Not only do our summer interns do work that ships. Outside their roles on campus, interns get amazing opportunities to develop marketable skills and experience the startup spirit at Microsoft.
Our university recruiting team and The Garage teamed up to launch Intern AppHack, a program for summer interns that began at the Be Awesome event. Participants took advantage of Stay Late and Code nights (SLAC) at The Garage, hackathons, mentorship, and pitch coaching—all culminating in a final presentation to executives along with amazing prizes.
Jason and Colin made it to the semifinals with their music-creation app, MetroLooper. Jason says, “We wanted to emphasize how fun and easy creating amazing music on Windows Phone could be.” In their final presentation, Jason sang a song while he used the app for instrumental support, and recorded it all at the same time.
For MetroLooper, Jason and Colin also landed an extra prize, two Surface Pros, for their app’s notable integration of SkyDrive. Read on as they share their experience.
What is your role as an intern on campus? How did AppHack amplify your experience?
Colin: I am an SDET intern on the Xbox team. I do a lot of regression testing and protection projects for developer tools. I like how AppHack has let me approach a project not just from the testing side, but also design and development. So I experienced not just my testing projects for work, but my extra all-in-one project for AppHack.
Jason: I am an SDET intern on the Windows Phone team. I’m working on an app for my team, and AppHack has helped with that. As I learned about aspects of Windows Phone dev for my AppHack app, I was able to apply them to my work app, and vice versa.
What was it like to participate in AppHack?
Jason: It was a blast. I learned so much about coding for Windows Phone and software engineering in general. Working with a partner was a ton of fun. There were a couple of very late nights spent fixing bugs and getting features ready, but it paid off. We would up with an app that looks fantastic and is a joy to use.
Colin: I like how popular and important they make the competition. Rather than an impersonal or unresponsive organization, with AppHack it feels like we’re really part of a group.
What were the learning sessions like?
Jason: I came into AppHack with a pretty basic understanding of Windows Phone development. The sessions this summer helped me get a better handle on some of the awesome features Windows Phone and Microsoft in general have going for them. Some of the features aren’t particularly well-known, which is a shame, because they’re well-constructed and greatly enhance the app experience.
Describe the on-campus hackathons or SLAC events.
Jason: They were a ton of fun. There was so much talent in this group of participants. Asking people questions about Windows Phone dev helped a lot when we were getting the app up and running. I wound up staying quite late for a couple of them, which was fun: It was just a couple of us sitting around and building the future of the Windows Phone App Store.
In the news:
Intern AppHack was recently featured in GeekWire, which highlighted the finalists and the apps they created.
Get in on the game: