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My Summer Internship at Sauce

My name is Rebecca Wardell and I am an Intern here at Sauce. I discovered Sauce at a career fair at the University of Hull, where I got chatting with Matt about what Sauce do and the kind of work I was looking for. The next day I contacted the company about an Internship and was invited to their office in C4Di (with arguably the best view in Hull) for an informal interview to discuss the sort of work I would like to do during my time here and my computing experience. I was offered the Summer Placement on the spot! 

With no previous software development work experience, I didn’t know what to expect on my first day. I visioned everybody dressed in suits, sat at rows of desks with dividers - all too busy to talk to the intern. Oh, how I was wrong! Everyone was so welcoming and happy to help, no one was dressed in a suit and I soon realised this was a team of friends in a relaxed environment.   

Before starting at Sauce I hadn’t heard of the programming languages Elixir or Ember and was very apprehensive to start a new job coding with them. However, I quickly picked it up thanks to John, Jim, and Matt who explained everything to me and were very patient and reassuring, helping me become a more confident coder. Soon, I fell in love with these languages and got working on some in-house projects. The first project was an iOS App which I paired up with Tom, one of the team developers, to develop together.

Having never worked for a software company before, the guys at Sauce were enthusiastic about me getting to experience all aspects of the software development process, from attending customer meetings to planning, to developing front-end and back-end of Apps and testing. As well as going to career fairs to tell prospective students/graduates about working at Sauce. 

Sauce has a very friendly and chilled out vibe, making it a great working environment to concentrate and code. It makes coming into work every day enjoyable. We take it in turn to DJ, meaning there’s always good music on and everyone gets to play something they like. 

And yes the rumours are true… there is a beer fridge in the office. Beer O’ Clock on a Friday is a fab way to start the weekend and socialise with the team, we even do some staff nights out. 

The biggest difference between University and being at Sauce is working as a team. At uni we have group projects, however, the majority of the time we are assessed individually, where we cannot work together on a problem, sometimes resulting in hours trying to fix a bug. At Sauce we work together as a team, helping each other to efficiently get the job done. One thing that stood out to me, was getting immediate support when you are stuck on a problem. If I get a bug I cannot solve on my own or with help from Google, instead of staring at my screen, I call one of the senior developers over to take a look. It usually takes them 5 minutes to fix and by observing I learn for next time. Although I hadn’t been taught Ember or Elixir at university, I think uni prepared me to be able to learn any programming language, by using the fundamentals of programming I have learnt on the Computer Science course.

My best moments at sauce have been completing projects, getting them deployed and seeing them in use, there is a real feeling of achievement.  

Since joining Sauce, I have gained so much experience and knowledge. As a person, I have become more confident in myself and my work, compared to at the start of the placement where I would constantly check if what I was doing was right. I have grown skills in developing front-end Ember.js and back-end of apps in Elixir. I now have a better understanding of Agile development and have industrial experience. In addition to meeting and being able to work with a brilliant team of developers.