Locastic, backend, Apr 3, 20235 min read

From student to employee: Turn your internship into a job

Locastic takes pride in actively contributing to the local community, and one such initiative is offering internships to outstanding students from Split University. In this blog post, we’ll explore the ins and outs of these internships, detailing the roles and responsibilities of student interns, and how their two-month experience can transcend university learning to secure an official position at Locastic potentially.

A few days into 2023, four students came to work in the backend and frontend development department for two months. In this case, Ante and Karlo, backend developers, got the opportunity to sign a contract and become part of Locastic. 

This is what their journey looked like: 

I found out about Locastic student internship through an ad at college. After I applied, I was invited to an interview where we discussed my past experience, the technology and tools I used in college, and my college experience. A few days after I received an email, I was accepted for an Internship. The prior knowledge I came to Locastic with was not great, but I knew the basics that helped me solve some of the problems I encountered. – Ante 

Karlo’s journey at Locastic began a little differently. An internship was not his first goal, but it turned out to be even better than he had planned.

My journey to this internship started differently from other participants, I didn’t apply through the usual channels in college programs. However, I applied for a junior position in a company, which led to interview with Paula and Petar, future mentors. During it, I was offered to join the internship program they were starting. That was a very good offer because I felt stuck in learning and practicing programming by myself at home. My thoughts at that point were that I would have a great benefit of learning from experienced people and have some general feedback on tasks. – Karlo

The internship started with a meeting where mentors Paula and Petar (both Senior backend developers) introduced students to the internship plan and the entire course, from the materials they would learn from to the projects they would work on. Also, they have presented their goals for the internship. 

Following the initial orientation, the interns began configuring their development environment with essential tools, such as Docker, Git, PhpStorm, the PHP programming language, and the Symfony framework—all of which would be utilized throughout their internship experience.

First part 

The internship started with learning object-oriented programming, the basics of PHP programming language, Symfony framework basics, and API platform with video materials from SymfonyCast and official documentation of PHP Symfony and API platform. 

Each SymfonyCast tutorial was coded alongside video tutorials. After the video, there were small tasks to solve that was explained during the tutorial. That was very useful because you could apply the knowledge you gained by watching it and testing it yourself. The most important thing is that you need to write code in parallel with the video because that way, you learn faster and understand what you are writing, while just watching the video is not enough.

Additionally, if we had some questions or got stuck on some parts, Paula and Petar were there to help us and explain things. – Ante

Second part 

The internship continued with a small project based on CRUD (create, read, update, delete) acronym. The idea of the project was to build a small full-stack web application where logged-in users could see lists of tasks they created, in which they could add, delete, or update tasks. Also, he could do all that operations on lists of tasks. 

On that project, Ante and Karlo applied knowledge gained during the first part of the internship, like the security of web applications, entities, implementing the twig engine in templates events, manipulating databases, debugging applications, etc. 

For the front end of this application, they used bootstrap 5. The goal was to learn just the basic behavior of the application front, how It works, and how to add or display something. 

After a full-stack-based project, they started working on a project based on the backend area. It was an internal company project based on the REST API principle, and the project’s base was the API platform framework.

Durning the project, we had complete freedom to write our code, but in regular meetings with mentors, we discussed the code each of us had written, and we had to explain why we implemented it that way. After that mentor would confirm our solution or suggest another solution as a better or simpler way to go. For us, the most important part of the entire internship was the support of the excellent mentors. Petar and Paula, would do their best to explain everything in depth. Additionally, whenever we had questions or got stuck on something, they would explain it in the best possible way and give us directions on how to solve the problems. We could clearly see how much company and mentors dedicated time to create a such good internship program. – Karlo 

The locastic team always ensures the internship is a great and useful experience. Also, it’s important that the atmosphere in the entire office is always cheerful no matter what and that everyone is friendly and approachable. We were happy when Ante and Karlo said the Locastic team accomplished that. 

They both stood out from the other students throughout the internship. In short, they had all you can look for in an intern: fast learners, curious, and responsible with their tasks. They were not just following the materials mentors prepared for them but also asked many questions and wanted to know more about everything. As a result, their technical knowledge improved a lot. That is why they have the opportunity to sign a contract and become part of Locastic. Now they can apply what they learned to real projects and continue to build their programming skills. 

To conclude, we asked Ante and Karlo for some final thoughts about the internship:

I only learned the basics at university. And that’s it. In Locastic, I learned a lot more, from simple to advanced things that I never even heard of in college, including theory and practice. I only developed in one direction and focused only on that. My impression is that college is just an introduction to programming, and the internship I did at Locastic is a representation of what the real world of programming looks like. – Ante

Experience from this internship was great benefit, I gained so much knowledge about whole process while developing web applications. The best part is that we learned about some advanced topics that are not covered with tutorials or lessons on college, and practical experience is something that you can’t learn on college lessons. – Karlo

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