During the free summer months, a lot of students take up a summer job. Foregoing the sun-filled beaches to make some extra money during their holidays. However, what if you could earn some money and gain valuable experience as a developer? (And still go to the beach during the best internship outing!)
Well, if this sounds good already, read on to learn about our experience as Software Engineering Interns at the TOPdesk branch in Tilburg.
Who are we?
We are Team Spaghet, the team that has been working on improving the release notes website this summer. We are three students, all with a background in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence. Our goals during this project were to deliver a great product, have a taste of the life of software developers and learn as much as we can along the way.
TL;DR: If you want to brush up on your programming skills, make some nice money and work in an environment with clever, friendly people: go do the Development Summer Internship!!
Artificial intelligence is the buzzword of the decade, no question about it. While it used to be very difficult to develop an AI product from scratch (unless you were an experienced researcher), now the entry barrier is so low that even students can implement something meaningful. This was the premise of this year’s TOPdesk Development Summer Internship: get a handful of young people with affinity for programming and let them develop a technical product from scratch. The only common denominator for this year’s group was that everyone was highly motivated and a student with at least some experience with programming; besides this, the group was a nice blend of different nationalities, personalities and skillsets.
Imagine, you’re sitting behind your desk, exhausted after building a difficult piece of code. You really need some time to relax. Luckily, TOPdesk has specific game rooms for this purpose, so you ask some colleagues and head to the room. Arriving there you notice that it is occupied, and the people inside mention that they just started their game. It would’ve been nice to know that before your walk. Unfortunately, you didn’t, so even more frustrated you try to get back to work.
As Summer Interns, this is the situation we were trying to solve during this summer. Only six weeks ago, we arrived fresh from our universities to get some working experience. Most of our team members only coded in their computer science courses. Now, we’re almost done with creating a fully working website.
While reading the ISTQB handbook (not something I advise you to do) you will sometimes come across stories of testers having difficulty talking to the people who do the coding and how to deal with that. Having to tell the coder that what they created contains bugs or is missing a feature somehow is possibly problematic and how to tell them is supposed to be a skill testers should have or develop.
What makes TOPdesk TOPdesk? When you ask around, it all comes back to our corporate culture. TOPdesk gives its employees freedom to explore and experiment, coupled with the responsibility to use this wisely. Just one example of this is our International Hackathons, where self-selecting teams work on a project of choice. At the latest International Hackathon, TOPdesk colleagues from all over Europe gathered together in Kaiserslautern for three days of innovation and fun.
Hackathons – An Agile Development Microcosm
International Hackathons at TOPdesk are a microcosm for the way that TOPdesk tackles the challenges of Agile Development. Nobody is going to breathe down your neck and tell you how to do your work. No, sir.
Instead, we give individuals the space to experiment. Teams look critically at their own processes, and select those methods that lead to the best results. You see this in the variety of tools and techniques in use at our (currently) sixteen Scrum teams. I want to share a few of the tools my International Hackathon team selected to make our project a success. Come, take a peek into the world of Agile Development at TOPdesk.
At the core of the TOPdesk culture are freedom and responsibility.
At TOPdesk security is an important topic. It always has been, but in the last year the way we approach security is changing fast. We think we’re on the right track, and today we’re announcing the next step to help developers enjoy secure development.
Today is the very first Valentine’s Day since we launched our Techblog. We would like to take the opportunity to thank you, our readers, with a puzzle! Take a small break from coding to complete the following analogue challenge:
Some TOPdesk developers master this skill already. As a result, you will often find our workspaces and huddle rooms cheerfully decorated with colorful flowers and swans.
An attractive environment helps team productivity, even managers know that by now. Everybody enjoys working in a nice office atmosphere. A variety of things can help to reach this goal. For example personally customizable workplaces or aesthetically pleasing office design which usually includes colorful furnishing and decoration. Often, simply providing all the necessary tools to accomplish the job in a good manner can also be enough to achieve this.
Of course, this is only a fraction of what leads to a good work and office atmosphere. Besides the mentioned tangible options there are also social characteristics.
Posted by Nicanor Gutierrez Requejo on August 2, 2016
Almost a year ago, and after six years working in a research center, I decided to start the search for a new job. I had lived all my life in a small region of Spain and thought that the time had come to “see the world”. So I began to look for something that could fulfill my desire and change my life. It took time, a lot of telephone and Skype talks, rejections from my side and being turned down. At one point I even started doubting whether I was making the right decision at all.
The chosen one
Things changed when I saw a really interesting company claiming to be almost exactly what I was looking for: TOPdesk. The first thing that really caught my attention was the job offer. It was original and creative, with a hint of humor. It came from a company that really seemed to consider their developers more than just a bunch of people you hire from a recruiter to replace the ones that just left. That got me interested right away! But as you probably know, there are a lot of attractive offers which turn out to be the exactly the opposite. Luckily for me, the opportunity just kept getting more and more interesting.