My first experience with web development was working as a freelancer. I mostly used Wordpress to build blogs and small websites. At that time I considered myself an experienced frontend developer with a considerable portfolio.
I was also a student at the Technical University of Cluj Napoca at the time and following the courses of a computer science college gave me another reason to think that I was good at writing code.
In our third year we were required by the faculty to attend a summer internship at a local software company to get a better sense of how it is to work in my chosen field.
I started to ask my colleagues and friends left and right in search for a good company where I could have my practice period. That's how I got to Around25.
I applied with a CV, had a nice interview with the guys and a few days later I was happy to hear I was accepted in their summer internship.
The internship took 2 months, but in that short period of time I accumulated a lot of experience and learned many useful things.
I'll try to go over a small list of what I learned in that period.
Like many beginners I thought that knowing the basic syntax and a few control statements or packages was enough to consider myself proficient in that language.
That all changed after the internship. I realized that my previous experience was simply not enough if I wanted to be a truly good coder.
Finally learned PHP
Before the internship I had a basic understanding of MVC, having used CodeIgniter previously for a project at school, but I didn't really understood the multiple tutorials I followed before. I was following them almost completely mechanically and was used to writing the code in a certain way to get the job done, but I didn't understood why it worked the way it did.
At the internship we started with PHP from the basics and worked our way up gradually. Even now I remember how enthusiastic I got when I understood how a routing system works in PHP, because we were doing it from the ground up. Something in me clicked. All the notions I heard of before, like Session, MVC, Restful API, etc. started to make sense.
Seriously wrong on that one!
That was the point when I realized that being a frontend developer means more than HTML, CSS and jQuery and that I still have a lot more things to learn.
Writing quality code
I used to work alone on freelancing or faculty projects. I used to write code to prove I could do it: fast, as much code as possible and consequently of very poor quality.
Since then I realized that a good developer is differentiated from a mediocre one by his level of attention to details.
I never used to think about writing clean code, that is easily to follow by someone else until I received a lot of feedback and suggestions from our mentors. Their help was invaluable in making me a better coder.
The internship was just the beginning. I am now glad to be part of the Around25 team and continue to improve and learn new things.