Syntax; An Intern’s Point of View

As I’m writing this, I’m at the end of my 10-week long internship here at Doberman. I feel a bit sentimental about leaving soon and to be honest, I don’t think I could have asked for a better place to spend my time at.

So far, these weeks have gone by extremely fast and I’ve learnt a lot. But at the same time it feels like I got here yesterday. I walked into the office on my first day, super-nervous, curious and impressed by the lovely building.

I was nervous because I wasn’t sure what they expected from me as an intern, and curious because I wanted to know everything about this company. Every part of it seemed amazing in my eyes. Happy and kind of overwhelmed about everything, I got a Macbook in my hands.

Macs. Macs everywhere.

So let me begin

First, I got introduced to the workflow. I come from a background of sales and retail, so this was a whole new experience to me and it was a lot to comprehend. Something I would have wished for was a more thorough introduction of the way they worked here, because of my lack of experience within this line of business.

It took some time to adapt, but I believe I managed quite well anyhow. I’m glad I got the early opportunity to participate in different kinds of project meetings. I couldn’t contribute as much as I wanted to, but being there to listen and observe how things work for real meant a lot to me.

Syntax is the name of the small but highly productive team of developers I got to join. This friendly group of Design Technologists, as they’re called, took me in without any difficulty and showed me what an incredible team they are.

FDTs. Friendly Design Technologists.

I noticed not only how supportive they are of one another but also how well the communication within the group is working. Everyone always gets their opinion and suggestions spoken and most importantly, they listen to each other. What made me more comfortable about them was the fact that I knew they were used to take in interns.

Also I have to mention my awesome mentor, Jacob, who’s had a big influence on me. Almost every day he has encouraged me in some way and I believe that is an important part of not only an internship but essentially at the workplace, to boost and support each other. Which is something they seem to be really good at here. Jacob has taught and inspired me a lot, not only by being the talented developer he is but also by wise words and a great ability to teach.

Hack Days & Exploration Days

Something I really appreciated was the importance of trying out new technologies and methods. Going to events, creating own events, taking time once a week to talk about trending topics, which isn’t a possibility that you could take for granted at all workplaces. I got the feeling that there was always something to be excited about.

I had the pleasure to attend two of their monthly hack days, each interesting in their own way. Internet of Things was the main theme of them both and I absolutely enjoy this trendy topic. It’s an exponentially growing market, both cool and innovative.

The first hack day was an event hosted by another company. Several interesting people gave talks and later there was a workshop where everyone got to choose what they wanted to try out from a selection of the hardware earlier presented among with other things. I had fun trying to build a paiting-robot, while the rest of Syntax tried out the new Telia M2M Box.

The second and the last hack day was an in-house event. Some chose to work with Iotivity and Intel Edison, which felt a bit complicated for me, so I got my hands on an Arduino. A couple of designers joined us too, wanting to learn something new. With a bit of help from one of them who had more experience with Arduinos, it got way more fun. We wanted to make it measure liquid capacity, but we were missing some parts needed. Further on, we came up with a different solution, which at least proved the concept. Overall, It was a good day and I’d definitely like to try out more hardware.

Cozy!

I also got the opportunity to join Doberman at their internal conference, called “exploration days”. It’s something they do about three times a year at different places around the world. The location this time was at Siggesta Gård, outside of Stockholm. There was a lot of space, delicious food and a nice rustic-feeling. The exploration days are not like any typical conference you would think of. It’s more of a way for people to be inspired, share ideas and innovate.

We were given pretty much free rein to come up with a “progressive” idea with some sort of output. The level of ambition was high, loads of ideas and creativity was flowing from every corner. My team wanted to create a way for people at the Stockholm and the NYC offices to be aware of each other without the need of an active action.

By using Philips Hue lightbulbs and working with the API provided we connected the bulbs to a laptop and made them change both color and brightness depending on the dominant color in front of a web camera, and the sound level picked up by a microphone.

At the end of the conference there was a workshop for everyone to demonstrate their work. I believe we did very well with our little project and I was really impressed by other peoples work too. I feel grateful about them bringing me and that I got to be a part of this.

Three Philips Hue bulbs.

Adiós, Goodbye, Farewell & Thank You

Everyone has been so incredibly nice and welcoming to me, but the thing that amazes me the most is how creative and brilliant they are. With some mixed feelings about my performance the first days I felt a bit blue, but a friend of mine gave me the suggestion to write a diary about my time here. So I did, every day I wrote what I accomplished, new stuff that was introduced to me and how I was feeling that particular day.

Looking back at that diary, I feel astonished about how much I’ve learnt in this short amount of time. It became a proof to me on how much I actually achieved and I will probably keep up with the diary-thing in my future career too.

To sum this up, I would like to say that I still think Doberman is as amazing as when I first walked in, no doubt. It has been such a great and valuable experience to me. If you’re a social and creative web developer student I would definitely recommend you doing your internship here. I promise that you would have a great time and you would be given all the opportunities to learn whatever you want. And at last: Syntax is a truly remarkable team.