Posted on 18th of July, 2018

The Intern Diaries: Software Development Intern Joey

This February Joey de Rijk started his Software and Information Engineering internship at Clay. As a student from the ICT-HBO Hogeschool Utrecht Joey quickly managed to become an important part of the Clay team.

We asked Joey all about his #lifeatclay, ambitions and the ambitious project he’s working on at Clay, take a look!

Joey, can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

I am a 21-year-old Software & Information Engineering student, born in Utrecht. By the time I was three years old, we moved to Hilversum soon after my brother was born. I have always been big on technology, so my parents had no doubt that I would end up in a technical branch. In high school I followed information science for two years where I learned the basics about computer hardware (which I already knew, so I aced that test by far!), played around with Lego Mindstorms, and a tiny bit of Perl, SQL and HTML.

This was the beginning of Joey in the IT world…

By the time I finished high school, I went to the University of Applied Sciences in Utrecht. The first semester of the study was about general topics in the IT world, and the four directions you get to choose after the first semester; Business IT & Management, System & Network Engineering, Computer Engineering or Software & Information Engineering Business.

Now it’s my third year and I’m very excited to be working on my assignment at Clay!

How did Clay come to mind while browsing for an internship?

It wasn’t that hard to find and choose Clay; most of the other internships that were available were too ‘basic’ for me. Clay has a special ambience, which I noticed quickly by the pictures on the website, and when I visited the office for my first interview: The Nerf darts were all over the place!

What is the best part of being a Software & Information Engineering intern at Clay?

Being accepted for who you are. I can be a very shy person; so talking in public and asking for help wasn’t really my favourite thing to do. At Clay, I was forced to ask important questions for me being able to do my work. My colleagues at Clay were very comforting, which helped to boost my confidence. On a less sentimental note: Beers and playing pool on Friday afternoon weren’t that bad either!

How would you describe the company culture at Clay?

As I mentioned before, the company culture is very playful, but don’t let that fool you! Clay is an ambitious company and that shows. While working hard to move Clay forward the Bricks are always available for discussion. The culture is very open and accepting. Don’t want to be disturbed? Focus on one of the two meeting rooms for total silence, or in the ‘Aquarium’ (which is basically the third meeting room, but with loads of glass). Or, my favourite: Sit at one of the large pick-nick tables for the real scale-up experience!

How did the internship match your expectations?

It was actually more than I expected. I expected to be trained in one thing and one thing only. But I grew as a person as well. The way I communicate with my colleagues and also how I present myself as a professional. I am so thankful to have been a part of this team!

If you could make a change to your internship program, what would you change?

For school, I need to deliver loads of documentation. Explanations about which competencies I would like to accomplish, how I am planning to accomplish these, how am I approaching the internship etc. While I do understand why all the documentation and explanation is necessary, I would’ve liked to focus more on the method of working in the IT world. Basically, I would not change anything about my internship program at Clay, but the internship and its deliverables for my school.

How did this internship match your expectations?

It differs a little bit from what I expected at first, but that might be because this is my first internship. I initially thought the internship would entail more programming, and less documentation (for school, but also for colleagues: stories, designs & diagrams). Because I like to learn more about the method of working within Clay this is no issue for me. I still have a lot to learn, but Clay taught me well and propelled me in an excellent direction.

What do you believe the next step is in your profession, and how did Clay help you get there?

First of all, I am going to finish my last couple semesters. Clay gave me a head start and the confidence to develop my personal skills even more. I will start doing that this upcoming semester in the ‘creative industry’. I am not sure what to do after my bachelor. Maybe I’ll travel around the world, get another degree, or I might mingle myself into the IT world. The one thing I am sure about: Clay gave me a huge push in to the right direction.

What is your favourite project to work on at Clay?

My favourite project is definitely the assignment that assigned to me by Clay: Developing a microservice that allows users to configure events. The assignment had a few requirements, which gave me a lot of room to research the right tools, solutions, designs that were discussed with other Bricks and adjusted where needed. It would be awesome if the project gets implemented, and tons of users could benefit from something I made. That type of experience is still on my bucket list!

Could you explain how you approached this project?

I started studying on how Clay works: Which tools Clay uses, how they write code etc. Then After I gathered all the functional requirements that tell you what the system eventually does I started sketching the design of the system: This is a great method to get all the ideas out of your head and on to the paper. These sketches improve over time after various meetings and individual brainstorms. When the designs eventually were ready, I started writing the code for the project.

Why and how will your project affect users?

My project enables users to customize their notifications. For example, A coworking space owns a building with 500 spaces. All these spaces have Clay locks. The user can set a trigger, for example, a ‘low battery’ event. This trigger sends an SMS to a mobile phone number with the details which lock’s battery is empty. Sounds logical, but what if this happens outside office hours?

This project allows users to set multiple ‘notification rules’. In that way, the user can specify that an SMS should be sent if the low battery event happens between 9 am to 5 pm. If it is outside those hours, the security company should handle those events: Therefor an API call will be sent to the systems of that security company.

How do you see your project evolve in the future?

I hope I can make the back-end of the system production ready. In that way the front-end developers can use the endpoints and create a nice front-end for the program. When finished, the system should be ready for production and available for tons of users.

Thank you Joey for sharing your thoughts on Clay, providing insights about your impressive project and being part of the Clay family!

Are you looking for an inspiring internship that doesn’t entail getting coffee and collect prints like Joey’s? Check out our job openings and you might #becomeabrick!

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