Nathan came to CloudCannon in November 2019 as a development intern. After finishing his honours degree in computer science at the University of Otago, he was excited to be able to immediately put his skills to use at a dynamic young company.
Nathan was born in Auckland and moved down to Dunedin to pursue a degree in computer science. During his time at university, Nathan focused on his studies and later completed his degree with honours. For his honours project Nathan helped to develop a word-search engine for historical, handwritten documents using artificial intelligence. The goal of this was to save historians an enormous amount of time by enabling them to search for keywords in the documents, without needing to transcribe the entire catalogue first.
Nathan found CoundCannon through the JobDUN program at the time. After filtering through the tech-related roles, CloudCannon caught Nathan’s attention because “it looked like a really cool, young company” and “I like how they talked about having LaCroix on their page”.
Nathan’s first impressions of the office were that “it just looked nice and relaxed”, recalling: “I think they were playing LoFi beats at the time. On my first day there were geese sounds layered three times playing on the office speakers.” He remembers feeling lucky about landing work experience related to his degree, noting “I actually got my foot in the door, so [I was] feeling really stoked.” Later, as part of the onboarding process, he particularly remembers “going through the Codecademy courses; it was a really fun way to get up to speed”, as well as finding the working environment to have a “good atmosphere”.
When he initially started working at CloudCannon he said: “I never wanted to impose on all the senior developers so I didn’t ask questions. Once I learned to just ask questions, that made things a lot easier for me. I accepted that I was new to this and that I was there to learn.” During his time as a development intern, Nathan worked on a command line interface (CLI) for one of the services that CloudCannon provides for managing projects. When speaking about the project, Nathan says “it was a good project to work on because it would’ve been tough to do for more than one person” and he felt excited that “it was my first commercial programming experience and I was able to get right into it”. In addition to his work on the CLI Nathan also had the opportunity to work on the Mock Up Tool (MUT), saying “it felt cool to have a Netflix-related job”. Although these projects were challenging, he felt he was learning and improving a lot. Overall, his favourite part of the internship was “feeling like the part of the team and slowly becoming a part of the team and feeling really satisfied and fulfilled with that”.
During his time as an intern Nathan says that he learnt “a lot of programming techniques and best practices” as well as “in general how programming is done at a production level”, reflecting on “how much it contrasts to academic programming”. In particular, he learnt the additional consideration for quality code readability, saying: “That was something on my mind, that someone else would read this code.”
His advice for future interns is: “You might feel some imposter syndrome and that’s pretty normal. Just know that you’re going to get there, and that everyone in the office is happy to help you.”