The University of Southampton

Micro Focus provides a great internship experience for ECS students

Published: 4 October 2013

Summer 2013, seven students from Southampton and Oxford Universities participated in the 10-week Micro Focus Development Internship scheme at their headquarters in Newbury, Berkshire.

The team consisted of new and returning interns under the supervision of two Micro Focus developers, Gary Stoneman and Warren Prescott, who had completed the graduate scheme themselves.

This year’s internship project involved designing and implementing a brand new Data File Editor. The requirement for this project has been driven by a demand from the customers of Micro Focus who required a tool that could open extremely large data files, sometimes upwards of 80GB, and be able to quickly locate a specific record to be changed. Intern Gen-Nam Lam details: “The data editor project comprised of many different components involving processing data from IO to displaying the data via a number of different interfaces (GUI, web, command-line). Being able to work on a range of areas rather than a single component keeps the job interesting and seeing how other people code was a good insight on how to adjust my own coding style.”

Through participation as Interns the team gained experience of how software development methodologies are applied to real-life projects. Jimi from Oxford commented: “Micro Focus has introduced me to Agile development paradigms, which have helped with the organisation of work and enabled us to get up and running doing useful work almost straightaway.” Like every development team at Micro Focus, the team used these techniques to plan their work and track progress. Southampton undergraduate Tung explains: “Each week, a planning session is carried out with the required tasks taken from the backlog, and points are estimated for each item. Each item is then broken down into smaller tasks by their owner”. A common aspect of agile development is the daily scrum or “stand-up”. “At the start of each day, a 10-minute scrum covered what had been logged for the last 24 hours and what was planned for the next 24 hours," says Alex (Southampton).

Aside from work, Micro Focus believes the social side is important for the students, giving them an opportunity to create a good team atmosphere and meet some of the staff. Returning intern Patrick says: “It’s always impressive how friendly other people in the company are, and how much they’re willing to help with issues you might be having. It’s often surprising just how much some people know about a given topic or field." One of the employee benefits is a discount to the local leisure centre that allows participation in inter-company sports and games. Intern Sam adds: “Micro Focus’ company lifestyle has also helped make working here an enjoyable experience. The people have been friendly and welcoming and the atmosphere relaxed yet professional, and the treatment we have received even as interns has been great.”

Hopefully intern Ali speaks for them all when he says “Overall, working as part of a team here has been a great experience and I have very much enjoyed working at Micro Focus.”

Micro Focus offers paid summer internships every year and also has graduate software developer roles open. To apply or to find out more, see the Micro Focus careers website.

Micro Focus will be giving a company presentation in ECS on Wednesday 20 November at 2pm. All welcome.

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