POSTED ON 21 APR 2018
READING TIME: 4 MINUTES
Giving opportunities to young software developers is always an organisational challenge, and not every software company sees value in running an internship programme.
Experienced engineers are required to mentor interns and take good care of them, and these engineers need to build that into their work schedules, with the associated level of management support. It is a significant investment in time and and money, but we have found it to be both necessary and very rewarding.
All evidence points to the software industry growing significantly every year with demand outstripping supply of engineering talent. The danger is that young graduates are fast tracked into roles of responsibility without the appropriate support and training. So as an industry we are obliged to figure out the best way to deal with this challenge, and managing internship programmes with the correct discipline and quality is a great starting point to getting the right environments in place for young graduate engineers to flourish. It is a long term investment, but one that is definitely worth it.
Sonalake has a long tradition of providing opportunities to young engineers to gain their first work experience. Our graduate software developer programme has been widely recognised by industry and academia alike. Last year the programme was shortlisted in the ‘Excellence in Talent Development’ category at the Irish Software Association Awards, and was a winner at Tech Excellence 2017 awards, claiming the Professional Development award.
Gaining experience through practice is crucial. During our internship programme we always try to expose young developers to real-life projects as much as we can. Starting from aspects of working in a team and being a part of daily agile rituals, we give our interns real project-related coding tasks, but we do not leave them alone with their assignments.
A key principle for us is to facilitate our interns and graduates to become ‘Complete Engineers’ by showing them that technical proficiency and intellectual capacity alone do not result in advanced engineering results. We coach them to develop their working behaviours, emotional intelligence skills and appreciation for the business value of software output, ensuring early direct customer exposure as part of this journey.
The following is feedback from Mairead, a young engineer at Sonalake, in her own words:
I started at Sonalake as soon as I finished college. Early on I was assigned to a project that gave me access to technologies I didn’t have the opportunity to study in college. This was great exposure to the process behind taking a project from a concept to implementation, and really highlighted the importance of choosing the right technology in order to achieve the project goal.
As Sonalake is a software partnering company you’re role in the company is constantly evolving. You engage with the latest emerging technologies allowing you to discover which areas you have a real passion for. As a graduate this really appealed to me. Working with such varied clients is a great way to gain insight into how methodologies in project management and structure can vary so much between companies, and it allows you to become very adaptable in your working style.
As a Software Engineer you have the freedom to be involved in the whole development process, from requirements gathering to implementation to QA and acceptance. In this way the role can be very diverse.
Since that time Mairead has continued to progress quickly, making huge contributions to new product development projects and dealing directly with our customers. And this is common across all of our graduates.
At Sonalake we believe that internship programmes are beneficial for both sides. Young graduates get a chance to gain their first real work experience, and software companies have a great opportunity to nurture young talent and to provide more experienced members of our team with a chance to improve their mentoring skills.
If you agree and you are looking for an opportunity to get your first commercial experience as a developer, do not hesitate to apply to our Summer Internship or Graduate development programmes.
Oh.. and if you’re already an experienced developer, check out our Career page: https://sonalake.com/careers/