Diana is a student in Computer Science and Classical Studies, in Dartmouth College, Hanover. Since this September, she has joined us for an engineeing internship. Before coming here, she started an interesting project on building a database and web application for ancient coin archive at her university which is still ongoing.
You can read about her here
, but to know more about her experience in Nestoria, let her continue the rest of the story.
What made you come to Nestoria?
Due to some scheduling conflicts, I was unable to study abroad during my time at University, so I decided to work abroad instead! I came across Nestoria as so many others do, by Google, as I looked through the UK for a potential internship.
I was attracted by the small team and the many benefits described on their Internship description page. Nestoria’s team is without question it’s greatest asset, and it was the deciding factor in my deciding to spend my time abroad here. Not only was my communication with various members of the team during the interview process great, but it was clear early on how diverse the Nestoria team is in its members’ backgrounds.
How long did it take you to feel at home at Nestoria?
When I first arrived at the office I was a bit worried about two things.
Firstly, being an American, I was worried I would find it harder to fit in in such an established workplace. It was quickly clear, however, that the majority of Nestoria team-members are also not from the UK.
It was an utterly unique experience to work in an office of people from all over the world, and made my “Work-abroad” experience much better than anything I could have gotten in a traditional Study abroad program. Lunchtimes were spent discussing everything from last nights soccer match, Brazilian postcodes, to explaining what on earth American Thanksgiving is actually for.
My second worry was that I’d not seen any Perl before my arrival, and it was to be the main language I would be working in. Within a week, however, I felt confident enough in my Perl skills to be committing my own fixes, scripts, and eventually whole modules to the Nestoria code base.
I’d done some work in similar languages like PHP, which made the learning curve a bit easier, but overall Perl was very simple to pick up. It was especially helpful to have such a large existing code base to learn from, and there always was ample time for whiteboard lessons from other Dev team members if I ever needed help understanding Perl data structures or any pieces of the Nestoria system.
What are the projects you have been involved in? How influential did you find your role?
The first few weeks here I spent my time learning the Nestoria system, and learning Perl, by doing lots of very small projects, generally focusing on the Nestoria Geocoder. The first of my larger projects was to rewrite our modules used to generate the Nestoria XML Sitemaps to be crawled by search engines like Google. From there, I completed several other projects including incorporating new data into our Geobuilds, adding new clients to the system, supervising launches of revisions to the live site, and many more. Every project I worked on was totally different, and they all allowed me to work with different members of the Nestoria team - from development, to product, to commercial, to the clients themselves, I was communicating with everyone. All the tasks I was given were necessary tasks, not just puzzles given to keep me busy. It was very, very gratifying to see the immediate and tangible impact of my work each day.
Now that it is almost finished, how do you see the whole experience?
My time spent at Nestoria was very short, but I can easily say I got far more out of it than just 3 months of development experience.
Not only did I learn Perl, the ins and outs of a large code library, and the work flow in a stable and established company, but I was also challenged in many other ways. I gave a “Tech Talk” presentation to the entire company on some of my past work at University, I had my code edited in formal Code Reviews by the entire engineering team, and I attended several out of office London technology events with other team members.
My time at Nestoria was incredibly challenging, but also incredibly rewarding. I wouldn’t change a second of it!