At this point in time, the HNG Internship is left with just a few weeks before it ends in the first week of July 2018. I’d say this is a good time to reflect on some of the lessons that I learned from taking part in it.
Now, before I get to the lessons, I’d like to share something Mark shared with the interns:
Those who made it this far - be proud of what you have achieved. Like we said in the beginning, this was not going to be easy. - Mark Essien
As I write this, just 94 people remain out of the 4918 people that joined when it started. That’s insane! So congrats to the top 1.9% of the developers and designers who have persevered through the trials of the HNG Internship.
Personally, I’d say I only made it this far because I already had some knowledge of programming when I joined. However, even I learned quite a number of things from this internship.
1. Adapt By Gaining New Skills
Right off the bat, you get onto the ground running when you join the HNG Internship. You’ve got to learn how to design using a tool that you might not have heard before.
Apart from that, things move at lightning speed and if you just close your eyes for a few seconds you could find yourself no longer in the internship. So you’ve got to stay attentive with what’s going on, acquire new skills so that you progress through the stages and keep improving.
2. Technical Skills Can Only Take You So Far
By stage 3, you’d have got the hang of the rhythm of the song and be dancing to the music much more efficiently by getting the different skills you need for each stage. However, technical skills can only take you so far.
It’s relatively easier to be solo developer or designer as once you have the technical skills you know exactly what needs to be done to get a project completed. Working as part of a team is an entirely different thing.
By stage 5, you’ll need to learn how to work as part of a team and contribute towards a common goal for you to advance further in the internship. There’ll be times when you bash heads with your teammates but in the end, you’ll learn teamwork and build something amazing together.
3. You Only Get What You Ask For
Even though you might have the technical skills and are a part of a team, it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get any tasks to work on. This is especially true if you’re not keeping an eye on those tasks as they come because like we said earlier, things move lightning fast and they’ll just disappear right in front of your eyes.
There’ll come a point when you’re just wondering when you’ll get a task and the only way to get one will be to literally ask for it otherwise you’ll be waiting for the rest of the internship.
I Learned More Than Just This From The Internship
Now, these 3 lessons aren’t the only lessons that other interns or I learned from the internship. If I were to list them all then this post will become really long quickly. If you noticed something, these lessons aren’t technical lessons like PHP and MySQL programming or how to use tools like Figma and Docker.
These are life lessons.
Acquire skills that benefit your situation. Work well with people. Go and get what you want.
Those 3 lessons are what I’d consider the most important ones that any person who went through the HNG Internship 2018 should have come away with. The technical skills can always be taught, however, more on that later when I share other lessons that I’ve learned from being a part of the team at Techzim for a year now.
Tweet me @Rayhatron with your thoughts about some of the lessons that people learned from the HNG Internship. Or just to say hi.
Oh yeah, since we are wrapping up this journey of the HNG Internship, here is what others had to say about it.
It's easy at first, then the challenges keep on progressing until it reaches your level, goes past it and you start fighting to keep yourself afloat. It shows you where you belong. You need to work hard to make it to the end. Thumbs up to @markessien for his project mgt skill.— Omesu Chinedu (@OmesuC) May 20, 2018
For me it's the fact that you learn and have to apply what you've learned and not apply it as a learner but as a professional— Nero Paul-Ejukorlem (@nerocodes) May 21, 2018
Well I will say the truth...— #TTCO (@Nedy_Codes) May 20, 2018
The learning experience and the collaboration isn't the biggest catch of this internship...
The real life scenarios are.
The real tech world and political world is replicates every week there. If you can learn one or five things from it....