Mikael is a Junior Engineer in Tuxera’s QA team. He’s a computer science major at the University of Helsinki, with minors in mathematics and Russian language. When he’s not studying or working, he enjoys playing flight and space simulator games, playing badminton, and reading non-fiction books about history, technology, and philosophy.
A company that truly matched my interests
When my friend shared a link to Tuxera’s posting for a summer internship, I first thought, “Maybe in five years I’d be ready to work for them.” In the end, I decided to go for it, as I had a strong feeling that Tuxera is the place where I should be working. Naturally, with my background in computer science, I want to be a programmer when I finish my studies. But that’s a pretty broad spectrum of possible things I could do – my actual professional interests are much narrower. I lean toward lower-level development and embedded software, and there aren’t many companies that truly match my interests and skills.
Tuxera, however, was a company that could match them. I also want to work on something that I feel really matters. That’s not to say that developing for the web and mobile does not. From my perspective, I can make a far greater impact by developing kernel-level software for devices that everyone uses. So when I heard I was actually going to spend my summer with Tuxera, I was overwhelmed with excitement!
Some things you just can’t learn in a classroom
As a second-year university student who has never worked with any software company before, I felt a lot of anxiety in addition to excitement when I first started the internship. I had no proper hands-on experience with professional programming, so I had a lot to get used to, such as the internal build environment. Programming for someone else differs quite a bit from working on a project in your free time. Others have to be able to read and understand the work you’ve done, so following the shared practices of the team is crucial.
A hard day’s work balanced by play
My typical day starts pretty early, between 6 and 7 am. That’s because I prefer to come and leave early, and Tuxera’s flexible working hours are great! During the two months that I’ve been here, I’ve worked on Tuxera’s internal test suites. I’ve implemented new features and written fixes to existing tools, plus I’ve built a new add-on tool for handling the file system consistency check. The work is quite demanding, so taking breaks is essential. The office has a dedicated ping pong room, which is a great way to take your mind (and body) off of things for a bit!
While I still get the feeling that I’m lost in a complicated world, my confidence to face it is stronger now. There’s a team of highly skilled individuals who nearly trip over each other to assist me whenever I ask for help, which is something that I really like about Tuxera. Everyone here is kind and respectful, and I feel accepted into this community. So despite the work tasks being complex and at times intimidating, the comfortable environment makes them easy to tackle.
I’ve enjoyed my time at Tuxera so much that I’ve decided to continue working as a part-timer in autumn. Looking forward to new and bigger challenges ahead!