No matter how challenging and demanding college is (especially from a perspective of a student), unfortunately it wasn't designed to prepare anyone for a professional career. You could write a chunk of ugly, non-readable code, and still get good grades— as long as the code worked. This isn't helpful when it comes to starting a career or landing a job.
Lucky for us, Infobip's Developer Campus helped improve our code-writing skills a lot and helped us become much better developers. The whole team of seasoned software engineers were there to provide guidance and— after a couple of weeks of intense work and devotion—we learned how to get things done like real developers.
Software Engineering 102
We stepped into the Campus classroom as students with strong desire to learn and no real experience and emerged as good candidates for the jobs we have today. We didn't learn just about programming, we also learned to use tools that every developer should know. Some of the tools we learned in college, some of them we scratched the surface, and others we didn't even know existed until attending Developer Campus.
For someone who is an experienced software engineer this may sound silly, but the most important thing we learned about is Git. Git is a basic tool, but using it kept us from feeling lost and not knowing where to start the first few days in the office. In the first days of Developer Campus, we've invested a lot of time in preparing our workspace, committing or stashing changes we've made to our code, navigating between branches, and learning how to use Git within a development team. These are some pretty simple, and almost effortless skills to learn, but only once you put the effort in to learn them.
For a group of new, non-Java developers, the technology stack lecture, as well as Sprint lectures, were very helpful in the same way the ones about Git were. We had a better picture of which technologies companies use, and, more importantly, how those technologies are being used, what IDEs are frequently used, as well as tricks for using the tools without losing.
For the first time, it became clear why we needed design patterns and how to put them to use in the context of real problems. We started thinking about how to write and build code that was readable, easy to understand, and simple to maintain for everyone who had to deal with it after us.
Take the chain of responsibility pattern for example. That one came very handy when I needed to refactor what my team lead called “the dark side of our project”. The moment I completed that Sprint was the moment I appreciated the knowledge that the Campus brought me the most.
It’s (not) all about technology
Developer Campus was not just about technology.
What we liked most was that from day one everyone, literally everyone, was friendly and patient with us. Our colleagues—or mentors back then—knew how to help and encourage us. They constantly encouraged us to ask questions, give opinions on all kinds of practical examples, finding time to slip in a joke once in a while.
Most of us knew each other for years before coming to Developer Campus, so it was pretty easy to make friends and integrate with the company and the company culture. If you try it’s easy to be an Infobipper.
We learned how to give and receive feedback and learned how important it is to give thorough feedback on our colleagues' work; how feedback has a huge effect on the improvement of teamwork and communication.
Today, six months after the Campus, we are a living proof that “great start equals great work', because we are still a part of this amazing Infobip family, acquiring knowledge, having great time and striving to realize our potential every day.
Attendees of Developer Campus, Sarajevo 2015