We as phone users often take apps for granted. They arrive in the store and if they have enough stars we download them. What we don’t see is that development of those apps takes long hours and the knowledge to translate ideas into function. The Microsoft Foundry internship program gives students the opportunity to spend a summer as app developers.
Foundry works closely with Microsoft Garage and students from Cambridge, Massachusetts, Vancouver, British Columbia, and Hyderabad, India made some of their highest acclaimed apps from last year. Tetra Lockscreen is one of the most notable. It was (it’s no longer available) an app that provided loads of information on lockscreen in a sleek and easy to use way. Just a few of the other apps they worked on include Collaborate, Foatz, Student Planner, and Nova Bacon.
Developing an app takes knowledge and time to get from minds to the palms of users hand. The senior program manager at Microsoft Foundry Vancouver says “We’re asking our interns to go through the whole development life cycle of an app.” Doing so includes a wide range of tasks. A Lumia Conversations post gives an example of the tasks interns are expected to do:
“Prototype and implement various app features quickly. Test the apps on different devices. Gather feedback from engineers and designers at the Microsoft Garage and apply it to their apps. Ship the apps to the Windows or Windows Phone Store, work with customers to resolve issues, and further polish the apps based on customer feedback.”
By going through these tasks, interns gain the experience of doing them themselves and also gain an appreciation for how much work is involved. Senior director of Microsoft’s New England Research and Development Center in Cambridge said “We want them to learn what it takes to get from concept to ship and experience the journey in a very accelerated way… They understand how difficult it is to take an idea and make it usable and available to people.”
Internships like these provide real world experience and a glimpse into the life of software developing. Lumia Conversations compares this internship to “working for a start-up.”