My Software Development Internship Experience at New Verve
As part of our long-standing relationship with the University of Glasgow Internship Hub, Jamie Fox joined us Summer 2022 as an Intern Developer on our Products team. He spent some time talking with us about his internship experience at New Verve.
Why did you apply for this internship?
The internship first caught my eye while searching for opportunities on the internship hub offered by the University of Glasgow. Having worked for small companies in the past, the tight-knit and inclusive culture at New Verve appealed to me. Plus, the opportunity to gain valuable skills and interact closely with experienced developers was too good to pass up. Additionally, I particularly enjoyed a course about web application development at university and was extremely interested in developing these applications for a real product in the working world.
Run us through your typical day as an intern developer at New Verve…
A scrum stand-up with the products team would usually start my typical day at New Verve. This is where we’d catch up, let each other know the progress on our tasks and the work left to do, along with sharing any issues preventing progress. These stand-ups are an extremely helpful opportunity to check in with more experienced team members and ensure that I’m on the right track.
After our stand-up, the team will often spend an hour or two programming as a group. This involves talking each other through our thoughts while we implement features and sometimes problem-solving tricky bugs. I’ve found group programming to be especially valuable - watching how an experienced developer approaches a given problem has helped me improve my own coding practices throughout my time at New Verve. Similarly, I found that the dedicated environment for collaboration is a great place to ask in-depth questions that require more discussion to fully answer.
Outside of team meetings, most of my time is spent individually researching and implementing features to be included in our flagship app - Crumbs: CRM for Jira. These could include front-end features like designing a component on a web page or a back-end feature such as a database to store customer information. This involves a good bit of discovery. To begin with, I would learn about the underlying platforms such as AWS DynamoDB and read the documentation. Then I would enter an implementation phase where I would write the logic and any components needed. Once any required tests have been written and passed, I passed my work on to my teammates in a pull request where they can suggest any improvements or changes needed. Receiving feedback in this way has helped improve my code quality and my understanding of how a web application should be put together.
What was your experience of the work culture at New Verve?
During my time at New Verve, I’ve been extremely impressed at the effort taken to keep the company social and reduce the effects that remote working has had on the office environment. Twice a week we have optional company socials during the final hour of our day, and every fortnight we have a scheduled ‘donut’ call where we chat for an hour with a randomly assigned team member. These are great ways to sponsor an inclusive environment where everybody gets along and encourages connecting with teammates that you don’t interact with during a regular work day. I’ve especially enjoyed our Wednesday socials where we play an online game against each other or in teams, which adds a bit of friendly banter at the end of the day.
I was also included in the summer social during my time as an intern. The team activity was hiking in the Campsie’s - it was great meeting the team in person rather than through an online call, and the activity was voted for by the team to make sure we did something everyone was happy with. It was a great way to get to know everyone on a more casual level and made me feel part of the team.
Tell us about two of your best highlights from working in your role…
My favourite part of this internship has definitely been getting to know the rest of the team. Victor and Abri have been extremely open to any questions and willing to jump on a call at a moment’s notice. This massively increased my confidence and improved my coding and problem-solving skills. Additionally, the learning culture at new verve is very well developed, with a dedicated enablement day and an open view on progression and development. This has been extremely helpful in advancing my skills and putting the theory I learned at University to practical use.
Another highlight of my time at New Verve has been individually researching, implementing and testing new features for Crumbs: CRM for Jira. I have always enjoyed programming, and being able to use these skills to bring real-world value has been especially rewarding. For example, one of my biggest achievements was creating a webpage to generate, store and manage API tokens to be used in our upcoming REST API. This will allow customers to securely retrieve and control the information that they have stored in our product. The project involved significant research into the requirements of a security-sensitive feature along with the best practices to use in the design of a RESTful API. Taking this project from conception to completion was extremely rewarding.
How do you feel about a career in product development after this internship?
Before working at New Verve, I had spent far more time learning about the theoretical aspects of Computing Science rather than the practical side. This internship taught me a huge amount about the operation of a tech company in the real world, and the challenges that this brings such as scalability, cost and security. It was initially very challenging dealing with new tools and familiarising myself with a large codebase with many interlinking features. However, I’ve fortunately had an extremely helpful team and been able to learn a great deal about the processes and requirements of professional software development. Due to this internship, I can now confidently research, implement and test user-ready features in this environment using industry-standard frameworks and methods.
If you could sum up your time at New Verve in one sentence, what would it be?
I’ve had a great time working on interesting projects and meeting fantastic people!
We also spoke to Joy Dakers, our summer Marketing Intern, and you can read about her Internship Experience at New Verve as well.