Late in May, Ness welcomed 16 students from the Secondary School of Electrical Engineering in Košice. Their two-week internship was the largest of its kind at Ness so far. The students were tasked with developing websites while working in Agile environment, under the supervision of our colleagues from the DAZN and Perform projects. Our company’s long-term commitment to secondary education has been reinforced by the positive feedback we have received.
Gabriel Vodička, Development Manager at Ness KDC: “Our aim was to create a program that the 2nd and 3rd-year students would find challenging. Their task was to create fully functional marketing websites with content that reflected the day-to-day life and work at one of the Ness client projects. To motivate the students, we divided them into two competing teams. The 14-day internship started with regular job interviews, which helped us to assess each student’s abilities and form two well-balanced teams of eight. Each team was supposed to deliver a website for a specific Ness client. The client we chose for this project has recently undergone a major reorganization, as a result of which the 100 employees working in one of our labs have been split into two projects. Right from the start, the students were encouraged to adopt the Agile mindset by simulating Scrum methodology as closely as possible. Whether it was the actual forming of a new team, the presentation of the finished product for the stakeholders or interviews with actual Ness customers conducted in English, they were able to test their skills in a variety of situations, under the supervision of experienced professionals, who became their Scrum Masters, Product Owners and Tech Leads. During such a short period of time, the students were not only able to deliver the products but also to benefit from lectures and workshops on such topics as Git or LEGO Scrum. Their feedback was overwhelmingly positive and, should the opportunity for a similar internship come up in the future, they would definitely take it. The students’ enthusiasm was shared by their class teacher.”
Michal Copko, class teacher, Secondary School of Electrical Engineering: “I would like to thank all the people who worked with our students during their internship at Ness. Even though I’m not sure that such young kids can fully appreciate all the fantastic work you’ve done on this project, I certainly can have spent 13 years in the education system. During their final presentations, I felt as though our students were outnumbered by the employees who worked with them and supported them. I’m well aware of how busy you all are and that makes me all the more grateful for your commitment to this project. You’ve inspired these boys to be responsible, competitive, hard-working and genuinely interested in IT. And that matters even more than knowing how to write code. My special thanks go to Gabi Vodička who organized the entire project and managed all of its aspects, including space, fantastic supervisors, tasks which made the project a serious challenge for our students and the final presentation attended by top managers of the company. I’m sure that such a great team of people is able to deliver high-quality products to clients and I wish the entire Ness community in Košice the best of luck and more people like these. (As a teacher, I wish that more companies and Slovakia were as enthusiastic and active in helping our kids grow).”
Diana Tóthová, Project Management Executive at Ness KDC, led the already mentioned LEGO Scrum workshop: “The students were given about two hours to build a ZOO, not a real one, but a LEGO version and in doing so, they were supposed to follow the Scrum methodology. They managed to succeed by following these steps:
- Identify what needs to be built in order for the ZOO to function properly (create a backlog)
- Plan the construction, assess your skills and estimate how much can be accomplished in 10 minutes (planning)
- Build the ZOO (implementation)
- Present the finished product to the customer (demo)
- Review the team’s performance throughout the build (retrospective)
We repeated these steps, which cover the entire sprint, three times. As more and more ZOO components were built, we had less material. This had to be taken into consideration when planning the sprint. On the other hand, the students were getting better at understanding the Product Owner’s vision.”
The feedback given by the students speaks for itself.
Samuel Trembecki: “It may sound a bit weird, but I liked everything about this internship. The presentations we had were neither long nor short, but we learned a lot from them. It was very interesting to see people’s day-to-day work (including meetings, team buildings, etc.). The only thing that I wasn’t sure about was the open space office, but one gets used to that. All the people we met were very friendly and the internship as a whole taught me things I wouldn’t have learned at school. I’d love to come to Ness again next year but, unfortunately, there will be no more internships for me.”
Tibor Krátky: “Before the start of this internship, I wasn’t sure if it was going to be any good and whether we were going to learn anything useful at all. But all those questions were answered on the very first day. The two weeks we spent at Ness were much more than an ordinary internship. It was an experience I’ll never forget. The employees at the company were very friendly and our supervisors took their roles very seriously and created a real-life working environment for us too. I was really impressed with how this project was organized. Our lectures as well as games were very useful and taught us a lot about what working for an IT company is like. If I had a chance to do it again I would take it immediately. I’m very grateful for this opportunity because I’m sure that no other company would have taught me so much about IT in just two weeks.”
Jaroslav Zambo: “In my opinion, this two-week internship was a great experience both professionally and personally. I was especially impressed with the Ness employees, who were professional but also very friendly. Working with them has taught me a lot and it gave me the opportunity to meet interesting people. I’d be happy to come back for another internship because the two weeks I spent here were amazing – the space we worked in, the interactions we had with the employees, the lectures and games that taught us a lot about IT. Thank you for giving me this opportunity. Right from the start of the internship, I knew that I’d made the right choice.”
Dalibor Bohačík: “The two weeks we spent at Ness were a really nice surprise. I was impressed from the start, especially by the employees, who treated us as their colleagues and we could see what their work was really like (lunches and team buildings provided opportunities to talk to real IT guys and see that they weren’t just weird people who spent their lives staring at computer screens). I’m definitely going to try and use everything I’ve learned to be able to work at this company one day, just like my brother Gabriel, who invested a lot of his time into organizing this project for us.”