Creating applications and programs, both for use in-office and for customers, through a range of tools and languages (e.g. Java, Python, JS, HTML, etc.)
Also working with requirements for our products, communicating with other teams to make sure they are implemented correctly.
I very much enjoyed my time at Sony, the team I was based in and worked with was very friendly, and there were many other interns in different roles that added a good social side to the year, both at lunch and outside of work. Work wise I enjoyed the work I was given but at times felt like I could be doing more, or have learnt more, but overall it was a good role and fit well with my degree. The SPY program for interns that is run throughout the year is also very good, and a lot of fun, getting to see different parts/subsidiaries of Sony, however I feel like it's not very suited to software/hardware engineers.
With the work I did do I felt it was very valued by both my direct team and overall department that I worked within. I was given multiple opportunities to present my work to my department, and also to people from other departments/sites which made it feel important, and there were plenty of people interested in the work who would ask questions and give feedback to me.
Very early on I was given a very good amount of detail into the processes of the department, and what work each team did, and that continued throughout the year. From the start it was made quite clear what my role was, and what I had to do, however the team I worked in didn't have much expertise in what I was working on so the majority of learning was self-learning. Near the end of the placement I was given a project and guidance from someone who could teach me more about it.
On a normal day I would have plenty to do to fill the whole day, working on any projects and doing my usual daily work, so for the most part I felt there was a good workload but I was never pushed for time. There were some occasions where I would be between tasks and everyone would be busy with other work so I could have a very slow day, or some where I needed to finish projects but other tasks came in so I had to prioritise, but it all seemed to me like normal practice for a placement and for the most part it was good.
With the main bulk of my work, I was the only one responsible for it, and it helped the team quite a bit, which felt like a good amount of responsibility, however if I wasn't doing some of my projects it isn't certain anyone else would be, which could make it feel less important. But coming to the end it felt like my work was helpful, and I was given some projects through the year where I was working on something that did go out to users/customers, and I was in charge of it, which felt like a lot of responsibility which was very good.
My everyday work fit very well with my degree and was exactly what I wanted to be doing for the most part. It allowed me to fit the skills I learnt from my degree to a working environment which was great, and I also got to add to my knowledge by learning new things in the relevant areas, however I would of like more learning throughout the year.
It was a very chilled out office which I really liked, it was big and open and all the departments were open and connected. It was not unusual for conversations to start anywhere, and there were meeting pods placed around the office for more casual meetings. For an intern it is a pretty great first place to work, having a good big canteen area, a chill out dark room with massage chairs, a games room (with table football, table tennis, and pool), and a in-office cinema.
There was a program for all the interns over the year, the SPY program, that took you to different sites, like PlayStation and Pinewood Studios, that also focused on career progression, networking, CVs, and more, which was very well setup, although as previously stated I think its much better suited to interns in services/marketing than software/hardware engineering. And for my role in particular everything I had to do was well defined and for the most part I had plenty to do, and I was in a very new role so small issues were to be expected.
I got a good amount of training learning about how the technology we worked with actually works, in the terminology used by the company, how other processes work that we use with our technology, and given introductions to work in other teams, all of which would be a big help if I ever try to work in the same area again. I did feel there could of been more training suited towards my direct work.
Both the site I was working at, and the people I was working with were really great, the area was not the best however there were plenty of things to do and it would be easy to travel elsewhere. I think it's a great place to work with a great atmosphere, but for my type of work, my interests, and my degree, I don't think there is much further you can go here, maybe a different site within the company could provide something better, but I don't see huge future prospects currently.
Between two sites there were around 30-35 interns hired, and the site I worked at there was around 15-17, with an almost even ratio of male to female placement students. This led to there being a really good social side to the placement, be it with who you lived with (as you are put in contact to find housing together before placement started), who you spent lunch with, or meeting up outside of work, the biggest shortcoming of this was the area doesn't have all that much to do in the evening.
Prices for living and going out to socialise weren't the best, all being a bit more on the pricey side, but for where it was based (being near London) and what you got in terms of accommodation it was pretty good. It was affordable with what the placement paid, and acceptable when considering the prices in other areas nearby.
If you like bars/pubs there was plenty of them which was very good, however if you like a night out it isn't the best, only one proper club, and it's not amazing, not that it is bad, but once you have been a few times it gets a bit old. It can be fun though and the club is open Thursday, Friday, Saturday (free on Thursday), and you are also in travelling distance of places with better nightlife such as Reading. Also with the good social side there can be good house parties.
Although I didn't really get involved in it, I think there were quite a few things throughout the year that you would be emailed about, being one time things, or parts of societies and groups that exist withing the company, which could be anything from charity events such as runs, tom playing five-a-side, to watching a movie in the in-office cinema.