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Our software engineering internships at Pexip

Our first week

Our first week at Pexip fell within one of their regular “Dev Summits”, a collection of talks and discussions aimed at involving the entire development team. During this time, we were able to learn about the various projects and ongoing work to improve the product. Most of the content was too complex for us at this point, however, it provided a great insight into how the team worked.

In between these talks, we did training on how to deploy our own instance of Pexip’s self hosted product and we benefited from a fantastic onboarding experience that introduced us to every aspect of the company. Over this time we were able to investigate and discuss the different projects that were available. It was also possible to suggest our own projects, in case any particular technology was interesting to us.

The range of projects was varied and gave us the opportunity to work with brilliant mentors that dedicated a lot of their time to ensure that we were doing the right thing. Everyone was eager to support us with their expertise, and Pexip made us, as interns, feel like we were truly part of the team.

Our projects

Ben

My project involved restructuring and upgrading an internal support tool that allowed customers to upload logs and link them to support tickets and our internal bug tracker.

I completely overhauled how we uploaded, processed and stored the logs, storing them in Google’s Cloud instead of on a hard drive. This also allowed me to migrate the tool to use Kubernetes for deployments, instead of running in a Virtual Machine.

Furthermore, I implemented a Continuous Integration pipeline for the code that would run tests and various other checks whenever changes are made to the code, reducing the chance of changes inadvertently breaking the tool.

Dan

I worked on two projects over the 14 weeks at Pexip – my main project was in a pair with another intern. We worked on a load balancer system that could be used to connect multiple Pexip installations, built to handle multiple users in a queue. We wrote extensive test cases in line with Pexip’s testing approach, which taught us about the importance of writing robust software tests. Pair programming (where both of us worked on the same codebase) allowed us to spot each other’s errors and was a great experience for future group projects.

As I had a few weeks left at the end, I worked on a second project. My task was to build and deploy a scheduling system for web pages to be shown on displays in the office. I’ve heard that apart from a few minor bugs it is working well!

My working at home setup

Reflecting on a hybrid internship

Ben

Working remotely was difficult at times, it was all too easy to get distracted by either goings on at home or on social media. This meant that staying motivated could be difficult.

Most of our internship was spent remotely, however, from the end of August onwards, the office reopened. However, due to my home being in a different city than the office, I continued working remotely.

I did get to see the office in person in mid-September. Pexip held a team dinner and paid for travel and accommodation. The dinner was a great experience and I sat at a table with other engineers and heads of departments.

One benefit of being remote was that there was no difference between mentors who were in the UK and those further abroad, in fact, my main mentor for the duration of the project was based in Norway.

Dan

Most of my summer was spent remotely, with the last three weeks in the office. Working on a paired project, we spent every day on video call (using the Pexip system) and we asked for help and advice on Slack when we needed it. Despite being remote, we were able to have fun and work together effectively. I would also hop on to play Rocket League with colleagues during the lunch break which was a fun stand-in for the in-person pool table and table tennis.

There were certainly benefits to being in the office. I became more comfortable reaching out for help as I was able to meet more people, and the structure provided by the commute to the office was refreshing.

Overall this was a great experience and we are both looking forward to joining Pexip as full time employees next Autumn!

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Dan Stone and Ben Doerry

Hi, I'm Dan from Van Mildert College, a level 3 Computer Scientist, and Ben a level 3 Natural Sciences student from St Hild & St Bede.
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