What do our co-ops think about working at GeekHive?
January 29, 2016
Our co-op (cooperative education intern) Tamer Wahba, recently headed back to school, and we miss him! He was such a great addition to the GeekHive team. Tamer is a Junior at Binghamton and worked with us from June 1st, until the end of December. On his last day, he sat down with me to talk about his time at GeekHive. Here’s what he had to say…
Why did you choose GeekHive?
Tamer: It seemed like a modern place to work. I saw that you had worked on interesting, fun projects and I liked the environment. The interview I had was informative and friendly, it didn’t make me feel like I was taking a test, just having a conversation. Dave, David, and Kevin, who interviewed me, all had a sense of humor, so I felt like I would fit in.
Still happy with your decision?
Tamer: Yes, definitely. Everyone has been very welcoming and generous with their time and knowledge, always taking a moment to answer my questions. I learned a lot from these interactions.
What’s your most valuable lesson from working here?
Tamer: My most valuable lesson was learning programming principles within the industry- easily maintainable, concise code. In school they don’t care about code structure as long as the task is fulfilled, but on client projects, it’s important to write code that is easily readable by someone else without extensive documentation.
Do you feel like GeekHive pushed you to achieve your maximum potential?
Tamer: Absolutely. I learned many new skills and perfected the ones I already had by putting them to use in a real world environment.
Were you treated like an employee or a college student?
Tamer: As an employee. I was treated like a well respected, valuable member of the team. All of my suggestions were taken seriously and given just as much weight as anybody else. I got more responsibilities than I had anticipated and they trusted me to get my tasks done without being micromanaged. I had check-ins every other week where we discussed progress and I had a chance to ask for support as needed.
What feedback do you have for us where we could improve?
Tamer: Chill with the bee metaphors! Seriously though, it’s been so much fun, I don’t really have anything specific.
Why do you think you fit in so well here?
Tamer: The Geekiness, everyone has a quirky passion. Also, it’s like a family. On my first day, George, another developer, messaged me and started talking to me about Binghamton (where we both studied). Usually it takes me time to warm up to people, but everyone was so friendly and welcoming that it made me comfortable enough to step outside of my shell right away.
What’s your Geeky passion?
Tamer: I like to build and tinker with things…basically, robots powered by a Raspberry Pi or Arduino. I made a Lego truck/tank that would go around avoiding obstacles. I’ve also been working on a quadcopter for a while now but it’s not operational as of yet!
What are your three biggest takeaways from your time at GeekHive?
It was nice interacting with actual clients and observing how project managers professionally communicate with them.
I liked working in a team environment where everyone had tasks to do and had to actually do them, as opposed to school projects where some people do all the work while others slack. Working with people with similar work ethics and abilities was encouraging, it made me hold myself to a higher standard and raise the bar to the level that had been set by the other members of the team.
GeekHive has an open book management style that let me see how the company as a whole functioned, even sales and management roles that I don’t normally have exposure to. This helped me contextualize how my work contributed to the big picture.
What advice do you have for other co-ops who may be interested in working at GeekHive?
Before your interview:
Relax! Everyone is friendly. If you’ll be a good fit for GeekHive, and they’re a good fit for you, it’s something you’ll know right away.
Once you’re working at GeekHive:
Ask a lot of questions, don’t hesitate to run things by other people, you’re here to learn! Don’t get discouraged by constructive criticism, you’re still in school so now’s your chance to learn in a real environment. No one expects you to “know it all.”
Strive to maximize learning abilities and new technologies you’re exposed to by saying yes to everything – but be honest and upfront about your capabilities. I had a few experiences where I said, “listen I’ve never done this before, but I’d love to learn about it,” and I was still able to work on the project and learn something new. A simple example of that is a WordPress theme I worked on, I had some exposure to PHP before the project, but not WordPress.
What challenges did you face while working get GeekHive?
Tamer: Having to integrate with third party services that the client’s choose was a challenge. I had to put on my problem solving hat and adapt to those requirements.
Anything else you want to add?
Tamer: It’s a close knit group, and to reiterate like a family, I have had a really positive experience overall and I might come back to work for you after school. (wink, wink.)
Interested in working at GeekHive? Available co-ops are listed here seasonally.
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