Reflections on our Easy Agile Summer Intarnship
Since almost the first day we started Easy Agile we’ve been offering internships to students from the University of Wollongong. James Wilson, Katherine Kingsle and Satvik Sharma joined us in our first year of operation.
At that time we structured the internship around 11 days - start on a Friday to get your environment set up, then a project that has three staged goals which you can try to complete over the course of two weeks. You can’t move on to the next stage until you successfully complete a prior one, yet if you do you’ve basically worked full stack in two weeks.
Satvik spent his energy on improving a system we use internally, Clarity, to understand our business and customers better. The system was key to enabling us to live one of our core values, punch above our weight. At the conclusion of Satvik’s internship he transitioned to part-time employment while he completed his studied, and I’m happy to say he has been a full time team member since graduating.
We took a break from offering internships in 2017 so we could focus on growing the capabilities of the team. We recognised that there was an ideal ratio of senior to junior team members and we couldn’t bring in interns if we didn’t staff the seniors adequately.
Fast forward to November 2018 and we had just completed our inaugral Advance Easy Agile at Hymes Beach when Stephanie Seymour joined us for our revamped Summer Internship. This time we had shifted to the longer summer break and we had made it a paid three month engagement to work on product (not an internal system).
Like Satvik, Stephanie transitioned to part time employment alongside her continuing studies. I was recently reflecting on her 18 months at Easy Agile and was impressed to see a long list of achievements. I wanted to share them as I’m proud that we’ve been able to offer a pretty compelling internship program.
- delivered version 2 of our Immediate Evaluation system (go to whoa, pairing with Jared Kells, a senior developer on the team) in six weeks as part of her Summer Internship, this service has over 80 evaluators each month
- transitioned to a part time role in Feb 2019 and joined the team in the regular two week product delivery cycle for Story Maps, Roadmaps and Programs
- wrote documentation and training material for our customers, detailing agile practices such as user personas and creating agile roadmaps
- participated in several Inception Weeks, most notably her recent paired effort with Satvik where they prototyped Easy Agile Personas which was subsequently released on the Marketplace
- represented Easy Agile at Atlassian Summit in Las Vegas in March 2019 (within 30 days of completing her Summer Internship)
- curated our internship program, taking it to the next level. This included selecting and interviewing the candidates for 2019/20, and interviewing talent leaders at other local businesses in Wollongong to learn from their techniques
- participated in two Advance Easy Agile’s, where the team explores and sets product and company strategy
- conducted paired customer interviews with Product Managers, Release Train Engineers and other team members from around the globe
- provided on-going support to our customers via Jira Service Desk on a daily basis
- conducted personality tests including Gallup StrengthFinder and DiSC Profile along with peers to craft communication style to the recipient
Again, I’m proud that we are able to offer these experiences to folks starting our in their careers, to give them a taste of what life in an agile software development team can be like.