Knowing only as much about the company as internet research and an interview would allow, and a little unsure as to what role a game developer might have at a cyber security company, I did not know what to expect going into life at Callsign.
The next few weeks would prove that the opportunity was invaluable to someone starting out fresh in a software development career. Callsign offered the complete opposite of the stereotypical internship I had been expecting. I was not making tea and filling in paperwork, instead my day to day life was essentially that of an employee but with a focus on expanding my experience and skills.
There are a great many problems to solve in the field of online security and for a young company such as Callsign there is high value in pursuing new technologies to keep a step ahead of both competitors and fraudsters. It was here I found my background in game development provided my own somewhat unique value to Callsign in the form of graphics programming. As well as the refining my existing abilities in graphics there was also the opportunity to contribute to the company, which resulted in a greater feeling of integration with my colleagues. Other tasks and projects I worked on involved researching various new APIs and techniques with regard to frictionless authentication and even being requested to learn Java and get stuck into part of Callsign’s product infrastructure as a backend developer.
One of the greatest qualities of the Callsign workplace was the collective attitude towards sharing experience. As well as those unfortunate enough to sit close to me and be bombarded by constant questions that Stack Overflow could not quite answer, there were several members of other teams who were interested in showing me their side of the company too. This led to opportunities to work with other departments, such as sales, where I learnt about company to company interactions I have never been privy to before, and attended business meetings I did not expect to be invited to until much later in my career. I was also asked to research new technologies and provide a technical perspective which was a fantastic boost to my belief in my own abilities.
Scattered throughout work hours spent staring furiously at a screen whilst my mind ticked over on problems, there was time to enjoy the company culture at lunch times or events. Many a beer was enjoyed after a day in the office but that never stopped a passionate discussion about software, computing science or other workplace debates. With so many engineers in the company from different backgrounds, there was always a new opinion or conversation to get involved in, which gives great credit to the sort of employees Callsign entertains. There is a passion in everyone I met about the job they do and the projects they own that goes beyond the workplace.
Of all the factors at play during my internship at Callsign I will remember many, but the wealth of experience and knowledge present at the company is undoubtable. The fact that they are so willing to share that with team members and are passionate about their fields and roles made me feel welcomed and involved. This vital experience has offered me some serious insights into my career path, solidified my self confidence in existing skills and taught me so many others. It was by no means an easy few months, but it just might be the most important and enjoyable in my career so far.