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‘The Halcyon Way’ a.k.a. summer internship @Halcyon Mobile

‘Summer internship’…this always sounds like a party-breaker, like work interfering with the fun season… Since we, at Halcyon Mobile, go by the ‘work is play’ philosophy, we try to apply the same for our internships. Thus, this year we chose a project that would engage our interns on a personal level, and integrate well in their ‘fun time’: the making of an app for the city they live in, that not only their friends and family will use, but thousands of people coming to Cluj for the fantastic events that will be taking place here, in the European Youth Capital of 2015. This is an app that they will also use to make the best of the coming year, so we hope they had fun ‘working’ on it!

Right before their ‘time’ was up, we sat down with each one of them, individually…and in the end managed to squeeze out a few compliments for the company, as well :).

Ladies and gents, we present to you the ‘class’ of 2014:

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madalina

Mădălina – iOS intern
She’s funny, sociable and ambitious (and we are very sorry she couldn’t stay until the end, as she had to finish up her thesis).
Likes: coffee, kids and swimming.
Dislikes: Monday mornings.

Szilvi – Android intern
She’s a people person searching for beauty.
Likes: the sea, fashion, rock ballads, wine.
Dislikes: monotony, buses, snobbery.

Botond –  iOS intern
When he gets stuck, he doesn’t back off from the problem until he figures out why it is not working.
Likes: big snow, spices, London.
Dislikes: smoking, loud places, fast food (except KFC).

Tamás – Android intern
He’s the technician of the “WaitingRoom Project” Association (the first independent theatre company in Cluj), and also playing the guitar and singing in the Karaván Band. Much to our surprise he doesn’t own a Facebook account.
Likes: mountains, sweets, musical instruments.
Dislikes: smoking, when people don’t answer their mobile phone, slow computers.

Dávid – Android intern
He is a kind, helpful person (left a cloud of mystery around him though).
Likes: beer, tv series, flying squirrels.
Dislikes: wine, crowd and packing.

Robi – iOS intern
He’s a funny, sociable guy.
Likes: PC games, basketball, jokes.
Dislikes: traffic, ignorant people, waiting.

Why did you choose Halcyon Mobile for your internship?

Szilvi: I already took part in a short internship a year ago and I enjoyed it a lot. The team was great and working on mobile applications was fun too. So I decided to repeat the experience this summer.

Mădălina: Because I wanted to learn more about iOS mobile development.

Botond: I was using Dollarbird for a couple of months, when I found out that its creators, Halcyon Mobile, is actually located in Cluj-Napoca. I didn’t plan any job for the summer, but when the guys posted a job opportunity I said: let’s give it a try. I found apps made by Halcyon Mobile really classy and delightful and that’s what grabbed me.

Tamás: I’ve heard good things about the company, and others recommended it too, so I was curious.

Dávid: Because I’ve heard of their great work environment, and that I could learn a lot there.

Robi: I have been an intern here before, and I really liked the whole atmosphere in the office, not to mention the mobile apps the team was working on.

What did a typical day in the Halcyon Mobile office looked like for you?

Szilvi: Have a coffee with the team, start coding, celebrate a birthday :), ask some questions from KLevi (the Android Tech Lead of the company), have a tasty lunch at LaCasa (ed. unpaid advertisement), keep on coding.

Mădălina: Everyday I learned something new that helped me develop my thesis, and new words in Hungarian like: “nem jó” and “egészség”.

Botond: I really liked how a typical day took place at Halcyon Mobile with the morning coffees or teas, the midday Top Secret meetings and the lunch break, where the Android and iOS guys sat at the same table.

Tamás:  Like an easy working day with coffee and tea:-)

Dávid: On a typical day at Halcyon Mobile our tutor gave us some tasks to do, explaining it in detail. Talking with my fellow interns about the app and about other stuff. Having lunch, taking a coffee break. Learning, asking questions from our tutor and building the app.

Robi:  Morning coffee, coding, lunch, coding, afternoon pastries, coding, heading home.

What did you like the most about working here?

Szilvi: Maybe our little team. It was a pleasure working with Tamás and Dávid. Oh, and the coffee machine :))

Mădălina: I liked the people and the project. I will certainly use the application I worked on.

Botond: The main thing I liked about working at Halcyon Mobile was that everyone had lots of experience in the field. When I got stuck not one, but three solutions I got from them.

Tamás:  I worked on a MacBook, and I haven’t got any performance issues like my colleagues…:D

Dávid: Everyone was nice and always helpful.

Robi: The coffee and tea stock in the kitchen :)

Some challenges you encountered while interning?

Szilvi: Clean coding. If you are in a team, it is important for your team mates to understand your code too.

Mădălina: To wake up so early every morning.

Botond: Each day a new challenge came into the picture. The first week was boring because we had to collect knowledge from books, but starting with week 2 the work became interesting through the challenges we faced.

Tamás: The fact that we didn’t have daily meetings was a challenge for me.

Dávid: In the beginning it was hard learning/working 8 hours a day, being tired a lot but with time I got used to it.

Robi:  Morning rising, communicating with my team mate while still being sleepy, and, naturally, writing good, clean code.

What did you learn during this internship?

Szilvi: I think I’ve learned lots of things. Applying the theory I’ve gathered throughout my university years on a real project was fun and helpful.

Mădălina: Well…to count until 10 in Hungarian :) and how to work on a real project with real tasks.

Botond: During the internship I learned how to build an app from zero to App Store, and how to work in a team on the same project without conflicts.

Tamás: A lot of new things about how to develop Android apps.

Dávid: I’ve learned much about teamwork and writing optimal code.

Robi: What is like to work at a company, and above all, what is like working in a team.

Tell us one word that would describe best your experience at Halcyon Mobile.

Szilvi: Something new.

Mădălina: Challenging.

Botond: Teamwork.

Tamás: Mississippi. (ed.: still figuring out this one …)

Dávid: Great.

Robi: Constraints.

Android or iOS? (what platform did you choose and why)

Szilvi: Android. Because of the phone I own.

Mădălina: I chose iOS because it’s something I want to do in the future.

Botond:  iOS of course. :) The first time I touched an iDevice (in 9th grade my colleague had an iPhone 3G), I was amazed how precisely it was crafted, and what a great quality it had compared to other phones. I’m an iOS fan ever since. :)

Tamás: Android. Because I don’t have an iPhone…

Dávid: I chose Android because I always liked Java, and I was interested in developing mobile apps.

Robi: iOS, since I like better Objective C than Java.

What’s your hidden talent that we don’t know about (yet)?

Szilvi:  Love to dance.

Mădălina: Singing.

Botond: I climb trees like no one else.

Tamás: I’m a master in preparing tiramisu, brownies and pizza! Yummy!

Dávid:  I know how to juggle.

Robi:  I can always talk myself out of tight situations.

Who’s the company’s masterchef and master cocktail shaker?

masters

Masterchef – votes:
Eniko: 75%
Atti: 25%
KLevi: mentioned as an urban legend, evidence still missing for the uninitiated…
Master cocktail shaker – votes:
Szabi: 75%
Alpár: 25%
Gyöngyi: not mentioned, and that’s exactly what hurt her feelings, as she tried her best at mixing…

 

Thank you all, guys, for the wonderful work you’ve done! Hope you had a great time, learned a lot and look forward to seeing your work enjoyed by so many next year @Cluj, European Youth Capital of 2015!

And we welcome those of you who would like a similar experience next year. You can apply by emailing us at hello@halcyonmobile.com!

Cheers!