“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.” – Theodore Roosevelt
What Mr. Roosevelt said resonates with me. If something is too easy, it might not be worth doing. It is the same for an internship. You want challenges, problems, and difficulties. Those are what make you smarter, faster and stronger, to help you learn and to help you grow both professionally and personally.
It has been a few weeks into my internship at Eastman Kodak Company, where I am interning as a web programmer this summer. I am facing a few challenges, but I am also on the way to solving them.
Communication is Key
Kodak is a big company. With a big company, communication is critical. During the past weeks, I found that sometimes it is a bit challenging for me to gather necessary information from stakeholders. It is understandable as it is not rare with any big organizations that it does take a while to get a hold of someone and I have experienced it before. However, I am truly thankful that my team lead is always there trying to help me out. He is a senior engineer and is busy during a lot of times, but whenever he has a moment, he is there to help and I really appreciate it.
I am also spending times to do research and try to solve issues on my own so far. It is challenging and I may not solve issues immediately. But it is a learning process. Once I’ve solved the issue, I feel accomplished. It is surely rewarding.
Rising to Challenges
Moreover, I originally planned to use PHP language when I start to develop the back-end scripts (Server-side). I assumed our web server supported PHP. It is a very common and popular back-end scripting languages. I wrote some PHP code and tried to run it on the server and it just never worked. I started to wonder what was happening and tried to debug the code, but after many attempts, the web page continued to show the “Internal Server Error” message.
Finally, I was able to speak to a system analyst and inquired about our web server’s setting. I learned that only IIS (Internet Information Services) is installed and supported for the specific web server I was working on. In order to let PHP code running on the server, we need to have Apache HTTP Server installed and there must be someone maintaining it for long-term, therefore we could only use ASP (Active Server Pages) to code the server-side scripts, which is supported by IIS.
This situation became an obstacle for me. I do not know much about ASP besides its name and what it does. However, challenge is great, it is an opportunity for me to learn and to rise. I am quickly adapting to the ASP environment. I switched web editor to Microsoft’s WebMaxtrixm since it supports ASP development. I’m learning ASP from my work. I even spent some of my spare time to look into ASP. The resources that are available online have helped me a lot on this.
All the research skills and learning habits that I acquired at iSchool made me not afraid of challenges and be ready to create opportunities out of them. I am also glad that there are so many supportive and intelligent people here at Kodak, they are indeed helpful, knowledgeable, and professional.
Times flies, the internship continues, and I will never stop to learn from problems and challenges that I encountered. They are not there to scare you, instead, they are there to help you grow. I believe it and you should, too.