Other Great Internship Programs

March 14th, 2008 by dusty

We make no bones about borrowing ideas from other successful companies, and our most recent idea – the internship program – is no exception. For those unfamiliar, I thought I’d take a minute to outline some of the people that we feel are offering some pretty innovative things when it comes to internships in tech companies…

Fog Creek http://fogcreek.com/Jobs/SummerIntern.html

The mother of all internships. Joel Spolsky is a master marketer, and his internship is no exception. He (seemingly) successfully seo birmingham parlayed one of his first summer internship programs into a successful product for Fog Creek – CoPilot. Joel writes about his experiences in a completely transparent manner, which we love. If we can be half as successful as they are, we’d take it.

We always give our interns a big project working on real, shipping outsourcing software. For example, in 2005, all four of our interns teamed up to build a completely new product from the ground up. By the end of the summer, they had launched Fog Creek Copilot to paying customers.

Jackson Fish http://www.jacksonfish.com/atelier/

These guys have a young company like we do, and we often link to them because, well, its some of the best writing around. This posting about their internship is everything that I wish our job posting could be.

What we also have however is a program that gives you the opportunity to ship actual software that your friends and family can see, use, and love. This is not an experience where you’ll help out on a small feature in someone else’s product. Instead you’ll build an entire piece of software, from conception to launch, that you and your fellow interns can deliver.

FreshView http://www.freshview.com/intern/

Creators of one of the most beautiful and simple-yet-extremely-effective pieces of web software out there – CampaignMonitor. These guys are in Australia, and have an internship program not unlike the others. Free lunches, fun projects, etc.

You’ll be given a real project to work on and get exposed to everything from coding, interface design, marketing, support and testing, all while mastering the mysterious art of ping pong.

What do all thse internships (and our own) have in common you ask? Well, the common thread amongst almost all of them is their emphasis on SHIPPING SOFTWARE. Hillel from JacksonFish sums it up quite eloquently

Whether or not you come to Jackson Fish for the summer, make sure you go somewhere you get to ship. Shipping is what counts. Shipping is how you grow and learn. Shipping is what’s fun.

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. I often tell people that our interns are actually going to do things. They’re going to create things. We’re not just going to stick them in the corner and have them shred papers. Nope, not unlike Joel’s interns or the others, we want our internship program to be about building a product. Because, well, that’s what would be fun for US, if we were interns; its a great learning experience, and a great resume builder.

Know of any other great internship programs? Link ‘em up in the comments, we’d love to hear about them!!