Hi ppl of devRant! I’m not really a dev but I love reading your rants :) I decided to post my first rant because I think I could use some advice from you.

Background: I’m a student just finished my first year at uni. Earlier I applied for a developer intern just for fun and somehow magically got in. However, I'm a statistics major (not even CS!) and only know basic java stuff. I guess they hired me because I speak ok english and a little french? I live in a non-English speaking country but the company has a lot of foreign customers.

The problem is, the longer I stay, the more I feel that they only hired me out of charity *sobs* There isn’t much for me to do, and most of the time I couldn’t understand what my co-workers are doing so I can’t really help them either. Plus, they don’t seem to need my language skill as much, so I kinda feel useless here.

It’s my 5th (maybe already 6th?) week here and the only thing I did was fixing an itty bitty bug that literally needed only one additional line of code. Yes it took me a while to set up the environment, learn js from scratch since they use js for this project, and locate the issue but I’m pretty sure it’d probably take someone who’s familiar with the project, like, 3 mins? And now that I’ve fixed it and the merge request was passed, I’m out of work to do again. I talked to the lead and he pretty much just said “read more of the code”. Guess I can do that. I’ve spent like 4 days going through the code but is this really promising?

I want to spend time on learning actual stuff rather than yet another resume ornament. So what should I do? Should I ask for more help/more work to do, or keep learning on my own (I’m quite interested in algorithms, maybe I could make use of my time to study that?), or even leave?

Sorry for the long rant. I know ass-kicking devs probably hate useless, underqualified ppl at work in real life but believe me it really hurts to be one and I hate myself enough already so I’d appreciate any thoughts/advice :/

  • 2
    Maybe do some codecademy courses? They have loads of free stuff!

    I work as a cybersecurity engineer and when i don't have much to do i usually practice some hacking challenges or do research on malware or research on other cybersecurity/privacy related stuff :)
  • 1
    Also, welcome much!
  • 4
    Writing unit tests is a good way to both learn the language and get familiar with the code.

    If there are unit tests already written, you could take a look at those and add some more (there is no such thing as too many unit tests).

    If they don't do unit tests, you could show initiative.
  • 2
    I might also suggest learning the language and structure by setting yourself a goal to make your own project with even some simple functionality.

    It's difficult to jump from beginner to expert on your first project.

    Don't forget to ask for help if you need it.
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    The unit test suggestion is what I would probably go with. That is very good advice.

    But also, if you have a task board, maybe you can check them out and see if you can handle any of them.

    Also also, don't hate yourself for being the intern. We all had to start somewhere.
  • 1
    @linuxxx Thank you so much for your welcome and advice! I'll take a look at codecademy courses. Also idk it somehow made me feel better knowing that ppl with an actual cool job (like you!) sometimes run out of work to do :P
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    @Aedath Thank you so much for pointing out a possibility for me! I haven't seen any but I'm pretty sure there should be at least some unit tests since the project they are working on is pretty grandiose.
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    @Stark Thank you for your advice! I thought about this too at first, but was a bit hesitant because i was not sure if I should work on something of my own at work?? But whatever they already decided to pay me for doing nothing here. It wouldn't hurt them more if I get paid for working on my own project lollll
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    @Angry Thanks much for your comment&advice! Haven't spotted a task board yet, but I'll definitely keep that in mind.
    Guess they say the beginning is the hardest for a reason...
  • 0
    @JelliPezi Very welcome! Right now i HAVE to work from home but i don't have the means to so I'm allowed to just self study 😄
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