(Opera’s new office at Nydalen)
My name is Samuel Wejéus and I’m a masters student at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. It’s my first day of my second internship at Opera Software. Did not sleep much last night, been pretty nervous for the upcoming internship. Being selected for an internship at a major internet company known all the way to Silicon Valley is a chance not many students get. Coming back a second semester you start feeling that the expectations are higher (so is the honor, I probably did something right?). I have to prove myself worthy. Arriving at the office the ball immediately starts rolling fast.
(Arriving at the office, harsh Monday morning ^^)
I receive my new gear from the sysadmins, a fancy new MacBook Pro as I had requested - the ultimate weapon of mass destruction. And get a few task from my new mentor. First task: extend the our global DNS server to automatically react to servers going up or down and if so; stop and continue to serve those to all those millions of clients that are making requests for Opera services. Yikes!
On the surface it’s a was s simple task but once you start digging it pretty fast turns out that there are a LOT of stuff you have to consider and new stuff you have to learn about before you actually can accomplish anything. In school you learn a lot of underlying theory on various subjects but it’s a big difference between theory and practice (but trust me, everything gets much easier if you know the theory). At Opera we use PowerDNS with a custom backend written in Perl that uses GeoIP to determine which server is closest to you based on where in the world you are located when you are making a request.
I have never used Perl or PowerDNS and never even heard of GeoIP before. So far I’m off to a good start. But now comes the cool stuff: at Opera they trust you. You are there because you have been chosen by the great staff at HR using their special, voodoo based, skill elimination process. You can’t know everything from the start but with hard work and great support from all the extremely talented people who work there (who are more than willing to help you out if you run into problems) impossible is nothing. Never fear, your mentor is always there! It really is a wonderful feeling to be given the freedom to solve problems your way and that you will learn something new everyday.
Well that was a small glimpse of what you might encounter while actually working, but thats not all! Allow me to show you some snapshots of other cool stuff that happens during an internship at Opera. Call it “Opera-social-life-enhancer 2.0” if you will.
Celebrating “sysadmin appreciation day” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System_Administrator_Appreciation_Day) includes hanging out in the park outside the office playing “Kubb” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kubb) and drinking free beer!
Below is from our team building event with all the interns, driving go-kart! WROOOOMMM! Congratulations to Gaute who won the tournament!
All the interns are really cool people so of course we hang out after woking hours to! Here are some of us at the cinema about to watch “Batman - The Dark Knight Rises” after eating enough pizza to qualify for “Guinness World Records”.
(Message to our department from unknown employee on the hallway whiteboard. Agreed.)
Thats only a handful of all the fun things that happens at Opera, there is much more but that would probably result in an entire book and besides I have to start training for the StarCraft 2 tournament next Thursday, Opera employees vs. Interns!