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My journey as a Plug-in during the Pandemic

My journey as a Plug-in during the Pandemic
Hello everyone, my name is João Rocha, and I was a Plug-In for the 6th edition of the FARFETCH program. If you’re reading this, you’re probably interested in joining the Plug-In program, have already joined and are nervous/anxious about what the upcoming weeks will entail or perhaps you just have a very specific passion for internship experience blogs. No matter your purpose, I will do my best to share how my six-month internship was spent.

This was a very atypical internship experience as it was in the middle of a pandemic which meant the process took place remotely. This raised some complications as around 60 people were participating in the program. However, it was handled expertly by FARFETCH.

The first three weeks involved several induction meetings, with a special focus on the first week and a half, where these reunions were held for the most part of the day. The following week and a half also had them, however, it was a much more lax schedule where you would gradually start knowing your team and would engage in several tutorials to prepare for the next steps.

The inductions may seem a bit overwhelming at first, but they are an essential part of making you feel like you belong somewhere and you’re not just another cog in the machine. You learn about the inner workings of the company from data, architecture, sales and the whole logistics process. More importantly, you learn about the FARFETCH culture and values. FARFETCH prides itself on being able to provide its people with a good work-life balance and a safe and enjoyable environment to work in. While I haven’t been here for long, I can attest to their commitment to those core values.

After the three weeks of induction, I was finally able to direct all my efforts into completing the tutorials. These tutorials are carefully selected by your mentors to assure the Plug-Ins understand at least the basics of programming. Since I was relatively new to the professional world, I still had some doubts about my capabilities compared to people who had years of experience on their belts, so it was a relief to see that they gave us time to solidify our bases and learn the new approaches to programming while receiving the correct guidance. 

After going through all of the tutorials, which took about a month, we passed to the next phase. To prepare us to integrate with the team, it was decided that we should make a small project. As I entered with a fellow Plug-In on the Android development team, the mentors felt it was appropriate to develop this project together. While this meant we weren't able to work on all the tasks of the project individually and understand the struggles that came with it, I felt that the payoff was worth it as it allowed us to understand the ins and outs of working as a team. Starting the project, dividing the work, solving conflicts in Git (version control), implementing the architecture and, most importantly, writing good and clean code were some of the key skills we were able to develop and improve throughout the experience.

Tasks would be gradually given in order to build our fundamentals one at a time, and by the end of December, the project was finished. Afterwards, it was finally time to start working with the team and putting code on the live app. Getting access to the repositories and looking at the project is very daunting, since you’re overwhelmed with several years of work done by multiple people and, as you can imagine, is not very small in size.

The first thing you do here in Android is a regression, which basically means that you conduct various manual tests devised by QA testers to find bugs. It’s a great way to understand the many flows of the app and what you should be looking out for when you change code. Then it was finally time to leave my mark on the FARFETCH app. We started by doing small changes and fixing some bugs until we were able to gradually do more challenging User Stories. 

It’s been an amazing six months and FARFETCH decided to hire me as a junior for which I am very grateful. I still feel like I’m only just starting and have much more to learn, but with my incredible team, I think I can get far. 

Thank you FARFETCH for this program and thank you for reading all of this.

An ambitious new junior developer.
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