An interview with our interns

Every year, we expect numerous interns from many different schools. Our interns have different backgrounds, and all of them are screened according to two simple principles: a healthy portion of motivation in combination with a passion, or let’s say addiction for Open Source. During the past three months, they have been working hard on their dedicated topics. In this blog post, we ask them about their experience on the job and what it means to continue their internship in times of crisis.

A dedicated assignment

Before starting your internship, all of you got to choose an assignment. Can you tell us what your research design is and why you chose it?

Dries – What are service meshes, and why do I need them?
I research the pros and cons of different services meshes within the Kubernetes environment. I would very much like to continue my research hence my interest in Kubernetes.

Matthias – The implementation of security within a CI/CD environment.
With my assignment, I can discover Jenkins locally as wells as on a VM on the Inuits infrastructure. I can test many new tools in my own environment and identify strong points and weaknesses.

Ricardo – EstiMate: an offer calculation tool
I am building an internal application for an offer calculation for a new project. The app is built with a Symfony back-end and an Angular front-end. Before, I never worked with Symfony, which makes it an exciting assignment.

Maarten – Preparing an update: Centos 7 to Centos 8
This assignment allows me to have a lot of variation in tasks. I have to create a new kickstart file, create Pulp repositories, edit the virtinstall puppet module, edit the profile_pulp module, etc. I am working a lot with Puppet, where I only used to work with Ansible. I created a good understanding of the difference between the different systems and their benefits and disadvantages.

Working at home

Before the official lockdown, we announced that we encourage teleworking as much as possible. How do you experience your internship now you are obliged to work from home?

Dries: It is a pity we have to continue our internship from home. I enjoyed the atmosphere in the office very much. Today, when working remotely, we have daily standups via Jitsi. During these calls, we evaluate what we are working on and what we are planning to do. In case of anything else, we can always ask questions on a group chat.

Mike: Working from home was not such a significant change because the principle of working remains the same. You do your work, and if you are stuck, you ask for help. Tough, working from home is a lesser experience than working at the office. I miss the interaction with other people.

Glenn: It is a great fortune for our sector that it is easier to work remotely. If you have any questions, you can always contact your colleagues, although I sometimes prefer direct contact. Other than that, my work and routine more or less stayed the same.

Conclusion: an internship at Inuits

During the first five weeks, we all got to know you in one of the Igloos. Some of you were working in Ghent or Antwerp and others in Hasselt. Today you are continuing your internship while working remotely. How would you, in general, describe the atmosphere at Inuits?

Dries: I immediately felt at home in the Ghent office, and my colleagues were always ready to help. In general, there is a loose atmosphere where no one feels superior. Everyone treats the interns as colleagues and not as lesser or worse. One of the main messages we got is that silly questions are rare, and there is always at least one colleague who knows a solution to your problem.

Matthias: Before the corona crisis, I spent five weeks in the Ghent office. I immediately felt at home, and I was well-received within the group. During the break, we had exciting topics to talk about, and we laughed a lot. I find the atmosphere within Inuits very constructive. Everyone is immediately ready to help with your question. The fact that everyone also shares a passion for Linux ensures a proper group feeling.

Mike: Inuits has a very pleasant working atmosphere where everyone is very open and easy to talk to. I experienced one Last Friday. During this event, we had internal workshops and presentations. I had no idea what to expect, but it surprised me, and it was a great experience. At first, you are nervous and afraid that you will do something wrong. But, people are very open, and one of the first things they told us was: you should not be afraid to do something wrong because if you can break something, that means we have done something wrong.

Glenn: At Inuits, there is a lot of collegiality, and you can ask questions to anyone. It is a company where you can talk to everyone, and the flat company structure creates a very pleasant atmosphere.

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