21 September 2017

Armand: My Internship at GearedApp

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GearedApp Team

Hello there! My name is Armand and I have been a developer at GearedApp since the 20th March 2017. I am originally from France, where I studied my Master’s degree in Computer Science at the University of Lille. In order to graduate I was required to complete an internship, so after discovering and loving the quality of the team’s work, and seeing the family-like description about the ambiance, I booked a one-way train ticket to GearedApp. Oh, and I thought it would be a blast to come to Scotland!

Coming to Edinburgh was a new experience for me. It was not really the “moving to a different country” part that was new since I had studied in Québec before, but more “living and working in a country speaking a different language”. But people in Scotland are so kind and polite that if you don’t understand what they say, they will apologise and say it again — which is a bit odd because you are the one not understanding! They are also so welcoming that I felt at home fairly quickly. And the people that make up GearedApp are no exception to the rule.

Being part of GearedApp for my internship was an amazing experience for me, because I have been able to put many skills into practice, grow them, and develop new ones. This is, of course, the purpose of an internship, but GearedApp provided an amazing environment for me to blossom. From my experience in previous internships, some people in development teams can give you that “Been there, done that” vibe that can make you feel that the opinion of an intern is less important. But the GearedApp team strongly believe that everyone can learn, at anytime of their life, no matter their level of experience, and they encourage contribution from everyone. I have been treated as a full team member from day one, thus being able to make impactful suggestions and build confidence in making them.

The tasks that I given were always adapted to my level. I also have been given challenges to develop my skills, and I have progressively been trusted with more responsibility in the projects that I was working on, like taking a lead role in implementing the user interface of a video conferencing platform! Working with JavaScript technologies, I have improved tremendously my proficiency in React, and I have also discovered a useful full-stack framework called Meteor that significantly accelerates development.
I have also learned a lot about implementing user interfaces. Moreover, I have been given the opportunity to learn about subjects that I was interested in studying, like User Interface/User Experience designing. Overall, my internship completely succeeded in both allowing me to practice skills that I learned at university and push myself into exploring different fields.

Now, what a great internship abroad would be without an amazing country or city to explore? Well, coming to Edinburgh, I had both! I have been able to explore Edinburgh, a beautiful city with lots of history to learn about, but I was also able to visit Scotland with its magnificent landscapes. And I have also experienced the Fringe Festival, which completely transforms Edinburgh with its extraordinary art shows!

Having a fascination for different cultures, I loved discovering the accents and habits coming from either Scottish or British culture, and I am still learning Scottish slang everyday!

Overall, my internship at GearedApp and my life in Edinburgh have both been an amazing experience that I am looking forward to continuing this as I was invited to stay on as a full time Web Developer as part of the team! I’m looking forward to exploring more of the magnificent city of Edinburgh. In terms of GearedApp, being in an open-minded atmosphere where you are encouraged to keep pushing yourself, makes you feel like you can actually have an impact on your environment and on the projects that you are working on. It continues to help build my confidence and really enjoy my work, and that is really important to me. And that sums up why I enjoy working at GearedApp, and love living in Edinburgh.