Dear Future Intern: A Letter to Me 10 Weeks Ago

Hans Bas was a 2019 Engineering Summer Intern at TpT, embedded on our Digital/Mobile team. He's currently a Senior at University of Buffalo studying Computer Science. Each intern wrote a letter to their past self at the end of the program, and we're excited to share Hans' letter below!

Dear Hans,

Hey! It’s you, at your last week at TpT! Don’t worry, you had a great time over the next 10 weeks! You won a hackathon, went to a Yankees game, and you’re way better at Git now than when you started.

Do you remember showing up way too early on your first day? You were scared the LIRR wasn’t going to work so you got to the city at 8:00 even though Jacqueline said to show up at 9:45. You sat in Barnes & Noble in Union Square trying to calm yourself down and trying to convince yourself that they didn’t make a mistake and that TpT did want to hire you as an intern.

You walked into the BuzzFeed office lobby and saw Jenna, who you’d met six months earlier when you toured the offices for the first time during winter break. And you instantly felt relief that you knew someone on your first day, just like seeing a familiar face in a classroom at the start of a new school year.

You met your mentor, who you’ll really get along with – talking about dogs, learning together, pairing on coding, and going on 1-1s outside the office (lots of bubble tea). You’ll have your first Joomla where you’re scared to go up as the company presents you – but 10 weeks later, you’ll voluntarily walk up with your fellow interns during the last Joomla to say thank you to your mentors and Jacqueline.

Are there things you would have done differently? A few. And here they are:

  1. Fail faster. Don’t be scared to make mistakes (as long as they don’t break production haha) – make these mistakes, learn what went wrong, and do things differently next time.

  2. Communicate with people! When you merge a PR, tell your team! Ping people on Slack if you need help! Everyone in this office is willing to help you with things, and if there’s something they don’t know, they will usually find time to pair with you to figure things out together.

  3. Don’t reinvent the wheel. There are many examples of already working services, Jenkins jobs, and unit tests – use them as a template and build upon them. They’re there because they work! Don’t try to create something completely new.

  4. Master your dev infrastructure and dev tools. Not knowing how to git rebase really set you back a bit. So master the tools you need to be the best developer you can be!

  5. Don’t eat out every day – it eats your wallet.

Last but not least, don’t be afraid to get to know people and participate – 10 weeks sounds long but trust me, it goes by extremely fast! People at TpT are nicer than you think and they are some of the most interesting and hard-working people that you’ll ever meet! Sit and talk to them at lunch, put your phone down in the elevator and ask them about their weekend, and say hi to them when you pass by in the hallway.

Have fun, rebase, and enjoy the next 10 weeks!

Sincerely, Hans

P.S. Did you know that front-end unit tests exist? You do now!

Stay tuned for more details on our Summer 2020 Internship Program!