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Building programs yourself vs interships, for experience

  1. Dec 5, 2016 #1
    I'm trying to get some more work experience for my computer science resume since it's practically empty. All of the internships I've found so far are too demanding of my time since I'm a full time student. Would it be worth my time to create my own software and put that on my resume or should I continue searching for internships?

    Thanks in advance
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 5, 2016 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Your own projects will need time as well, and it is harder to show that you put time into them. Contributing to open-source projects is another option.
  4. Dec 5, 2016 #3


    Staff: Mentor

    Do both. Doing your own programs shows self-motivation. Getting an internship gives you interview experience, gives you a tangible job reference and gives you practical team experience. Also an internship can lead to a job at the interning company.
  5. Dec 5, 2016 #4
    I like the open source idea, is there a particular website that's best known for this?
  6. Dec 5, 2016 #5


    Staff: Mentor

    Github and sourceforge hosts many open source projects.

    However you should find them based on interest. As an example, the processing.org project is always looking for people to investigate and fix issues that they will vet and then add to the official project.
  7. Dec 5, 2016 #6
    Thanks for the help! I definitely don't want to wait around until I graduate to find experience
  8. Dec 5, 2016 #7


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    I agree here. Do both. You could or should be able to get recognition for your individual project IF YOU ARE SHARING IT WITH THE TARGETED USERS for the application.
  9. Dec 5, 2016 #8


    Staff: Mentor

    I know when I and my coworkers interview candidates, we get particularly interested when we see extracurricular items listed related to our work. One person had C/C++ audio processing on Arduino and Raspberry PI platforms, another had contributed to the Processing foundation and yet another had worked on a team for some open source initiatives. These people are truly interested in programming and have gone above and beyond regular coursework. These are the kinds of people we want working for us.

    Also don't sell yourself short, sometimes your hobbies should be listed and may interest an interviewer with the same interests:
    - read and write sci-fi / fantasy novels
    - active member of Society for Creative Anachronism, designing your own costumes and accoutrements
    - compete in robotics competitions as part of a team doing hardware/software development...
  10. Dec 5, 2016 #9
    Wow that's really good advice, thank you! It''s encouraging to hear that non-work related activities do help. I would like to do as much as possible and use my time as efficiently as possible but sometimes I just have no idea where to start, whether internship or learning things on my own. I'm not a procrastinator by any means, I just want to make sure I'm using my time wisely.
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