How do you get an internship opportunity as you will become a programmer? How to become a good intern

table of Contents

What is an internship

Should i get paid

How to get internship opportunities

How to become a good intern

How to transform from an intern to a regular employee

If you are just starting to work, one of the best and easiest ways to find a job is through an internship. This is especially critical if you want to find a job in the so-called "big four technology companies" such as Microsoft, Google, Facebook or Apple.

Many large technology companies only hire interns or experienced software developers. Internships provide companies (employers) with a unique opportunity to fully evaluate potential employees before hiring them.

If you are a new software developer, an internship position also provides you with a unique opportunity to experience what it is like to work for a company-even though your job responsibilities may not be so specific.

Not everyone has an internship opportunity, so if you have a chance to win an internship, especially when you are just entering the industry, I strongly recommend you to seize this opportunity, even if the salary is not very high, or even almost free. In the early stages of a career, the sacrifices made by working for a period of time with a meager salary will certainly pay off in the long run.


In this article, we will discuss what an internship is, and provide answers to some difficult questions (such as salary during the internship period, methods to obtain internship opportunities), and I will also give you how to be a good intern and how to make good use of the internship opportunity to find a job. some advices.

What is an internship

Although you may already be familiar with this term, I think we'd better talk about internship first, especially in the field of software development.

An internship is usually a temporary position opened by an organization to new students or professionals—may or may not be paid.

Unlike most jobs, internship positions usually do not require you to have any work experience. Therefore, for a newcomer, the internship opportunity is very valuable. It is difficult to find a job without experience, and it is difficult to gain experience without a job. This sounds like "Catch-22" [1] reproduced!

There are many reasons why companies recruit interns. Some companies want to use this to demonstrate their corporate image of "being good and giving back to the society". In this case, the internship positions offered are actually just symbolic positions for active public relations. (I will try my best to avoid getting into this type of internship.) Some companies want to use this to inject new blood into themselves, they want to recruit talents from college graduates, and take this opportunity to train young talents so that they can serve for a long time. In the company. It is undeniable that the reason why some companies open up internship opportunities is to seek cheap labor. They believe that providing internships is a win-win situation-in this case, the company can give graduates an internship opportunity, and the interns can also complete some unpaid work for the company (it is not for normal positions without compensation. possible).

I believe that companies have more reasons to hire interns. But why should developers do internships? What does internship mean? It's hard to tell, because there are as many reasons for doing internships as there are companies for hiring interns-the two are often related.

Some internships are just like real jobs. People there expect you to be a member of a software development team and work like any other member of the team. To do this type of internship, an experienced developer is usually assigned as your mentor to guide you and help you master the know-how.

Some internships are actually a face-to-face competition. The company hires several interns, and they will compete for a certain position. To do this type of internship, generally all interns are arranged in the same team to do an "intern project" together. This is a double test, the purpose is to observe each intern in this environment Adaptability.

Similarly, usually a company will pick a project they do not have the resources to complete, and then use interns to complete the project. This type of internship may be an excellent opportunity to prove yourself. The downside is that you may not be able to get guidance and help. It is likely that you will only be told what the end result is expected, and then you have to complete it independently.

Finally, there is another kind of internship, basically you are an "errand runner" in the office. These types of internships are really insignificant, because you may not actually be able to join the projects that use you as a new software developer that allows you to use your skills. You will only be arranged to do some pouring. Trivial work.

It may be a good idea to find out what you will do before signing up as an intern. You can find out the specific situation of this internship by directly inquiring, contacting previous interns, etc.

Before starting the next topic, I would like to talk about the inside story of those "pour tea and water" internships. "Pour tea and water" is not necessarily a bad thing. Doing these trivial tasks can prove that you will not underestimate any work and that you are willing to do everything well. This is a very admirable character trait. Some companies inspect interns through such internships—though not always, but often.

Should i get paid


This is a good question, and it is so complicated.

This really depends on opportunity. If a billionaire is willing to recruit me to do internships for him, I will publicly say: I will be happy to accept internships without any pay, and I am willing to sleep on the lawn of his home just for learning. I suggest you do the same.

Having said that, this does not mean that you should not be paid for your labor. Most internships are paid. There are even some legal regulations regarding the payment of salaries during the internship period. I am not a lawyer, so I dare not make special suggestions on these matters, but if you are more concerned about the remuneration of internship opportunities, you should certainly investigate.

