How Jerome Illgner enjoyed his summer internship in our Edinburgh office.

Jerome is studying Computer Science at Heriot-Watt University and spent his summer internship in our Edinburgh office.

There were several drivers for Jerome choosing an internship with a tech consultancy. He wanted the chance to explore a variety of web technologies and learn best practices for testing and usability but, more importantly, he really wanted to work on big, challenging projects.

“I like that fact that tech consultancies are hired to solve a client’s problems. This gives rise to challenging projects that require interesting solutions. I liked the idea of having freedom to choose whatever technology offers the optimal result, and also being given time to research and understand those technologies.”

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Jerome first encountered Scott Logic at a careers fair, and then at two programming events hosted by the company at Heriot-Watt.

“During these events, I was given an insight into the kind of work the company delivers but, more importantly, I was able to speak to some of the team. Their attitude towards their work – and their personalities – won me over!”

As the internship got underway, Jerome was surprised how rapidly he and the team were expected to get on with real development work. A challenge was set at the start of week one, and by the end of the week, he and his team had prototyped v1 of their application!

Overall, Jerome was able to achieve his two main objectives – to develop a large, structured application, and to learn the workflows associated with such applications in order to build them in a maintainable way. In fact, reflecting on his biggest technical challenge and achievement makes Jerome realise just how much he has learned and developed.

“The biggest challenge during this internship was to rethink the relationship between front-end and back-end development. We decided to build our application to be entirely client side, which included performing image processing and computer vision in browser. This decision came with foreseeable performance issues that proved challenging to overcome. While web-workers and WebAssembly were considered, optimising our code and rendering turned out to be enough and showed how powerful front-end applications can be.

“I am particularly proud of my role in using a model trained on the popular machine learning library, TensorFlow, to isolate tracking points for individuals in an image. We then used this information to track people between camera frames. What makes the tracking solution interesting is that it is powered entirely by JavaScript and is capable of running on any machine, inside the browser, meaning that no data ever leaves the machine and the user’s privacy is protected.”

But the internship has not just helped Jerome develop greater technical knowledge and skills; it has helped him to understand the importance of workplace culture, and therefore what kind of employer he wants to find after graduation.

“Whilst I definitely want a career that interests and challenges me on a regular basis, what is more important is a welcoming environment. Whenever I thought about my career choices, my checklist usually included sector, challenge and salary. Scott Logic has made me reconsider and add people to the list. I’ve loved working with sensational people in a challenging but light-hearted environment. The environment in Scott Logic has been exceptionally welcoming and full of warm and bright personalities, and I strongly believe I would have had a very different experience had it not been for the amazing people I shared this internship with.”

Jerome has been particularly impressed by the level of support given by the whole Scott Logic team to their interns.

“With five mentors and a UX specialist, any questions we had were always answered. More than that, the code reviews offered by our mentors have pushed me to write maintainable code at a high standard. Their insights have helped me understand web development at a deeper level and have shown me how powerful web applications can be.”

And Jerome’s advice to other undergraduates considering internship options?

“I would strongly suggest an internship in a tech consultancy if you’re unsure about what career path you want to follow. It will offer an overview of various different sectors, and also give you a chance to develop good practices, regardless of specific languages.”

Scott Logic transforms its clients’ businesses by engineering innovative, bespoke software solutions that drive measurable value, while also enhancing the core strengths of their technology delivery capability.

With our annual internship you can enjoy a summer season being paid to sample a challenging and rewarding career in software. For more information, and to apply for one of our 2020 internships, visit our Paid internships page.

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