My internship as a software engineer at Zühlke
Tamara Burri started out as an intern at Zühlke. In April this year she got a permanent position working as a Professional Software Engineer. In this article she explains why she can't imagine a better introduction to the world of work.
While I was studying for my Bachelor's degree in computer science, I decided to do an internship as a software engineer at Zühlke. Following my successful application and an intensive onboarding week at Zühlke in Schlieren, I was 'good to go' for my first day of work in the Berne office. The best part: I was allowed to work in an actual project from day one and so to dive right into the world of software development.
At the beginning of the internship I wrote tests for an existing iOS app. Through this task I was able to get to know the programming language Swift, which was new to me. I was able to get a lot of experience in testing. There was only one drawback: my project team was based in Zurich, but I was on my own in Berne. This less-than-ideal situation was quickly remedied, and I was given the opportunity to work from Schlieren, Zurich for the next two months of my internship.
Experiencing agile software development in practice
I was integrated into a small Zühlke team and got to know a new side of everyday project life in software development. I quickly learned that there is more to a normal working day than just programming. A working day in the project is much more varied. Because the teams in software development are agile teams, there were frequent planning and refinement meetings in which the tasks for the next weeks or sprints were planned. In addition, there was a 'daily' (meeting), where everyone shared their next tasks with the team. Suddenly my calendar was fuller by quite a few meetings. The discussions attended by the customer were particularly exciting and notable. I was involved in them, too, from the very beginning and was able to get experience in a lot of new areas.
I was able to take on personal responsibility at a very early stage, and in the final days of my internship I even integrated a feature of the mobile application on my own. It was a great and rewarding feeling to be allowed to present this feature to the customer myself. During my whole internship I felt like a full member of the team.
An internship as a springboard
Zühlke has a lot to offer over and above the everyday project work in software development. There are team outings and once a month the "Berner Bier" in the Berne office. News is exchanged during exciting talks and refreshments. In Zurich, there is also an employee day, which likewise happens once a month. At this event, the day is filled with fascinating presentations on various topics related to Zühlke. You can make valuable contacts during the subsequent refreshments.
As an intern at Zühlke, you need to be independent and open-minded, as this allows you to plan and organise your internship in a flexible manner. My colleagues and managers were always open to my requests. At Zühlke: what you want to learn will be offered to you wherever possible. True to the motto "learning on the job", I was able to gain a lot of new experience as a software engineer, and I even got a permanent position after the internship. Since April of this year I have been working as a Professional Software Engineer, and this summer I will complete my Bachelor's degree in Computer Science. I can't imagine a better introduction to the world of work.