On the 18th of September 2019, we put out a call for interns for our first internship. We asked for 3 candidates, we received 19 responses. We selected 6, by the end of the internship only 2 remained.

The internship ran from October 17th - December 8th 2019 and was entirely virtual (via Google Hangouts).

Participants were exposed to:

  1. Analyzing problems and designing solutions.
  2. Software Development (Business Applications).
  3. Software Development (Systems)
  4. Deploying and maintaining software applications.
  5. Documenting software systems.

Participants were also exposed to technologies such as Node.js platform, JavaScript, Typescript, CSS, GNU coreutils, GNU Make and the Quenk platform SDKs.

The internship was structured to be a mix of theory and hands-on engineering exposure in the form of a project.

What Was The Project?

Interns assisted in putting together the first iteration of a job board for software developers in the Caribbean region. The project is open source and code for the project can be found here.

There was not enough time to make the project stable enough for a public launch, but we recognize the need and value. Going forward, Quenk Technologies will continue to maintain the project so that it can help serve some of the needs of the local community.

The project itself is written in mostly Typescript utilizing various Quenk libraries and frameworks such as @quenk/tendril, @quenk/wml and
@quenk/noni.

The application is backed by a MongoDB database and is deployed using the dokku PaaS.

Now on to the most important part:

What Text Editor Did Participants Use?

Notepad++, Sublime and Visual Studio Code were the most familiar text editors with the remaining participants settling on the latter. VSC's clean interface and support for Typescript was a boon for beginners allowing development to flow with little distraction and configuration.

Unfortunately, as most of the work we do at Quenk is developed and deployed on Linux machines there was some difficulty getting build scripts to work on Windows. Luckily we were able to establish a workflow using Github, where the interns made pull requests and the Lead Engineer rebuilt the project.

In the future, we may look into WSL to improve the experience of Windows users but as always, we recommend developers just install Ubuntu or another Linux/Unix variant instead.

Who Were The Successful Interns?

We would like to express great gratitude to Omari Lawrence and Shemon Sylvester for successfully completing this program and getting the ball rolling on this project. Excellent job guys!

About Omari

Omari Lawrence is a Computer Science student with past exposure to Python, Java and video game development.
Of his experience he said:

During this internship I came to properly appreciate open source technologies, along with coming to a greater understanding
of what it takes to produce software for consumers.

For now Omari would like to complete his studies before venturing further into the world of software development full time.

About Shemon

Shemon expressed an interest in studying Electrical Engineering as he pursues a career path involving renewable energy. In the mean time he is learning Web development to improve his skill set.
Of his experience he said:

It was very informative.

Shemon also intends to focus on his studies but also intends to keep practicing the programming skills he learned.

What's Next?

We hope all interns maintain an active interest in software development and go on to build useful applications of their own someday. This internship has allowed us to better understand what the market is like locally for talent and where some of the gaps are between the academic and commercial side of things.

As mentioned before, this is our first internship and we plan to make it a regular feature. We encourage other local software development/engineering outfits to do the same if they are not already as it's an oppurtunity to mentor the next generation.

Thanks to all the applicants that took interest in the programme and we wish you a productive and fruitful 2020. If you were not successful don't be discouraged, practice writing software as often as you can and remember to read, read, read!

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Happy New Year Everyone!