After conversations with all of the employers who participated in Epicodus’s internship program, we’ve come up with some suggestions we hope anybody hosting interns will consider:

  • Integrate interns as closely as possible with permanent staff.

  • Before interns start, run through a clean installation of the software they will be working on. Fix any issues and document the process.

  • If interns will be working on an existing product with other developers, start flagging bugs and features appropriate for the interns two or three weeks before they start.

  • Informally check with interns as often as once an hour.

  • Have interns sit side by side so that they can easily help each other out.

  • Designate one or two staff developers who interns can first turn to when they are stuck.

  • Hold weekly one-on-one, process-oriented, non-technical checkins with each intern.

  • Organize a weekly social event, such as lunch, to bring interns, their supervisor(s), and other staff together.

Setting up an internship program takes work, but the participating employers were universally happy with the outcome, whether it was getting work done on an open source project they had never gotten around to, hiring an intern into an employee at the end, or just the joy of working with excited new developers. We hope our findings and suggestions from this report will make it easier for any company to start a successful, rewarding internship program.

Click the link to head to the full report:

Michael Kaiser-Nyman, President
Maureen Dugan, Outreach Coordinator

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