Life as Summer Engineering Interns in Stockholm
We took our Summer Engineering Interns and wanted a peek into how their summers are going as Truecaller Interns! An internship is often the beginning of a professional career and one of the best ways to learn how it is to work at a company and a starting point to discover how to apply knowledge in real life.
The interns have gotten an insight in many parts of Truecaller and have worked with different teams throughout the summer. They have been working on their own projects and worked together with some of the best developers in the world. The interns are becoming masters of time management because, in this professional environment, they have learned that time management is vital to finish tasks before the deadline.
What are you working on as an intern at Truecaller?
I started working in the growth team in which I built an internal support tool. The most interesting thing for me as an intern is to increase my skills in Android because I am a beginner in android development and haven’t really done much Android development before.
My first given task was to structure the handling of valid vs. invalid usernames. I have also worked with building an interface for the part of our internal support-tool which verifies names.
I am working on name filtering. The names shown on the display should be sanitized from common and bad words. It is not informative for users if the information is wrong or vague. I am improving the interface for the support-tool so updates can be done more easily. I am making the list smarter by dividing them into curse words or words related to family, for example, and are integrating this into Truecaller’s backend.
I am going back and forth between the Android Messaging team and the release team. In the release team, I’m working on adding some new features to the internal Release Management web service, which displays the current Android Alpha, Beta, Rollout and Production versions. The first time I saw the code base I got blown away. It was so huge, but my mentor Mike has been really good and it feels like he knows just about everything.
I am working on tag related features. I also have a side project where I investigate the possibility of doing SMS Spam filtering using Machine Learning for iOS.
What is the biggest challenge you have stumbled upon?
The University, in general, only prepare you for smaller projects. Then I started here and everything is so big and just to grasp everything takes time and there is a lot to learn and understand. The size of the code and data are on a completely new level than I have been working on before so that is really a challenge. Another challenge is that I have only used Swift before and even though Swift is the future, a lot of code is still written in Objective C, including the files I am working on, which has been a big challenge.
My first challenge was that my computer was too slow for the development I was working on, I had to reduce my code and divided it by two to make it fit in the app. I got a new computer as soon as this problem was identified and had no problem compiling after that. So fast computers are important!
After that, it is the Android development. It was so different from what I have done before in school I did a lot of applied engineering in school, math stuff and algorithm and mostly web development. Math-lab, C, C++, Python.
Getting familiar which the code. The code base here is much bigger than what I am used to. It has taken a lot of time to look up why the code is written in a specific way but it has also been how I’ve learned. I have not worked with this amount of data before nor used any frameworks or libraries so it’s been challenging, but rewarding.
The absolute biggest challenge but also what’s been the most fun was to understand and grasp everything of a big software project in production. It has been very rewarding and I feel like I have learned a lot. It’s been challenging to learn Scala, but also exciting when you understand that Scala makes it possible to make elegant solutions. I really like programming in Scala and want to continue improving.
The big code base and working with Kotlin. I had experience in several languages before but had never worked with Kotlin and it is mostly a different syntax. I did some research before I started but it was still a bit frightening at the beginning, but I have learned so much.
Do you think your internship is valuable for your future career?
I was looking for an internship outside of France and was curious about the start-up culture in Sweden. I had printed CVs and curriculums to hand out to companies in France and decided to send a printed copy to Truecaller’s HQ even though no internship role was announced on their website.
This internship has given me a lot of knowledge. I feel more secure in my coding and it will a benefit when I start to work after my studies. There is mostly theoretical knowledge taught at the university. Working at Truecaller has really strengthened my practical skills
One part of an internship is that you get concrete software development experience. I have produced code to be used for a company and learned to use tools which are impossible to learn on your own.
An internship is good on so many different levels. On my resume of course, but also for my personal experience and development.
It is extremely good to get hands-on experience with real-life cases because that is something we don’t get at the University. I feel that I have ownership over my own projects and that my team trust me. It is a bit scary to do changes in the code myself when having a deadline for a release.
Recommendations for someone looking for an internship
- Try to find a company with similar values as your own.
- If you are thinking about applying for an internship. Do it. It is both fun and extremely educational
- Apply for Truecaller’s next internship
- Apply for an internship. You get the experience of how it actually works in real life.
Describe a normal day for you?
In the morning I try to wake up by taking a shower and do some other bathroom stuff. I take the subway to work and always complain about the people in the metro because they are so slow. After work, I try visit any of the tourist attractions or other nice places in Stockholm. The Vasa-museum is my favorite.
I wake up around 7 and eats a sandwich (always one lingongrova, a typical Swedish bread). I’m usually at the office around 8.30. I prefer to bring my own lunch from home. Pasta with sauce is my favorite. I leave the office at 17.00 to go practice with my track and field team almost every day. Then it’s time to go back home to my boyfriend who usually has started with dinner.
I wake up and then go to the subway. I read or listen to a podcast on my way to the office. I am just done reading Nate Silver’s “The signal and the noise” and am thinking of starting to read “The Plague” by Albert Camus. Every second day I go to the gym and work out. I am training for Stockholm Midnight run which is in a couple of weeks.
I am probably up and awake earlier than most people at the office. I recently had my first child so I want to be back at home in time to help my girlfriend with diaper changes and other baby stuff. I live in Uppsala also which is a city north of Stockholm so I have some commuting time every day.
I wake up around 6.30 in the morning. I am living with my parents over the summer and they live quite a bit outside of Stockholm. I eat a slice of bread with butter and drink Pepsi for breakfast. To get to the office I need to first drive to the commuter train or metro, and when I am on the train I usually listen to music or a podcast. I leave the office around 5.30, have dinner with my family and spend some time with my dogs. Sometimes I go for a run if I am in the mood.
Want to be an intern with Truecaller? Find openings on our career’s page!
What is the best thing with summer in Stockholm?
I landed in the cold city of Stockholm may 5The temperature was only 5°C and I was freezing. Two days later I started my internship. The best thing with Stockholm is that Stockholm is a big, and a small city at the same time. There is a lot of tourist traps though. For example, there is one bus that goes from water to land. Stockholm is quite empty during the summer, but it is still a great city.
All the water! Stockholm’s city center encompasses 14 islands of the vast Stockholm archipelago. I live close to Årstaviken and try to swim there as often as possible.
When you live in Stockholm, you are always surrounded by beautiful nature and parks. It doesn’t matter if you live in the city center or in the suburbs, and the nature is always close by.
I will answer how it is in Uppsala during the summer. It is livelier than it is in Falun, which is my hometown. Uppsala has a lot of outdoor cafés and restaurants. You can say that Uppsala is a small big city.
All the parks and water. Stockholm has everything you need. I study and live in a smaller town in Sweden so I really miss Stockholm’s shopping when I’m not here. I miss the big international clothing chains and my favorite shopping mall is Mall of Scandinavia. Mostly because it has all you need, and it is easy to drive there by car.