Our series on the 4PSA Cool Summer Internship continues. Last week, David told us about his first task as an intern at 4PSA – building a synchronized file folder for Hubgets.
Today, you’ll find out how Andrei, intern in the Backend team, made his first contribution to Hubgets by adding a contact import function to the app.
In my case, my first task started as soon as I set foot in 4PSA’s headquarters and met my fellow interns and mentors as well as everyone else in the 4PSA team. I was excited and, to be honest, a bit nervous. Shortly after that, I realized I had no reason because everyone’s been great. People here are not only passionate professionals working together on awesome products like Hubgets; they are also relaxed and empathic teammates, ready to share their experience and knowledge.
Going back to my first day, I want to tell you a bit about my first encounter with the Cloud. As soon as the meet & greet everyone part was done, I took a sit at my desk, getting ready to start. I was surprised to see I had two desktops, but no central unit. I spent five minutes looking for the power button and in the end asked a colleague where my PC was. When she told me that my station is a box, I realized that everything I see and touch here is Cloud. How cool is that!?! 😀 I’m really impressed with the virtualization level of this place.
On my third day, I was already on a mission for Hubgets: building a feature that allows the user to import his/her Google contacts. I have to admit my first task came sooner than expected. I was somewhat hung up on the idea that I’d have more days for training and studying the technology and the products. But I’m thinking it must be the theoretical approach in the university, where you don’t get to actually do things that often.
So there I was, an intern with a big responsibility on my hands. I won’t describe the excitement and anxiety that came along 🙂 I’ll just tell you that I went through all the instructions and immediately felt that I knew exactly what I had to do. Well, not so fast! 😛 After discussing my solution with my mentors, Mihaela and Iulian, I realized that the key is not so much about knowing what you have to do, but more about how to actually do it. My mentors explained things once again and it all became clearer. I planned the working flow, pressed Start progress in JIRA and began studying Google’s documentation on their API services. Implementing the new feature required that I learned OAuth2, including the tricky aspects about their permissions system.
After I became more familiar with the Google API, I started studying the Contacts API. Then I documented the development process on our WIKI platform and waited for the review. Feedback came fast and I started to code. If you ask me, that was when the real challenge began. The project was complex because of its unfamiliar architecture and I didn’t know where to put my code. Luckily, Iulian was there to help again and I was able to integrate my new classes and test them. I can’t tell you how happy I was when I managed to push my code on the working branch! OK, very, very happy 🙂
Thanks to this first task, I’ve learned a lot on Google API and web services, and even more important, I’ve made the first steps towards understanding how an amazing product like Hubgets actually works in the background. It’s hard to describe how you feel when what you do takes life in a product, but let me tell you – it feels great!