A pingback from Startups Nigeria appeared on my blog and I quickly checked the blog (Startups Nigeria) to find more about it. After going through the site I realized that it was the best stop for latest IT news and opportunities within the sphere of Nigeria and immediately subscribed to their feeds. In just four days later the opportunity was there when I checked my Google reader and found a post from Startups Nigeria which reads: Google Offers Technical Internships for EMEA.
I checked the official post at Google Africa Blog and all the requirements to apply for the internship perfectly matched my qualification and skills. I was very optimistic that I would soon be at Google for my internship.
The blog says for a candidate to be eligible he should be enrolled in a BS, MS or PhD in Computer Science or a related technical field and be within 12-18 months of completing a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, or at any stage in his PhD. This was an easy pass for me as I am currently attending my masters in Software Engineering. And to be more perfectly suited, two industrial attachments are part of the requirements for fulfilling the master’s programme. I completed my 1st attachment in December last year and the subsequent one is coming up on 6th April which is going to last for 5 months. This qualifies me further for the Internship which requires a minimum of 3 months and maximum of 12 months attendance.
The technical requirements for the Internship include:
- Experience in systems software or algorithms
- Excellent programming skills (C++; Java and/or Python)
- Knowledge of UNIX/Linux or Windows environments and APIs
- Familiarity with TCP/IP and network programming a plus
My first degree is Electrical/Electronics Engineering, but I loved Computer Science ever since, so I have good skills and understanding of data structures and algorithms. It was my first drill during my MS programme as well. I have read a number of books and have been following Peteris Krumins’s transcriptions on MIT’s Introduction to algorithms series.
Programming is a hobby to me; I have been engaged in it since my first year in High School. I have skills in C++ and specifically Java. I have knowledge of both Linux and Windows environments and fair understanding of TCP/IP and network programming.
I am an ardent fan of Google, so I knew the kind of skills they require. For a position of a Software Engineer, good understanding of data structures and algorithm is highly required. Writing effective codes using best practices and Design patterns is also a key requirement. I have been engaged with the technical presentations from Google I/O, Google Developers and Google Tech Talks made available in Youtube, so I have a good insight on what it means to be a Google Engineer.
Joshua Bloch’s Effective Java (who happens to be the Chief Java Architect of Google) has improved the way I write my Java codes. I write clean, effective and maintainable codes; I use GoF patterns, Enterprise Java patterns and other patterns in my codes.
I am also acquainted with most of the Google APIs and tools; I specifically use Google Web Toolkit (GWT) for my Ajax developments. I have checked on the open source projects from Google as well but have not actively participated in any yet.
At Google, stuff that will interest and inspire millions of people across the world is the kind of products that are built. Creativity is very important and my brain is stuffed with 1001 ideas.
I immediately sent my application, CV and credentials to Google. I was very confident that I have met up with all the requirements and was looking forward to a positive reply.
Eleven days later my hope of having 5 months experience at Google became history when I received a reply that there is no position that is a strong match with my qualification this time, so they won’t be progressing with my application.
I enquired if my qualification was the main reason why there isn’t any match for me, and they said candidates with strong Computer Science skills are required. They went further to say grades are a very important part of a Google application, particularly for intern candidates. My Electrical/Electronics background has disqualified me and I had no enough measurable experience outside the academic world. I was really looking forward for an Interview so that my skills would be measured.
They said I am on track and have a chance in future. But of course when next I try it is going to be a full time Google Employee and not internship.
Computer science students with high grades (1st class or high 2nd class), you have a high chance for internship at Google. Just make sure you complement your grades with sufficient skills in terms of the technical requirements and you would be almost certain to get an entry.
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