Unexpectedly heading off to spend three weeks in a start-up company in Berlin? Thanks to his outstanding performance in school and work our IT apprentice Luca was allowed to do just that. In part one, he fed back on his first impressions of the big city and his onboarding at the start-up company Fertilly. Time for the second article by Luca...
My three-week internship in Berlin is gradually coming to an end, which means that this is the second and consequently the last blog article. In the meantime, a lot has happened and I was able to get a lot done for Fertilly, so I can go into more detail about my day-to-day work and the projects I have been working on, and, of course, I'll tell you about the other exciting things we've been doing.
Fertilly webstore – it's moving forward!
As I explained in the first blog article, we’ve been working on a webstore for the Fertilly website. The pages for the store were ready, but unfortunately, they stayed in the sandbox for a long time, because there were problems with the right page, and at the time we were unable to make any changes. The store is shown as a menu item in the navigation and this is how it is accessed. In the store, the product is presented with a description, pictures and explanations about how the product works. Just one product is displayed on the page for the time being, so it makes more sense to get all the information about the product directly, instead of having to click on the product again to find out all about it, because in a webstore it is very important to pay attention to the click depth. As Chris, the CEO, explained to us, the customer needs to click as few times as possible. This increases the probability of the product being bought. It was very helpful to know this, and the second time we were able to implement it, so that you go directly to the shopping basket as soon as you have added the product to the basket. After this, only the payment type has to be entered and then delivery is initiated
On the last working day, Chris was able to get the site back online. The problem was that a plugin was using too much computing power to optimise the images and the cache was completely deactivated on the server-side, which meant that the response time was extremely high and in some cases, the server load rose to 900%. After these problems were fixed, with my colleague Phearum I was able to start the migration. We used the integrated WordPress plugin, which allows you to export the pages, products and templates with ease. Unfortunately, time was running out and we were not able to migrate the site in time. However, we didn't want to leave it like that, so Phearum and I decided to complete it at the weekend. The pages are now ready and all Chris has to do is publish them now.
I enjoyed working on the webstore, even though the work was new and very different from the things I work on at InfoGuard. I had never worked with WordPress and its plugins before. In any case, it was very informative to familiarise myself with a different area of IT.
Raspberry-Pi on TV
I picked up a package for Fertilly at the Späti (that's what they call corner shops in Berlin), which contained a Raspberry Pi 4b. Together with Phearum I assembled the Raspberry – i.e. attached the heat sink, connected the fan and put it into the case. I was able to set up the Raspberry Pi with “Yodeck”, which is software for displaying digital signs. In a nutshell, a picture, a video, a sound recording or a file can be uploaded, which is then played on a connected TV. In our case, we uploaded the teams' scores in table form. The teams are France, Italy and Germany. This is because the consultations are done in these languages and Chris wants to push them a bit. The tables show how many calls there were and how many resulted in the sale of an appointment at a fertility clinic.
Shopping for our trip to the Swiss Embassy
We were invited to the Swiss Embassy in Berlin for a presentation, so first of all I had to make sure I would be properly dressed. I found what I was looking for in a shopping mall and bought a white shirt and black trousers. The embassy was just a tram ride away from Berlin's main station and then a short walk. Once we got there, we had to go through a security check. Then we waited in the waiting room until we were collected and taken to a presentation room. There, Marielle Mumenthaler, the Cultural Department head, was waiting for us. She gave a presentation about the Embassy building itself, the events they hold at the Embassy that present Swiss culture in Germany, and she explained the Embassy's general duties. It was interesting to hear about Germany's relationship with Switzerland and the importance of the trading partnership.
Our long final evening in Berlin
One evening we were invited to a BBQ at a former Fertilly employee's house. We were told that a lot of people would be there. Unfortunately, a lot of people cancelled, so only André, Nicole, Team Italy and I were there. Simon, the host had prepared the evening very well. It was a pleasant evening and we laughed a lot and had a nice meal.
On one of the final evenings, we went to the “Klunkerkraniche”. It's like a bar and a club all in one and is located on the top floor of a multi-storey car park. The bar is very nicely decorated, has lots of lights and as the sun sets you can admire the Berlin skyline. We stayed there for a long time, enjoying the music and the pleasantly warm evening. On the way home we bought – what else – a kebab before taking the tram.
A Complicated journey home
One day before we were due to leave, we all received an email saying that the flight had been cancelled. I wasn't sure whether to be pleased or stressed, so I accepted it with good humour. We told the organiser, Robin, and he immediately arranged for us to take another flight. The flight was now an evening one instead of a morning one, so we had a bit more time to hang out and enjoy the evening one last time. On the day of departure, we packed everything and made sure that we hadn't forgotten anything, tidied up the house and then set off.
Everything went smoothly at the airport. Phearum's suitcase weighed 29 kilograms, but at the baggage check-in, they turned a blind eye to that. In the duty-free, we spent our last Euros on sweets and Lego before boarding the plane. Once we were on the plane, they told us that the departure was delayed by 40 minutes both due to bad weather and the congested airspace. The flight itself was pleasant and there was only a bit of turbulence.
My verdict on three exciting weeks in Berlin
The internship has been an unforgettable experience and I can still hardly believe that I got this opportunity from GIBZ and InfoGuard. I had a very exciting, thrilling, educational, wonderful time, and anyone who gets to do an internship like this should consider themselves very lucky. Fertilly is also a very nice place to work and, with Chris as the boss and the nice team, it's been a real pleasure to go to work. I also found it very good that Fertilly welcomed us with open arms and that we were able to be a part of the team straight away. Although the time has been a real pleasure, I'm also looking forward to being back at InfoGuard and telling my co-workers all about it. Thanks again to GIBZ and InfoGuard for making it all possible for me!
Are you interested in finding out more about our IT apprenticeship?
Luca and his co-workers will soon be looking for recruits! In a few weeks, the application window for apprenticeships in 2023 will be opening – an opportunity that shouldn't be missed by all young people with a passion for information technology. Advance information is of course available on our website.