From Classroom to Code: Reflections on My Software Development Internship

Alistair Hassin

Ethical Hacking Student, Abertay University

Software Development Intern – Delivering Quality Recording Systems

My journey with the Saltire Scholar Programme saw me start as someone who lacked an understanding of my strengths, skills and future potential. I often doubted my capabilities and often compared my strengths and skills to that of those around me. Through the experience of becoming a Saltire Scholar, from first applying, to the interview stages and eventually obtaining a final internship I believe that I am a stronger individual. My belief in myself has increased greatly and the experience has made me push myself into progressing even further beyond the internship.

Studying Ethical Hacking, my course is primarily security based, but there is a strong element of software development throughout the course. However, when I was successful in attaining the software development internship with the Scottish Leather Group, I was doubtful of how well I would perform. Software development is a really rewarding area to work in but can also be very challenging.

Before arriving, I had an expectation that I would be in a quiet room, working by myself on my own project. However, I was completely wrong and the team I worked with were fantastic. Individuals from all walks of life, different cultures and backgrounds, with different understandings of areas within IT. Every one of them was immensely helpful and supportive of me and my project.

At the beginning of the internship, I was a bit overwhelmed by the project that I was asked to carry out. At the time I wasn’t familiar with the development technology that I was using, as well as the business processes and phrases being used by the company. I often questioned whether I would be successful at carrying out the project, particularly for the first couple of weeks.

However, after a few weeks, I really began to find my feet. Through my own personal learning using the software and through support from the IT team at SLG I began to make positive progress with the project. It was hugely beneficial to spend time with industry-trained professionals, learning how they interact with the software to find efficient and effective ways to program correctly and to find and resolve errors. In the end, I successfully created a piece of software that met all the project requirements. This piece of software was to be used by the workers at SLG.

Through the internship, I obtained first hand experience of the software development life cycle by creating my own software application that was used by the company. From analysing the requirements, to design, development, testing, all the way through to deploying the application that I had created into the warehouse, was an incredible feeling. It has been hugely rewarding to think that I, in some small way, would leave a legacy at SLG. The software that I had created in the 12 weeks that I was there will be used by hundreds of SLG employees in the future and that’s an incredible feeling to have.

Overall, from the technical skills that I have learned to the working environment I experienced during my internship, the opportunity has been incredible. From start to finish the experience has been of high quality and I have been privileged to have been given the opportunity. I now look forward to doing my part by helping the next cohort of entrepreneurial minds in becoming Saltire Scholars.

Written by: Alistair Hassin