulders it forces you to work harder (at least it does for me). Add that to the fact that my mentors were understanding enough and always ready to help me out and you get a pretty good learning environment which was always one of the attractions of working there.

All in all, I had a great experience. I was able to work alongside a real company and understand how a real company works which is something I always thought my degree was lacking. Although I worked mostly remote to avoid 80km trips to my hometown I still feel I got the entire experience of the company and I was always included in everything that was going on there, like Monthly Gatherings for instance. Whitesmith introduced to new frameworks and to new methods of work, and I was able to realize that they work. They work really well.
If anyone still has any doubts, I'll make it simple for you. I recommend these guys to anyone who wants to work in the area, you won't regret it. I know I would do it again in a heartbeat.

João Gonçalves

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