It is difficult to have a clear idea about what to expect from a job you would like to have in the future without ever being immersed in the work environment beforehand. Therefore, after coming across the website of VSHN – The DevOps Company, I decided to contact the company and ask for a two-day long introduction to the job. Luckily, shortly after I received an approval from Aarno Aukia, who happened to have graduated from the same school I am visiting now. I was informed that I could come to the company and learn from the software engineers Dimitri Wessels and Peter Bittner about the job. I was happy to find out that both were very much into Python, which I am learning to use for my school project.
On the first day I was working with Dimitri Wessels. In the beginning he introduced me to dictionaries in Python and later to the usage of API’s. It was fascinating to see how the needed information could be successfully extracted from a website in a matter of minutes. After lunch, I was asked to do an analogical exercise with a different dataset. I had to overcome several errors, but the program worked in a reasonable amount of time, and the results were very satisfactory. Later, we discussed the use of classes and how data could be sorted in an elegant way. I was also shown some things that software engineers do, like fixing errors caused by server’s activity, communicating with customers and writing programs. In the end of the day I left the office with new gained knowledge in python and many other things.
Next day I spent working with Peter Bittner. This time I was learning to do something completely different, namely exploring the use of virtual machines. For this purpose, a software called VirtualBox had to be installed that would help me run virtual machines on my laptop. The first thing we tried was installing Windows 10 as a virtual machine, which took hours. However, after lunch we viewed another way of creating a virtual machine, this time Linux, with a help of a USB drive, which took significantly less time. It needed another program and some knowledge in the usage of terminal which was impressive since I have never seen this before. Later I explored the use of Linux and its difference in comparison with other operating systems. Inspired by its practicality and advantages I asked Peter if it would be possible to install it on my computer as well. I appreciate that Peter was willing to spend his time to show me how to dual boot Linux on a computer with the operating system Windows 10, since it was not harmless and needed a lot of time and effort.
I am very grateful that I had an opportunity to immerse myself in this great professional environment. All the VSHNeers were nothing but nice and welcoming to me. Both Dimitri and Peter did not hesitate to answer my questions, were they about the job, programming, machine learning, university or computers in general. My experience was very positive, and I believe that I have learned a lot of things that will help me in the future. I feel more inspired to pursue the career in software engineering now, that I know what to expect.