It’s funny how everything works out. I thought I had everything figured out when I graduated from Baldwin Wallace University in May of this year. I thought finding a job would be incredibly easy, but it ended up being a challenge to find an entry level opportunity or a company that was willing to take on a fresh college graduate. I had some talks with a few companies but they did not pan out. The companies only ended up offering IT help desk or similar job opportunities; unfortunately nothing in the area that I wanted. I was starting to get discouraged. It was hard being a college grad and having to go bartend at a restaurant every night. I guess when you’re in school you tend to focus so much on graduation you don’t always put a ton of thought into how hard it can be to find a job, specifically one in development in my case. As a stroke of luck, a friend of my girlfriend mentioned something about this business called Briteskies and how awesome of a company it was. She mentioned this to me and I checked out the Briteskies website. I really liked what I saw, so I applied, and the rest is history.
Simply from my first interview, I could tell that Briteskies would be a great place to work. Everyone from the management to the developers that I talked to throughout the interviewing process made me feel comfortable and welcomed. The discussions that took place seemed more like actual conversations rather than an interrogation process that many interviews tend to feel like. After a few meetings, It was official: I had the internship and I could not wait to take the first step towards my career!
My first day sticks out to me quite vividly. I came in around ten into to the open circular desk area where the Magento Team is located: that’s right no small, life-sucking cubicles here, to my relief! I walked over to my desk and there was a welcome package of balloons, a coffee mug, and a few other odds and ends. This may seem like a simple gesture but it meant a lot to me. Prior to this job I had worked in restaurants for the past 10 years, where you are simply a replaceable worker. Briteskies seems to celebrate their employees’ individuality. That day the company took all of the employees out to lunch at the Winking Lizard, which was a great opportunity to get to know some of my coworkers. The work atmosphere here is perfect. It is much more laid back that I would have imagined, but at the same time everyone is pushed to get their work done. As an employee of Briteskies you want to work and you want to be productive because you are part of a team. The team members here are very close and welcomed me in right away. There were no awkward, “don’t talk to the new guy” experiences here!
The technical experience I have received for the last three months has been great; extremely challenging, but great. The internship experience here at Briteskies is very hands on. You won’t be making copies of papers and fetching coffee. My favorite part of this process is that you don’t feel like an intern, you feel like part of the family here. I have had a chance to experience and take part in many meetings with actual clients along with attending a few company meetings and events as well. Derrik Nyomo is an awesome mentor. From day one he has been there to guide me through the challenging process of learning to develop for the Magento Platform. His knowledge of Magento, PHP and IT in general made a real impression on me. Through his calm demeanor and patient teaching style, he makes learning everything a much more accomplishable task. Coming into this job I had much to learn, from the PHP programming language and the Magento environment, to learning how to use repositories. It was quite overwhelming at times, but I kept with it, trying my hardest and learning every day. Derrik had a good training methodology; he would give me enough help to get started but let me try and figure it out on my own. Of course, he would help out if I got too stuck. The best way to learn is though doing. To this day I have learned the PHP language, advanced CSS/HTML, the Magento platform (front end and back end development), use of repositories (version control), and agile development procedures.
As I look back at this whirlwind of knowledge and experience that I have acquired from these last few months I could not be happier. I have grown as a developer and really enjoy the Magento Platform. I hope to continue with Briteskies as a Magento developer. I already have some goals set out to start working at completing some of the Magento Certifications and specialize in Magento front end development. I am genuinely grateful for the opportunity and experience given to me by Briteskies.