Starting out as a developer – A chat with Lorena

5 min read
Article by Erika Kramarik
Full-Stack Marketer

We’re in the middle of accepting applicants for the Spring Internship program of 2022, so it was a good time to take a moment to look beyond the call for applicants, as friendly as it is, or the #TappSquad mood, and zoom in a bit to see what it means to start out your career at Tapptitude. 

For this, meet Lorena, an iOS Developer who started out last year as an intern herself. You might have seen her featured before on our social media, as she’s been bringing us the best quiches and tarts to share. When she’s not writing code or learning for her classes, she’s using wool and thread to make really neat handmade accessories.

Tell us about yourself.

I’m a third-year student at the Technical University in Cluj, specializing in computers and informatics. I grew up here in Cluj-Napoca, started going to the music high school, but ended up switching to an informatics high school. 

It’s very hard to make a career out of music, and I discovered I like the logic of math and programming and I wanted to give it a go. I still play music on the side, as a passion, and lately, I’ve been trying out felting with wool, and that’s been fun. 

When did you realise you’d like to code as a job?

I was in Programming classes in high school and realised I really liked to figure out how to get to a certain result and the puzzle of getting there. That’s how I ended up pursuing this. 

I started applying for internships last year, while we were doing remote schooling in university because I was feeling like I wasn’t doing much and I wanted to get out of my comfort zone. I applied for several internships but had my first interview with Tapptitude. That kind of shaped my expectations for every interview that followed.

The interview here was friendly, it included HR and technical questions. I felt confident as I was going through the process. In other interviews, the mood wasn’t always as light, and I’d get tests or had to wait long for a response. It was unexpectedly fast to get the call that I was accepted, but I was really happy about it.

What was your experience in the internship like?

I started out as an iOS Developer in the Internship program, but I hadn’t really interacted with a Macbook before. I really appreciated the whole setup of the internship, where we started out small and ended up building an app from scratch. We went from small coding exercises to understanding the UI components, to building full features for an entire app.

Our mentor, Efraim, created a comfortable mood from the very beginning. He said there were no dumb questions, and that we should definitely ask about anything we don’t understand. We helped each other out a lot, reviewing each other’s code, or teasing each other when our code wouldn’t work. 

Because we built an app from start to finish to work with an e-scooter, many of the things I’ve learnt there are still things I’m using in the project I’m working on right now. Even if I didn’t do the best work on the first try, the fact that I’m doing similar work now means I get to do better. And I have to admit, it was a really good feeling to try to unlock the scooter with an app I made and see it work.  

I got offered to stay as an iOS Developer full-time after the program wrapped up, and I started working after the summer exams wrapped up. 

That sounds exciting. What’s it like working on a live product?

I started working on Wellory very early on, and that’s still the project that I’m working on. It helped me a lot that I have Efraim, my mentor from the internship, on this team. The biggest change was getting onboarded on a product that was already running and had a lot of documentation and existing code. The first month, I mostly worked on smaller things and got to know the whole project. You get a new appreciation for big projects when you realise that something you do in one place, no matter how small, if you’re not careful, will impact the whole product.

One thing I didn’t really expect was the dynamics of the whole team when we’re planning. I started coding because I liked the logic of it, but before you get to that part, there are a lot of conversations happening, and considerations to take into account until you find a way forward that makes sense for everyone. 

Advice for someone starting out their developer career with an internship?

Internships should be fun, and not scary at all. I didn’t know what to expect when I started here at Tapptitude, but everyone was friendly and helpful towards me, and I felt at home from the first day. You don’t have to be worried about not having answers, because the whole point of this is to learn on the job. You’ll definitely feel at times like you’re not doing a lot, but that’s ok! Everything you do, even the small stuff, matters and it builds you up as a developer. So keep at it.

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Our call for applicants for the Paid Spring Internship Program is open until February 13th. We’ve got 7 positions to fill, for iOS Developer and Fullstack Developer. If you’d love to learn on the job in a friendly environment, with a chance to get a job offer at the end, apply here. We can’t wait to have you onboard!

 

Erika Kramarik Full-Stack Marketer

Erika is a full-stack marketer passionate about the intersection between technology and social impact. She mixes research with content design and a human touch to help people and startups succeed in delivering value through their work. When not writing or talking to people, you’ll find her reading or quoting Hamilton for any life situation.