A Month Well-spent

In my first month as a spring apprentice, I have spent time going through INN’s huge and impressive member sites, paired up with master coders in the Nerds team, read documents about their WordPress theme Largo, started work on Knight funded prototype One-liner - all from the comfort of my home (and sometimes my pajamas!).

I have been learning a lot and this is a blog post to reflect on some of the things that I have been doing.

Working from home: Comfortable but distracting

The experience of working from home has been a completely new one to me. Sometimes, it feels like the best thing possible - hop off from the bed and get right into work. I love the fact that I start really early (7 am!) and working from home allows me to do that. Starting early also means I can run errands at times when the shops are empty, another nice perk of working remotely. But over the weeks, I have realized that comfort is a double-edged sword. Working from home can be distracting at times and even lonely. Thankfully my remote team is very open, supportive and communicative. I also learned that being aware of distractions helps me to consciously manage it. The team's remote-working tips and organized outlook on this helped a lot.

Documentation: Can’t have enough of it

I spent a lot of time this month reading tons of material about INN - ranging from understanding their member sites to setting up the Largo theme to deploying websites. I was amazed at how cleanly and thoroughly everything was documented. On reflecting, I have realized that documentation serves many purposes - it allows collaboration and makes a resource less and less dependent on any one person’s knowledge. Newsrooms need to document more.

Unique work at INN: Providing support in a rapidly changing world

The news landscape has been rapidly changing in the last decade. While the big newsrooms are beginning to adapt to these changes and exploring new forms of storytelling, the smaller newsroom still need support transitioning into the digital world and help with ideas on how to make revenue. I realized that supporting newsrooms with Largo and building news applications is a much-needed service for the industry.

Drawing upon infinite wisdom: Asking for help

As a junior coder, one of the biggest roadblocks to start programming is the setup itself. Every command will lead to errors and the whole process can be frustrating. Working with experienced programmers in the nerds team made that a piece of cake. I paired with my colleagues multiple times every week and got free classes on Javascript and WordPress development. Having a team who can help you when you are stuck is a great asset and I learned that I shouldn’t shy away from asking questions.

All those who wander are not lost: What's ahead

I’ve started work on the Knight-funded prototype One-liner and I'll spending a chunk of time researching and building a prototype along with the other nerds. I'm excited and counting on the support and appreciation that I have been lucky to have so far.