February 25, 2015

2014 Internship Synopsis

This is a repost of a blog post published by Lookthink. View the original

Friday marked the last day of Sarah’s summer internship with us and we were oh so sad to see her go! We were undoubtedly spoiled by her enthusiasm and willingness to take coding projects by the horns and we will certainly miss her can-do attitude. We wish her the best of luck in her remaining semesters at RIT. Check out her parting words below and follow her at @Sarah_federman.

Dear Lookthink,

Oh, hello! I guess it’s the end of the summer, isn’t it? I figured Lookthink deserved a shoutout for providing an amazing internship experience. Thanks, Lookthink! You rock! (Do I get a hoodie now?)

Being a part of the Lookthink team is an experience in and of itself. I’ve never met another group of people that consistently beat me to the sarcastic one-liners. LT cultivates a productive, fun, witty, and creative culture in the office, which is imparted in everything we do. See how I said “we?” They’re super inclusive, too.

But sadly, it’s time to get rid of the “we,” and go back to “they.” Here are some closing thoughts and things I’ve learned:

1. Being the only intern in a small office, I had a lot of responsibility when working on projects. No coffee runs…unless Nate wanted his pink sugar. I learned a lot about time management and when to ask for help. Being self-taught with most of my programming, I’m used to turning to Google for answers and sifting through document after document. It took me a little while to realize I had an entire office full of knowledgable resources with valuable experience. It wasn’t “giving up,” it was asking for help. A team member with years of experience is infinitely more valuable than a vague stack overflow answer.

2. In my interview, Joe asked me, “Do you think you have much more to learn about CSS?” And I came up with some answer about how CSS is constantly changing and needing to learn more and more as it evolves. And that’s true, but I really had no idea about how many little things I didn’t actually know about CSS. These things became wildly apparent to me as I took on bigger projects. I think I’ve come along way.

I read something recently about learning web development. It said something like: “It’s very easy to start learning front-end web development. But it’s very difficult to get good at it.” This rings so true to me now. I may have a solid footing in the basics, but I have a ways to go. I’ve learned a lot working here, but I’ve realized the dangers of complacency. There is always something new to learn, even if it’s something as small as understanding how browsers process :nth-child selectors (Thanks for that one, Greg!).

3. A long, long time ago, I did a very small amount of freelance. I did whatever the clients asked, because they were the ones paying. But from watching Molly and Rachael, I’ve learned that part of what clients are paying for is your expertise. The best clients are the ones that realize this and work with us to compromise. Blindly doing whatever a client asks is almost dishonest. You have a responsibility to work with them to create a better solution. Again, it’s a balance. The best work involves plenty of compromises.

4. Learning on the job is really amazing experience. I had never touched PHP or WordPress before this summer, and I had never put what I knew about sass and sass frameworks into practice. It’s super rewarding to hit an obstacle, overcome it (with help, sometimes), and see the results in a tangible finished project.

This is getting too long. But there’s plenty more, I promise. Side notes:

Random things I will definitely miss about Lookthink:
– The weekly meeting intro questions. You guys have such…interesting…answers.
– Bethany’s swearing. At everything.
– Joe’s check-ins (especially over lunch)
– Molly and Rachael squealing about cute baby things.
– That one time the massage therapist started talking about rainbows. Or something.
– Trying to get answers from Greg. Out-snarked every time.
– Nate’s tacos. Yas.
– Dropping absolutely everything to watch the The World Cup.
– Erik talking about the World Cup.
– Randomly running into Chris on the commute. Chris realizing that I’m next to him, 5 minutes later.
– Jihye’s shouting at the top of her lungs. Every day. (…not really.)
– Goodshuffle jokes.
– Vim jokes.
– Working on three screens. How will I ever go back?!
– Hip Hop Fridays.

…etc. etc. etc.

Aaaand things I won’t miss:
– Fireworks.
– IE8 Compatibility.
– Temporarily Broken A/C.
– Missing ALL the movie references because I’m a baby.

…That is all.

So I just wanted to say thanks again for a great summer. I learned lots. I will try my hardest to take it with me wherever I end up next.

Sarah Federman

P.S. Do I get a hoodie now?

UPDATE: I totally got my hoodie on my last day!!