Summer of Tech

Psoda welcomes two more Summer of Tech interns

Psoda blog author avatar
11 December 2018

We’re proud and excited to share that we have once again appointed two interns to help us over the New Zealand summer.
Logan Barnett and Rodney Cruden-Powell have both just completed their computer science studies at Victoria University of Wellington and join us through the incredible Summer of Tech internship programme.
This is the fourth year we have taken on interns from Summer of Tech. A non-profit programme helping students and graduates enter the New Zealand IT industry.
Logan and Rodney are helping us build a specialised AI-powered search function in Psoda.
As this is their first full-time jobs in the tech sector, we wanted to know what Logan and Rodney like about working at Psoda so far. And how they see this placement helping advance their future careers.
One highlight of working at a smaller company for both Logan and Rodney is being exposed to all aspects of how a software company runs and build its products.
“As part of a small team, we get to have input in projects. Even if they are not directly related to your own role, such as the design. I don’t think you would have that opportunity in bigger companies with a lot of separate departments,” says Rodney.

Opportunities to learn

Another rewarding aspect of working at Psoda is the amount of flexibility provided – even to junior developers – and the opportunity this creates to learn new skills.
“I thought starting as a developer, you would be told what the design of the product should be. But here you are part of the whole end-to-end process – from build, design to testing. It’s been a creative and fulfilling process,” says Logan.
“The way we work, we manage our own time and get to work on our own projects. This allows me to learn new programming languages and gives me the opportunity to put them into practice.”
Rodney agrees: “At Psoda there are not too many restrictions on how to do things. I enjoy that freedom – we get to have a play and break things!”
The responsibility which comes with this level of freedom and managing their own time are helping Logan and Rodney develop valuable skills, which will benefit their future careers, says Logan.
“I feel the project management experience I’m gaining here will definitely help me in future jobs.”
For Rodney, being able to spend time exploring different interests while working at Psoda will help him decide which direction to take his career.
“I’m still figuring out what I’m interested it. Everything we learned at university was quite broad. I want to try and understand as many different kinds of programming as I can. At Psoda, we can spend time researching and find the best way to do things.”

Career kick-starter

Starting their tech careers in Wellington has been another benefit of the internships at Psoda for both Rodney and Logan.
“I definitely knew Wellington was the tech hub of New Zealand, which is why I wanted to move here. I knew it was the place to be,” says Logan, who moved from Taradale in the Hawkes Bay for his studies in Wellington.
Rodney, originally from Taranaki, sees a long career ahead of him in the city. ” This internship is definitely a foot in the door in the Wellington tech scene. I feel I could happily stay in Wellington for a long time and don’t see any reason to go anywhere else to work in tech.”
Overall, Logan feels working at Psoda ticks all the boxes for a first job: “The location in the Wellington Botanical Gardens is fantastic, the people are really great, and the work is right up my alley – so it’s the best of all worlds”
Rodney agrees: “The atmosphere here is great and really good for doing creative work. I’ve heard a lot of my friends complain about their jobs, so we are lucky here!”
Outside of work, Logan plans to get back into hockey, which was one of his main interests before university, as well as creative pursuits like art and animation.
Rodney meanwhile will continue to pursue his passion for music. A drummer of 12 years, he has played in several bands and regards session musician Vinnie Colaiuta as his favourite drummer.

About Summer of Tech

Psoda has worked with Summer of Tech four times since 2013 and we have found it an excellent way to find students who are a great match for our company as interns.
The people who run the programme have the process of matching tech companies and interns down to a fine art. They host a series of events that give employers a chance to interact with the students and provide ongoing support for both the interns and the companies.
By providing these internships (which are paid – we don’t believe in unpaid internships!), we hope to help grow, and importantly, retain the next generation of tech employees and entrepreneurs. This is particularly important in small countries like ours which already have skills shortages.

Rhona Aylward avatar
Written by Rhona Aylward
Rhona is Deputy Everything Officer at Psoda, where she does everything except code. After starting life as a microbiologist she moved into PMO leadership roles around the world before settling in New Zealand with her family.

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