I would have a lot of trouble telling people that my internship at BusyConf has been a job, at least in the normal sense. I hardly ever felt that my internship took too much effort, was too hard, or demanded too much of my time. Working on the BusyConf site itself was interesting, and while at times I felt overwhelmed, Ryan was always there to help me when I needed it.

Many of my worst programming habits have been resolved this summer. I now correctly use the shift key on Mac and Windows PCs, instead of the caps lock key. I also learned what habits to avoid, such as poorly named git commits. But even more critical, I learned to commit everything and that “vendor everything” still applies. In my opinion, my worst problem was naming conventions. I was taught that programs should be written with the future developer in mind.

I realized that many of the best programmers use Macs. I learned of a prediction by Paul Graham in 2005, that Macs would be used by all the top programmers in 10 years. Although Ryan insisted through his actions that Macs (Unix flavors) are superior to PCs for programming, it took me a while to completely shift my opinion. Much like someone learning a foreign language by traveling to another country, I learned about Macs via immersion. Surrounded at Ruby LoCo meetings by the iconic white apple, it was clear how other Ruby programmers felt. Nowadays, I just feel betrayed by Microsoft. My whole life I had been taught and somewhat mindlessly conditioned to believe in PCs – akin to the 1984 Apple Commercial.

The best things I learned were the most simple. Never be late to work, and quintuply so with interviews. Simple office tidbits, like going to lunch and that you should always “network, network, network” are more important than I originally thought. Optimism, persistence, and initiative are noticed. I specifically remember how I felt included. My opinion was taken into account, and I could always chime in. Ryan even taught me how to teach. I now have the opportunity to teach those around me.

I whole-heartedly recommend working with Ryan McGeary. I will not forget this summer. I still wake up with the optimism and passion I had working at BusyConf and then quickly realize that I am ‘stuck’ at college. Regardless of now being a student at CNU, and even having a great dorm, and new friends, I truly wish I could still be going in to work at BusyConf each morning.

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published by Daniel Ackerman

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