I started as an intern today. I thought I’d share some of my thoughts on my first day, which technically hasn’t ended yet.
There’s so much to learn. As a person who’s never had a programming job before, I struggled with all there is to know. I suppose with every job, there’s a bit of a learning period: figuring out how to use development tools, where to look for information/answers. There’s numerous resources out there on how to develop for Mediawiki that it gets a bit overwhelming and I get bogged down with trying to read through all the articles. (I have so many tabs that I can’t even see the favicons or texts!) Sometimes, it’s easier to ask for help and be redirected to the correct page. Also, It’s okay to take things a little slowly to get accustomed to the development workflow.
If you have a question, ask it. When I first got on the #mediawiki irc channel, I was deathly afraid of asking questions or even converse with people. I felt like I wasn’t smart enough to hold a conversation or if I asked a question, people would think I was stupid. It’s an awful attitude to have and will only hurt me in the end. So I’ve been trying to ask questions when I get stuck and I’ve come to realize that a lot of people have questions. No matter how basic or advanced the questions are, they’ve been answered with courtesy and even enthusiasm. It’s silly to be worried about how others are judging you (when they really aren’t) and not ask for help.
Mistakes happen. That’s why git is there. Today, in the midst of confusion, I managed to review my own commit and then de-review it, 3 or 4 times because I was unsure what I was supposed to do. Embarrassingly, you can see each time I’ve done it. At first, I was worried that I was doing everything gravely wrong, like I was kicking babies or something to that extent, but then everyone has hiccups and I haven’t had any real world experience. The person who blames me most is probably myself.
Boy, this post sure makes me sound like an anxious crazy person, but I swear it’s just nerves from the first day! Maybe. Part of the reason I applied to this internship was to bolster my confidence in my coding skills and learn how to navigate a real company. Hopefully, by the end of this internship, I will be less apologetic in my lack of skills and more reassured and confident. Until then, fake it till you make it. :)
In terms of what I did today, I tried to figure out gerrit and am still trying to figure it out. Perhaps it’s time to go to the office again and get some hands on help. I also got around to editing all the style problems that the skeleton program had but it got lost in the gerrit review system.
Edit: Also I updated my facebook and linkedin to show off my internship. Probably the most exciting thing to have happened today. I still feel really proud of getting in and blessed to have this opportunity.