Working during the summer? That is an idea that most of us students would immediately throw out the window. And indeed, I would agree if I had not done the Development Summer Internship at TOPdesk! Not only have I never imagined how much fun one can have at the workplace, but also, I would have never believed that such a brief period, 2 months, could teach me so much about programming and working in a team. And I have only TOPdesk to thank for this! If you think this is too good to be true, let me convince you otherwise.
You have probably heard it a ton of times by now: “2020 has been an unforgettable year”. However, the summer of 2020 is truly unforgettable for us, mostly due to the TOPdesk Summer Internship. Together with a bunch of talented students from different backgrounds we started our journey with similar goals in mind; to improve our software development skills, make some money and of course, enjoy the summer holidays!Read more
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.
Developing an AI prototype
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.Read more
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.Read more
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.
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.
Download the TOPdesk_DIY_fold-flower_2017
Company culture and office atmosphere
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.
“Please tell me you’re seeing this too.” Read all about this year’s Hackathon.
On 13 October, our developers across Europe teamed up for the Hackathon, a day to mix up the teams, take a break from regular development tasks and focus on original new ideas.
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.