What I want to say is that when you consider internship opportunities, compensation is irrelevant, because if you associate internship with compensation, it would be too short-sighted. Believe me, I will show you how to become a negotiation expert on another occasion, so that you can get the best salary. However, when it comes to internships, it is completely different. There are several reasons for this.

When you want to participate in an internship, you must first think about what you want. Gaining experience through an opportunity that you couldn't get, this is what you want, and this is the most important-so that you can find a high-paying job in the future.

Therefore, the internship is not for making money. It's kind of like an apprentice. If you participate in an internship for the purpose of making money, you are wrong. Instead, you should consider how this experience will help you advance your career and how it will open doors of opportunity for you. When you think about the problem in this way, is it really important to pay 10 dollars an hour, 30 dollars an hour, or if nothing is done for nothing?

Generally speaking, the internship is a short-term job, so the overall income will not be much different. Internships should not be a place for you to "play clever things and do big stupid things". Therefore, if you can get paid, of course you have to collect money, but don’t let salary become an important factor in considering whether to go for an internship or which internship to do.

I would rather work for a billionaire for free than waste my time working for an idiot just to get a lot of money.

How to get internship opportunities

Now, let’s talk about the important part: how to actually get an internship opportunity.

This is not too easy. There are not many positions and competition is fierce. Everyone is dressed well, in suits and shoes, eager to get a job. How can you stand out to apply for an internship?

If you are in college, applying for an internship is obviously your first thing to do. Most colleges and universities have internship programs, you can register, and they can help you apply. For me, this question does not require thinking. However, this may not be the best way to get a good internship opportunity. I will introduce more later.

If you don’t go to college, but rely on self-study, or you attended a coding boot camp and didn’t find a job, then you have to become more creative in order to get an internship. Of course this is not a bad thing.

If you search for the keyword "software development internship opportunities", you will find thousands of internships for people to apply for, and you will even find websites that post internships. Apply on the website and see what positions you find interesting-this is not a bad idea. But this is still not the best way.

Think about it, how many people apply for internships like this. Think about it, how many unscrupulous and inferior companies are trying to obtain extremely cheap or even free labor by publishing internship opportunities.

Want a better idea? Look at this: Find an internship opportunity yourself. I will not apply for an internship opportunity that already exists, I will find an internship opportunity myself.

First of all, I will figure out all the legal provisions on internship and employment where I live, and I will find out the exact method of recruiting interns from the perspective of law and paperwork. I have done all the above research so that if I go to a company that does not have an internship program, I can show them the benefits of providing internships to the company and how easy it is to set up an internship program. (I am even willing to be the first intern in their company.)

Next, I will make a list of companies-I think in which companies can get the most valuable experience, can make the greatest contribution to them. I will try to find out which of the local companies I want to work for, or which companies can provide me with some good experience and learning opportunities.

Then, I will take this list and try to find out which companies I know, or who among the people I know know people from these companies.

After doing this, I will choose the most promising companies and study them with great concentration. I will understand the history of the company, what products they produce, who has worked for them, what jobs they have, and what the work content of these positions is. I will find information about people working in these companies on social media. I will try to contact some of them and explain to them: “Hey, I’m very new to this industry, but I want to learn a lot. Fan. Can I buy you a cup of coffee and chat?"

In the end, I will start to contact these companies directly (of course, preferably through someone I know or the person I have bought coffee), and then I will start self-promotion. I will show them how I will add immediate value to their projects, and I will provide them with some real detailed information, which comes from my previous knowledge of their company or communication with people working there . I will explain to them how eager I am to get an internship opportunity here, and I will show them my determination to work hard to do anything. I will be very specific about what I can do for them and the value they will bring to the company if they hire me as an intern. I will even give some concrete examples to illustrate that I can start working for them right away.

If they object, or if they don't have an internship program, I will say: "No problem. I can tell you how to set up one." Then I will reiterate that if their company immediately starts to implement the internship program for the company's long-term value.

See it, I don't like fighting to death with a group of people just to get a chance. I like to create opportunities for myself. As the person in charge and entrepreneur of a company, I can tell you frankly: if someone approaches me in this way and tries to find an internship in my Simple Programmer, their chances of success will be great.

If you are going to participate in an intern interview, here are a few key points that I should emphasize most.

