How To Find A Developer Internship (Part 1)

Thank you! You've successfully on your way to become a 10X developer.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
How To Find A Developer Internship (Part 1)
harley Ferguson

My LinkedIn messages are littered with passionate, new developers reaching out to me, asking if they can intern at Origen Software. While I would love to be able to provide an internship to everyone, it’s just not feasible.

That being said, I want to do my best to be able to help those people. I myself started out as an intern so I’ve given a lot of thought to what I would do now, in 2024, if I was looking for an internship and at the start of my career.

Here, in a three-part series, is my advice on what you can do to go from zero to landing your first role as a software developer intern.

Let’s dive in.

Assess Your Interests and Skills

Start your journey towards an internship by first determining what interests you and what skills you have.

Software development has many different sides and while it’s not critical to pick your lane before you even start, it’s good to know what aspect of software development intrigues you the most. Do you want to work on websites and mobile apps (like myself)? Do you want to build AI? Are you a database junky?

After you’ve identified what area interests you the most, it’s important to write down your skills that align with that area, and software as a whole. If you’re more visual and creative, then website and mobile app development might be for you. If you like complex structures, then maybe database design is for you.

Either way, make sure you’re aligning your skills with what you’re interested in.

Research Potential Opportunities

Now that you’ve analyzed yourself, it’s time to analyze the market.

Start by exploring all the companies that have listed internship programmes and positions. Add all of them to a list. Then, make another list of companies that you would love to work for. Add those to the list too.

The reason for adding companies that haven’t mentioned an internship programme or position is that just because they haven’t mentioned it, doesn’t mean they aren’t looking or don’t intend to look at a later point.

Now, for each company in that list, dive deep into what they do. Research recent achievements, accolades and projects. Really aim to understand the fabric of that company. This can help you personalize your message.

Craft Your Message

Now that you have a list of companies that are looking for interns as well as companies that you’d like to work for, but may or may not be looking for interns, it’s time to craft your message.

The goal of the message is to stand out, show intent and demonstrate effort.

You can stand out by ensuring that your message is well structured, with proper grammar and punctuation. You’d be shocked at how many messages I receive that are the equivalent of “Hiiii..I’m X. Can u give me a internship?”. That’s an immediate NO.

You can show intent by being somewhat direct in your message and phrasing. Be clear about who you are, why you’re reaching out, and why you’d make a great asset to the team. For every person this would be different, so I’ll leave this in your hands to write. I enjoy and engage further with messages that are written with intent by someone who knows what their goal is.

Next, you need to demonstrate effort. This is where the research you did about the company comes in. It shows that you’re not just writing a paragraph about yourself, copying it and then sending it off to a bunch of companies. You’ve personalized the message and made it especially for this company. That goes a long way.

That’s it for now. There are many more steps that we’ll explore over the next 2 weeks. In the meantime, if you’re looking for an internship, start working on the above. Then next week, we can look at how to identify the right people to reach out to so that you can maximize your chances.

See you again next week.

P.S. I’ve launched on Instagram, where I will be frequently sharing advice, videos, pieces from my podcast and much more. Go follow if you want to keep learning!

Whenever you’re ready, there are 3 ways I can help you:

  1. Join me on LinkedIn and engage with me directly (58 000+ followers)
  2. Get a FREE copy of my book 101 Tips For Becoming A Better Developer (3 600+ downloads)
  3. Reach out to Origen Software for us to solve your problems (for founders and start-ups)