A brief overview of an internship in an IT firm or a refactoring of the story about Karabas Barabas

A brief overview of an internship in an IT firm or a refactoring of the story about Karabas Barabas

Long live our stubborn Karabas,
It is comfortable for us to live under his beard,
And he is not a tormentor,
And just our good teacher

(Bulat Okudzhava “Song about Karabas Barabas”)

A little about the reasons for the study. We are an IT company that, on the basis of its office, deals with the problems of “processing” students of IT specialties into IT specialists. For several years, we have achieved success in this field and transformed individual processes into a business pipeline. It is loaded at a local federal university, in which we, side by side with local teachers, teach several key disciplines, softening the dry academic nature of the subjects with our everyday experience. Then, carefully selecting the best students, we send them on internships to the walls of our company, where they, as befits students, methodically overcome the difficulties we create.

The internship stage can end only as a result of successful passing of our internal interview for professional suitability, in which all those willing to open the applicant’s eyes to the level of his incompetence participate as interviewers. If the intern still manages not to fail the interview, voila — the company gives birth to a new employee! Young personnel hungry for real work are still a little “tired” on the bench, in an internal project, waiting for a request from our partners to supply the specialists they lack. As soon as such interest is detected, we carefully pack young employees into teams and provide them for outstaffing. After they have won so far, for the well-being of their interview with the customer, we can no longer worry.

At the moment of the transformation of an intern into an IT specialist, and sending him to adult swimming, of course, our internal, educational project is exposed and we gradually begin to feel resource hunger in it. This factor forces the next loading of the pipeline, which initiates the regeneration processes of the training team. Details about the mentioned internal project will follow below. Since yesterday’s interns take care of followers throughout the cultivation process, and so shift after shift, the transfer of knowledge and instilling of corporate ethics occurs naturally, as if by “self-flow”, but under the close supervision of our breeders. You can see about it HERE.

So, having dealt with the preamble, let’s go directly to the internship. In fact, this is work in the company’s office on our internal “sandbox” project, in which tomorrow’s employees dig until a certain time. The target product of this project is not a simple WEB site, but a kind of complex IT platform for configuration using its tools and mechanisms — applications that automate various areas of business. In general, for the young and ambitious, the development of the toolkit depicted above is quite a challenge and an excellent practice.

Yes, an important clarification, interns work half a day at a time convenient for them, since learning is still the main, life-creating activity at this stage of their formation. And I will also note that I myself cannot stand half-baked underclassmen who work from the 2nd year on a specialty and do not appear at the university. They mostly consider themselves cool “IT geeks”. Listen to how they have all seen and experienced laughter, yes.

But let’s return to our educational project. All processes in it occur in approximately the same way as in the “adult” production of information systems. The identified functionality on the “planning” is neatly cut into “sprints”, the hustle and bustle of which (sometimes even on time) turns to the demonstration of the new release on the “demo”. There is another entourage of the traditional software development process. The most active can taste the role of a project manager and enjoy the taste of their responsibility for the irresponsibility of their comrades. But what kind of friends are they after that?

Yes, and we also try to reproduce the working environment similar to the real, combat one. And the demand for interns takes place “in an adult way”. Sometimes in raised tones, with complaints and attacks, and in response with refusals and excuses. Naturally, sometimes the intern shows regret, shock and even some disappointment. And this happens. And how else? Otherwise, the process of growing up is very stretched and lubricated. Self-employed interns don’t work, they just hang out. Mentally, they are still children and most subconsciously just want to play and have fun. Although from the outside, everyone strives to appear as representative specialists.

And now attention, now will be the apotheosis of the whole action! In such a process, there is no way to do without it tough, authoritarianbut definitely authoritative leader, mentor. Which, in fact, should provide this endless affect, which is guaranteed to keep the young team in good shape. About which interns have to constantly complain, cry and say that they can’t and won’t stand it anymore. If there is a similar reaction, then the process of professional and social formation is proceeding normally. Such pressure once again motivates interns to break through to a commercial project as soon as possible and end their “suffering”.

And yet, for psychological balance, it is still desirable that there should be an additional actor to whom the trainees could vent all their complaints about the blatant injustice and burdens of life, and who, in turn, could explain the hopelessness of their situation and the inevitability of humbly accepting suffering in order to arrange their of the future successful career.

Carrying out such educational activities at a distance is like training a black cat in a dark room, especially if you are not Kuklachev. For harmonious maturation, interns must constantly see live behavior models of adults and always try them on themselves, choosing organically suitable ones for themselves. Such models can be discussed at our company in a conversation over IT tea.

Summarizing the results of the observations described above to some industrial and social pattern, I had the feeling that I had already heard about it somewhere.

Do you also now have parallels with the tale of Karabas Barabas and his puppet theater? An authoritarian leader who tries to build a professional team on his own. The only thing that stands out from this social model is the fact that the author turned the person of the leader. He presented him as if he was ready for meanness, as if he was ready for abomination and even with a high probability of being able to humiliate himself to some extent. This figure is completely inconsistent with my ideas about mentoring and mentoring. I even doubted the parallels I had lined up.

And then it came to me. Apparently, the image of Karabas Barabas came to the author from the stories of puppet actors, which he tried to grow. Perhaps in some moments harshly, from the height of his professionalism, perhaps without discounting his age and lack of any experience. Do you know how to ask a sophomore why he studies poorly? There is nothing better in a triple (in a binary it is a “position”). Triechnik will always say that it is the fault of the teacher, who treats him personally terribly and is so clingy. Thousands of other excuses and accusations of the teacher will be used, in addition to the scoundrel’s search for problems in himself.

Most likely, Karabas Barabas was just a perfectionist who could not tolerate dilettantism and somehow tried to fight its manifestations in his own way. In the retelling of the dolls-actors about these aspirations that deserve respect, cognitive distortions were revealed, which turned reality into a picture of abuse, humiliation and cruel treatment of children. This version is also supported by the fact that Karabas Barabas was listed in the work as a doctor of puppet sciences (not khukhry-mukhry), no matter who is accredited with such a title.

I believe that any actor who came out of the walls of the alma mater of Karabas Barabas, thanks to the concentration of his efforts, could decorate any theater troupe. To confirm my conclusions, I recently watched the film “Actresses” by Paulina Andreeva and Fyodor Bondarchuk. Listen, there are also those customs and relationships in the high theatrical environment, which, by the way, explain a lot in the remake of Alexei Tolstoy’s fairy tale – “The Golden Key”.

And if you look at this picture from the other side. After all, how many dolls that didn’t make it to the studio-theater produced by Barabas lie inconspicuously somewhere in a pile of the same losers, nobody needs and is not in demand. A terrible fate indeed.

The quintessence of this review is that for an effective process of turning interns into IT specialists, a firm engaged in such a practice must first of all cultivate its own authoritarian mentor in its ranks. If you want, your #KarabasaBarabasa (in the good sense of the word), if you don’t have one yet.

These observations and their analysis were collected by me and presented to your attention.

PS While I was writing the article, I was constantly tempted to make associations with the participation of Pinocchio in the community of the “theatre” project, but this is probably a topic for a separate review.

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