  • I strongly desire to learn as much knowledge and contribute as much as possible.
  • I am the hardest worker you have ever met in your life.
  • I don’t need to be managed. Assign me to a project. You can see that I am working spontaneously.

Don’t try to show off your skills or experience, and don’t try to impress the interviewer with what you have learned. Focus on showing the above characteristics and your basic work ability. You will leave a better impression on the interviewer. Don’t Try to convince them that you have 10 years of programming experience (and the actual situation is actually 0).

How to become a good intern


Now you have got an internship opportunity, and everything is proceeding step by step.

What should I do now? I know you want them to be convinced one by one, and then offer you a full-time position, but how do you show enough strength for them to agree? Let's start with those companies that have suffered major setbacks in internship and internship programs-why do so many companies think that even if they can get free labor, setting up an internship program is not worth the gain?

Let me start from my own experience, because my company does not currently have an internship program.

Interns are usually an annoying group of people, because you need to constantly monitor their work, answer their questions tirelessly, and tell them what to do. In fact, hiring a free intern does not seem to cost me, but it actually costs me more. why? Because I had to spend precious time telling interns what to do and correcting their mistakes, I was actually wasting my time and money.

As an intern, how do you change this perception? Very simple, turn the equation around. As an intern, your task is simple: do everything you can to save your boss's time. This means that you must be self-directed, discover what you should do, and complete high-quality work with minimal supervision and feedback.

This may not be the ideal learning environment for you, but it is the best way for you to create value. Don't turn yourself into an annoying person. But this does not mean that you will not get any guidance or learn anything, nor does it mean that you have to create your own projects on your own.

All in all, you should clearly realize that you are here to make other people's work easier, not the other way around. This "service-oriented" work attitude will not only make you perform well during the internship, but it will also make you go further and become a leader, because this is what a true leader should have. The role of a leader is precisely to make others' work easier.

Obviously, you will definitely benefit a lot from the internship. Believe me, if you do things with this mindset, you will definitely benefit a lot.

By observing, predicting needs, and helping others to complete their work and tasks, you can learn much more than you can do by yourself or under the guidance of others. Moreover, the meaning of the internship is not really for gaining experience and learning skills (don’t misunderstand, in fact, you will achieve these two items one by one). Getting a job is the real goal.

Let's talk about how to get a job.

How to transform from an intern to a regular employee

Now you have found an internship opportunity. You have fully proven your ability to people. You are a person who can make other people's work easier without frequent guidance and supervision. You have convinced them. Now, it's time to become a regular employee. But what should be done?

The good news is that if you have done all the things I told you above, this step should be a matter of course. In fact, in this case, formal job opportunities should be within easy reach, and you hardly need to do anything special.

If you can contribute to the team immediately after joining a team, make others' work easier, and can produce high-quality work products without frequent guidance, then at the end of your internship period At that time, the company you work for will hire you without hesitation.

I'm not kidding. I can say responsibly, as the person in charge of a company, if you can prove to me your ability to make me get more salary than I pay you, I have no reason to refuse you, I will definitely assure you , I will hire you.

If you create as much value as possible for your employer while working as an intern, then after the internship is over, you don't have to do anything, just sit back and wait. They will chase you to join because they don't want to lose you-they don't want to lose such a precious asset.

However, if for some reason they did not knock on your door, it would be a good idea for you to send a polite email to ask. In the email, tell me that you really like working here, really like the opportunities they provide you, and then politely ask that you want to continue this relationship in the next step. But, honestly, if you have reached the field where you want to send this email, then your intern job may not be doing well.

However, if you mess up, or if you didn't find an internship from the beginning, then don't worry, there is hope. Next, we will discuss the "difficult road" to get a software development position in the industry-how to get a job without experience, no internship opportunities, and only passion.

[1] The original text here is "catch-22", from the novel "Catch-22" by the American writer Joseph Heller. In this novel, according to the "Catch-22" theory, only a madman can be exempt from flying, but he must apply for it, and once an application is filed, it happens to prove that you are a normal person. Therefore, people often use "Catch 22" as a metaphor for inextricable dilemmas or insurmountable obstacles caused by contradictory and illogical regulations or conditions, causing people to fall into logical traps and fall into an endless loop. Dilemma. ——Translator's Note

This article is taken from "Soft Skills 2 Career Guide for Software Developers"


If you are a programmer about to enter the industry, I strongly recommend that you read this book.

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