I have been an intern for a year, as an undergraduate student at PTC.
Those of you who are not familiar with the company, PTC is a software company where its main product is a program called Creo which serves as a graphical CAD (Computer Aided Design) to design and innovate different kinds of machines.
PTC has well over a dozen other projects on various technologies!
I have been working on Creo during my internship at PTC.
Here is what the software looks like:
Don’t let its honest simple interface fool you! A lot of engineering and complex code is running behind every button you see over there!
My main duties as an intern were to maintain certain features of the software according to the updating specs, as well as detect the source of performance degradation in the code.
The workflow has a lot of C/C++ coding, debugging, and all of what comes with this sweet package!
In addition to this role, I have been assigned to a AR (Augmented Reality) project which aims to integrate Microsoft Kinect sensor with Creo, I’ll get to it later.
Since the company was already sailing in the IoT world, that was a completely sane step not to skip!
PTC was my first industrial experience, where I had to deploy whatever I learned in class, out there to the actual world! Which makes it extra special!
For me, as a student, undergoing this experience has opened me to a ton of the small mechanisms which help this mega million dollar industry move…Think about it, the world is all about technology!
Those are the things I learned
1. Working as a team toward a common goal
Probably the most obvious point of all, since the corporate world is all about this team hierarchy!
To make it extra interesting, during my first month or so, the fact that [all] team-members where more experienced than me, it was actually more efficient to reach out to them for technical help, which for them was trivial, however, for someone completely new as me, seeing that certain issue unfolds, was witnessing black magic in action!
2. There is no such thing as boring task
Ok, this might get you worked out! Bear with me 🙂
The truth which I came to realize, the industrial world is different from the academic one, in which the latter has a larger degree of freedom to work on whatever you want! as a case in point, you can chose which major you want to specialize in, and chose the course that make most sense to you, hence, ‘interesting’.
On the flip side, whenever there are paying customers, you are obliged to adjust/fix the issues they are complaining about, no matter how ‘boring’ that is to you!
There is a bright side however!
For me, a boring task is the one which is not challenging enough to make you learn/discover new techniques related to the technology you’re working on. Therefor, you can always think of a new ‘interesting’ way to implement that task, say write that script which automates the heck out of everything, to spare you few minutes in-order to hop to that ever stopping coffee machine, standing like a beast!
This one is so underrated, it is ridicules!
From the moment I was sitting across my manager at the interview, I was marketing something: Myself! That’s correct! I was communicating why I’m cut for the role.
Moreover, whenever there was a diversity of thought, I had to market my opinion to which it is the correct way to implement things, rather than the way things already are.
Remember that AR project I mentioned it earlier?! I had to present it in-front of the facility manger, some high-rank dude. I marketed it to him!
Not that I convinced him to invest a million dollar into it, rather to make him see there is something to be taken forward from that project!
PTC participates in campus career fairs. I was there, with some of my colleagues, explaining to the students all about the company and why they should apply! Again, we were marking the company this time!
I have not came into touch a lot with the sales people of the company, during my workflow, which I kinda wish I did, since the office I worked at was relatively small, where everybody knows everybody!
Final notes and thoughts
I was very satisfied with my experience at PTC and the things I learned about myself, being an employee and the business in general, this is definitely among the most important milestones I’ve set in my college time up to this very moment.
My manager was kind enough to leave me with a recommendation letter, on my final day:
Thank you PTC!