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Daniel Ruswick (WCAS ’18) is an economics major interested in pursuing a career in software/media. He interned this summer at Trading Technologies. His advice for students looking for internships in software? 1) Use your spare time to get additional exposure to different programming languages. “Data structures and algorithms are useful for interviews, but pragmatic skills are also important,” he says. And 2) Cast a wide net when searching for opportunities. “I think the most effective strategy for finding internships is searching in several different places.”

This summer, I interned at a company called Trading Technologies. TT makes a cloud-based platform for futures trading, which it sells to trading shops and banks. I completed a 12 week software engineering internship in the Chicago office. I was placed on the Diagnostics Team, which is responsible for developing a suite of applications to monitor and diagnose issues within our system.

I learned about this internship by searching on LinkedIn. I submitted my resume and went through a phone screen. The second round consisted of a video call with an engineer. The interview involved both conceptual questions and coding. I chose Ruby as my language for the interview because I was most comfortable with it. TT’s process went very quickly, and they were the first offer I received. I liked the company so I accepted the offer right away and declined to move forward with the other companies I was interviewing for.

My projects mostly centered around building features for one of our applications. The app I worked on had a JavaScript-heavy front-end that communicated with an API written in Python. I got to work on several new features, including a tool to simulate network traffic for testing purposes, as well as a feature for automatically scaling AWS instances depending on the workload of the app.

I learned a lot during this internship. First and foremost, it gave me some valuable technical skills (such as knowledge of Python, Backbone, Chef, the AWS stack, etc.) These technologies are commonly used in the industry, so I definitely feel like this internship has helped build out my skill set. Second, the internship gave me a good background on futures trading. Part of our training involved an explanation of trading strategy and the financial mechanics that underlie futures, which I found very interesting. TT even ran a trading competition among the interns (which I won!).