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Pfannschmidt-Baumann Hannah

Aug 14, 2023

3 Things I’ve learned during my Software Engineering Internship at Wolt

Hannah's intern blog

Hi, my name is Hannah! I joined Wolt's Marketing Tech Team in Berlin about four months ago as one of the software engineer interns in the internship program. Our team mainly supports other departments with data and backend services to optimize marketing performance, advertising, and eventually the experience for our users. Basically, we make sure all the marketing and customer relationship magic happens smoothly! ✨

My journey in engineering only started roughly a year ago. I had no coding experience whatsoever beforehand, but I was always fascinated by the world of programming - plus, I was always good at logical thinking and math. Having studied British media and literature for my Bachelor’s degree, I’ve worked in Content Marketing for the last three and a half years. Last summer, I decided to switch things up and explore a new career path, so I did a bootcamp for Python and SQL. Meanwhile, I continued to grow my knowledge with the help of YouTube and offers like Skillshare (NO, it’s not just a website to sponsor content creators but can actually be helpful) along the way. In hindsight (and during, for sure…), it was a scary move, but one with a rewarding outcome: In the beginning of this year, I applied for the internship at Wolt, and here we are!

Today, I want to share with you three (out of the many) things I’ve learned so far during my internship. Make sure that you stick around until the end, because I might even share a few tips if you’re looking to apply for the next round of Wolt’s internships — so, let’s dive right in!

1. I’m capable of far more than I think I am!

When I started coding, I was overwhelmed with all the knowledge one can acquire. Since I changed careers because I felt stuck in my previous line of work, I tried to focus on the bright side and consider all the things that can be learned: I really enjoy working on my knowledge and continuing to grow. Still, it can be very intimidating at first, and I questioned myself multiple times during my bootcamp.

My doubts started to ease already when I did the take-home assignment for the internship. The task was just the right amount of challenge and a possibility to acquire new skills; I had a lot of fun doing it and actually learned many things along the way.

When I started working at Wolt, things were somewhat overwhelming again at the beginning. But I guess that starting any job in an unknown field at a new company is always a lot to take in at first. After a few weeks, I felt like I was able to follow and understand matters with more ease, grasp the context, and also get a better understanding of what kind of work we do in our team and how it fits into the big picture. Of course, there are still things that are new to me and that take some time to understand, but I guess that’s part of the beauty of growth, right?

As far as my tasks go, I’m currently working on much bigger projects than I thought I would as an intern. I started out on smaller tasks in the beginning to familiarize myself with our repositories, and I got a glimpse of other areas such as data engineering next to the backend work that I’m most familiar with. At the moment, I’m working on a frontend application for our marketing department to support them with the analysis of audience performances, which is also a big project in itself. I’m very excited about the amount of responsibility I get, and my learning curve has been steep!

2. “I hate programming. I hate programming. It works! I love programming!” 

I read this quote at the very beginning of my programming journey and honestly, it didn’t make sense to me back then. But I get it now. I truly do.

See, programming is much more problem-solving than you would think at first glance. It’s not just hacking together a few lines and poof, you’re ready for production. Things don’t work out, you get weird errors, stuff breaks, and all this happens while thinking “I have no idea what could be wrong. I looked at this at least 20 times. It really should work.” Well, yeah, it still doesn’t.

By now, the problem-solving aspect of it all has become one of my favorite things to do. It’s extremely rewarding and enthralling once your code runs smoothly, or you’ve found the bug you’ve been chasing for roughly 4 hours, only to find out it was a misplaced comma. But understanding this and it being part of the journey took me a while — just as acquiring the proper mental toolkit to understand errors or reading documentations did. It surely teaches you a certain level of patience. And practice makes perfect: once reading and tracing back error messages and solving problems becomes part of your almost day to day workflow, you know what to look out for and how to approach these issues.

3. Great colleagues make everything easier

My internship experience at Wolt has been great so far, and I’m really looking forward to the time remaining. A huge contributor to that is my team, which has been welcoming from the very first second. Ever since I started, I was considered an equal part of the team and never once felt that I'm 'only' the intern. During the first weeks, I was also in close contact with my onboarding buddy (shoutout to Elena! 👋), who has been very supportive and patient with me, even if I had to ask some questions multiple times. I got the help whenever and wherever I needed it, and the awesome support network that is my colleagues has been integral to my learning and personal progress. Especially as a beginner, I really appreciate the time they took to help me grow!

This year, there are 13 of us engineering interns working across all kinds of Product teams and different areas, including both backend and frontend engineering. We all come from different backgrounds: some of us are career changers, some of us have studied computer science or a similar field, but we all have one thing in common: It’s an exciting journey for all of us! To share our experiences, we keep in touch through a variety of events, such as lunches or 1:1 coffee chats. For me, it has been extremely helpful and reassuring to chat with other peeps who are in a similar position. Since the majority of us are located in different countries, I have been learning a lot about other cultures as well: An example would be fika, which is a designated break for coffee and cake in Sweden, and it has really grown on me.

MarTech team dinner in Berlin
MarTech team dinner in Berlin

Thinking about applying for Wolt’s engineering internships? Here are my tips!

Take your time with the take-home assignment ✍️

Even though I found the at-home task pretty straightforward, I took almost two weeks to finalize it. But that time also involved learning more about how to use Git and GitHub or reading into best practices. Additionally, I read more into how code becomes good code and the importance of readability, maintainability and writing tests. Especially if you're at the beginning of your engineering career, these things will really help you in the long run! Plus, it reflects on how you approach tasks and projects in general. So, don't rush it and use it as a learning experience!

Be honest and stay curious 🧑‍🏫

This one became especially important during the interview process because, let's be real: sometimes, we all put a little too much pressure on ourselves (guilty as charged!). Since we're talking about internships here, no one is going to expect you to have the knowledge of a senior engineer! We all started out pretty much the same, and that involves not knowing everything, and that is okay. What matters most is to stay curious, have the desire to learn, and be able to communicate if you're unsure or uncertain about something. Also, don't be afraid to ask questions; it’s always a good sign to have them.

Look for feedback wherever you can ✅

Making mistakes (doesn’t matter if they’re small or bigger ones) is inevitable! No one is going to blame you for them. The most important part is seeing them as a chance for improvement. I genuinely valued the interview process, which not only provided me with constructive feedback on my take-home assignment but also highlighted both its strengths and areas for consideration in the future. Try to actively seek feedback: If you have friends or family that work in engineering, ask them to have a look at some of your code or use resources like Stack Overflow.

Are you eager to take on new challenges and expand your horizons? Then you should consider joining our engineering internship program for a fun and worthwhile experience that could shape your path ahead. I'm having a great time, and I know you will too!

Interested in joining our team? Check out our open roles! 🚀

Hannah Pfannschmidt-Baumann

Pfannschmidt-Baumann Hannah

Software Engineering Intern