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An interview with a software engineer intern

Domenic Lovallo

Every year, our industry placement programme offers students local to our London and Belfast offices the chance to gain real-world exposure to all things iManage and truly #MakeItMeanSomething.

With opportunities across Engineering, Data Science, Product Management, Cloud Operations, Customer Support, and more, our 12-month-long iManage U programme provides students with the chance to experience a dynamic technology company first-hand and be given an opportunity to make an enormous impact that is felt across the organisation.

With our 2022/23 programme wrapping up and our interns returning to university for their final year of study, we took some time to speak to one of our Engineering interns in London, Josh Halliwell, as he reflected on his time with iManage over the past year.

Josh joined us in June 2022 and has since been an integral part of the iManage Intelligence Engineering team in London. Here’s what Josh has to say about his experience and accomplishments at iManage:

Firstly, tell us a little bit about yourself!

I’m currently attending Reading University and studying Computer Science. I chose this degree because I enjoy the problem-solving aspects of programming and creating software applications. In my free time, I like playing the guitar and piano, going to festivals, and playing golf.

Why did you decide to apply for a placement year?

I wanted to get that all-important hands-on experience working as a software engineer. This meant I could make sure that it’s the career I want to pursue, as well as gain the experience that would help me get a job after I graduate.

How would you describe your iManage placement year so far in 3 words?

Collaborative, interesting, rewarding.

What project(s) have you been working on?

At the start of my placement, I worked on an internal web application, a tool for tracking GitHub workflows and development environments. The team I joined was already working on an established web application, so I was doing bug fixes, such as characters not being recognised properly in a document, monitoring, and metrics for the software. I also gained some experience in cloud computing by working on script for user migration.

For the second half, I have been working on a brand-new piece of software, which is used to manage when legal documents should be deleted. I’ve mainly been working on the frontend on this project, and it’s been a great way to learn frontend development and be able to see what goes into enterprise-level software from the ground up.

What does a typical day look like for you?

As I’ve been working on the frontend for a new piece of software being developed, I’ll typically be implementing a new feature, or perhaps the workflows that allow us to test and release the software. There is a daily stand-up meeting where the team share updates on what they have been doing, and if they need support with anything. I will review Pull Requests from team members, where I check through their code and approve it or make comments before it is merged into the main codebase. There is often a collaborative aspect, where I am working with another team member or planning upcoming work each day, too.

The projects and tasks have differed quite a bit during my time at iManage, which has allowed me to work with a wide variety of employees and engineers across the company.

What sort of support/mentorship did you experience over the course of your internship?

The support has been great. There are a lot of senior members of my team that I can ask questions, and they have always been very approachable. I also have regular one-to-ones with my manager, where we look at targets, both short and long-term, and discuss what I need to do to reach them, not only within iManage, but also those that will be beneficial for my last year at university and my future in the industry. Having this direction alongside the opportunity to work on specific tasks has been really useful.

What was your favourite part of interning at iManage?

Collaborating with team members. I have learned so much from pairing with more senior engineers, reviewing their code, and asking questions about it. I have also found it very rewarding working on new features on the frontend and being able to see something I have developed in a real-world application.

What have you enjoyed most about the culture at iManage?

The flexibility that iManage offers. There is the option to work from home, and a lot of people do, but the team still regularly organises to go into the office to collaborate in person and then do something fun after work. There is also a culture committee that organise events after work, such as board games nights, and the office space is set up with lots of fun activities to do; such as a gaming room and a ping pong table.

In general, I feel iManage really cares about it’s employees, for example offering company-wide wellness days during the year where everyone gets a day off to rest, which has been a refreshing change.

What advice do you have for next year’s placement students or anyone looking for an internship?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Everything was very new to me at the start and there is a lot to learn, but from my experience, everyone has been happy to help and support. Make the most of having more experienced people around you!

Also, try to come into the office to meet team members and collaborate in person if you can, it makes a big difference getting to know the people you are working with better, and there are lots of fun social activities to get involved with.

What is next for you now?

I’m happy to say that I have been offered a position at iManage after I graduate, which I’m really excited about! For now, I’ll be returning to university for the final year of my degree, then I’ll be starting as a permanent Associate Software Engineer in 2024. I look forward to gaining more experience and continuing my career here!

 

A huge thank you to Josh and all of our iManage U class of 2022/23! We will miss your contagious energy, innovative ideas, and all your contributions, but look forward to keeping in touch and seeing all that you accomplish next! We’re excited to welcome Josh back as a permanent member of the iManage engineering team in 2024 and seeing where his career at iManage takes him!

Of course, it’s never too soon to start thinking about your placement year! Would you or someone you know be interested in joining the iManage U class of 2024/25? Our iManage U hiring kicks off in October—keep an eye on our careers page for postings!

 

About the author

Domenic Lovallo