I can already tell that being an intern is both eye-opening and rewarding in many different ways. I would like to recall my experiences, and the adventure that has been my on-boarding, as well as taking a look at what the future holds for me with this reflection.
My first week at Hook42 has flown by, and a roller coaster of introductions, learning, and troubleshooting every conceivable Linux and Windows issue that exists were all thrown into the mix. To preface this, my name is Will, and I am a rising senior at Juniata College in Central Pennsylvania where I am majoring in Information Technology. I come with a strong background in Computer Science, however none of that experience had yet extended to Linux, which has now become my primary Operating System at Hook 42.
Getting Things Started
The process of familiarizing myself with Linux, in this case Ubuntu, has been a bit of a trial-by-fire. After wrecking the grub bootloader when trying to piggyback off of Windows’ bootloader I became a lot more cautious of the power of terminal. I set off again, after reinstalling Windows and Ubuntu, still eager to learn but wary of breaking things. Due to my first experience I was constantly asking questions and seeking confirmation before proceeding for fear of having to start from scratch once again.
The members of the Hook 42 team have been nothing but supportive to me during this learning process. I already feel as though I have exceeded the average person’s level of patience for questions, but the experience so far is quite the contrary. Someone is always available to debug with me. Countless times already, my team members patiently walked me through the steps and helped me with troubleshooting. In many cases linking guides they found particularly helpful was beneficial. The best part, though, was that they never attempted to rush me.
There was an importance on encouraging me to understand the processes we were working through instead of blindly inputting commands. I’ve also had ample time to take notes that I can reference later should I or another future intern need to repeat any of the tasks. The manner in which people have on boarded me thus far has been not only inviting, but educational and informative. What could have been a drawn out process of hitting wall after wall was a vital learning experience, as well as a great opportunity to connect with the team members at Hook 42.
Finding the Right Opportunity
Being asked what I want to get out of this internship experience was a pleasant addition to joining Hook 42. I was expecting to jump into a fury of needs from the team, but what I found was a balance between company goals and making sure I can get what I need out of this experience as well.
Going further than that, I have been encouraged to learn beyond my primary job duties. The job market is increasingly emphasizing the need for well-developed soft skills, and Hook 42 is helping me understand exactly what that means in the “real world.” Soft skills play a big role in effective team collaboration. The importance of strong communication skills, organization, and an emphasis on teamwork are great supplementary places to grow as a professional. It is important not to undervalue these skills, especially when working in a remote capacity as I am now. The key to success lies within the soft skills.
While all of this is relatively new to me, something that I admire and want to support is the sense of community in Drupal. While I was going through the process of creating a local Drupal site, I was impressed with the amount of documentation and support available to those who were just getting started. This environment has been slowly cultivated by such a large group of people over an enormous geographic region. It's amazing to get an inside look at how it all works. With a strong community, success will follow.
Since starting at Hook 42, one of my primary tasks has been going through and reviewing patches. This process helps maintainers implement fixes to various problems on a project, as well as provide support to those who write the patches. As I continue to learn, I hope to begin pushing patches myself to expand my contribution to the Drupal community. Our community developer, Alona, has been an invaluable resource throughout this time as many of her efforts have been working to better the Drupal community. With her help, I hope that during my time at Hook 42 I am able to carry on that community focused objective and make a difference where I can.
What The Future Holds
I am grateful to those at Hook 42 for providing me this opportunity to learn and grow on my career path. The welcoming and supportive environment I have slowly come to know over this past week is extremely motivating. Thank you to those who went out of their way to help me get set up and acclimated.
Going forward, I hope to connect with others such as myself to share experiences and insights from my internship as well as to learn from theirs. The momentum is strongly in my favor here, for providing an exceptional growth opportunity for my technical career. Ultimately I’m glad to be part of the Hook 42 team and to be able to contribute my efforts to the Drupal community.