Learning to Build Real-World Technical Solutions: My Experience as a Ghyston Intern by Reece Coombes

Over the last 8 weeks, we have had a group of interns working closely with the team here at Ghyston. Before they left us, we asked a couple of them how they had found the experience. Reece Coombes reflects on his time with us – read on to find out more.

Ghyston
Ghyston

A free BBQ, followed by Ghyston-funded pints at the local, is not a bad first day on the job! Especially when it’s followed by a boat trip, several pub trips and another BBQ, all with more Ghyston-funded pints and many great laughs included. 

But all of that, though representative of how welcoming Ghyston has been, is just the cherry on the cake. The best aspects of my experience as an intern at Ghyston this summer are the technical/professional skills I’ve picked up, and the brilliant people who’ve been supporting me. 

Everybody at Ghyston has been incredibly friendly and helpful whenever I’ve needed anything or had any questions. Everyone’s always up for a chat over lunch (and often a game of pool in the chillout room). At the weekly ‘Tea & Cake’ meetings, so many lovely people from across the company have found the time to talk me through their projects, plans and experiences at Ghyston. 

My Line Manager - Andrew, Project Manager - Sam, and Technical Lead - Liam, have all been massively supportive & welcoming, but have also called me out on my mistakes and helped me learn and improve incredibly quickly. They have all committed an awful lot of time and energy to help us get the most out of our internships. 

Our Projects 
During our first two weeks, we were introduced to highly skilled developers, project managers and other professionals, all training us in their areas of expertise. Around those sessions, we were assigned various coding challenges – and I’m pleased to say that my ‘Rock-Paper-Scissors-Dynamite-Water Balloon’ bot was the champion in that challenge!

This was followed by a two-week React/C# .NET project in pairs, which allowed us to put all those skills we’d learned to good use. This task was great fun and introduced me to many of the kinds of challenges that appear when this type of project starts growing larger.

For the final four weeks, we moved onto a project for a real client, building a system to be used by teachers to store information about their students, and how well they are engaging with university outreach programs. Working in a much larger team, to build a far more complex project than we had done before, we had to really think through our design decisions, carefully break up the work and precisely plan out communication between various sections of the codebase. Though often very challenging, this taught me so much about what a real project is like, and what kinds of problems you encounter when your code must integrate into a much larger system.

What Next?

Going into the internship, I was very much of the view that I didn’t really enjoy design/front-end work, but something that really surprised me is how much I enjoyed that type of programming. With many decisions that can impact users and the system very significantly, often despite the decisions being over tiny changes, this kind of work becomes challenging, but fascinating, very quickly. 

I’d known for some time before coming to Ghyston that I was heading in the direction of being a Software Developer, but my eight weeks here have only reaffirmed that. The work has been fascinating, and with every day I’ve found myself solving a new kind of problem and using new technology. 

My internship at Ghyston has been a truly incredible experience and has given me a glimpse of the dynamic and fascinating work I’ll hopefully be doing full-time after graduating next year!

Ghyston
Ghyston

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