CS internships for freshmen

Every year my Stanford students ask me whether there are any internship opportunities available to them, even though they are often freshmen who have taken only a few CS courses. While many companies want their interns to be a bit further in their CS studies, the good news is that several tech companies have internships and programs specifically targeted at freshmen or students who are early in their CS curriculum.

Here is a brief list of some jobs and opportunities (last updated 2016/01/15, but many of these are ongoing or repeat each year):

credit to Quora and to UW’s Kellen Donohue for some of these links.

Stanford students should also check out Computer Forum, which is the official org to help connect industry companies to our department and our students. You can look at existing partner companies and possible available opportunities and get on their mailing lists to hear about new ones that come up. Computer Forum hosts a career fair early in every autumn and winter quarter, which you should definitely check out. Stanford also offers a course called CS9 with some good information about interviewing and tech jobs.

If you know of a good job opportunity that is not on this list, please let me know!

Also keep in mind that there are lots of other valuable things you can do in your summer besides getting internships at tech companies. Consider doing one of the following:

  • work on an independent project of your own creation
  • get involved in undergraduate research
  • learn new tech skills online through Coursera, Udacity, edX, or another online resource
  • set up a personal web site for yourself including your resume, list of courses taken / experience, possibly some samples of your work on GitHub, etc. (please don’t post your class homework solutions publicly unless the instructor says it is okay!)

Last but not least: It’s completely okay to just relax and enjoy your summer after your freshman year. At a top school like Stanford, it probably feels like everybody is doing these ambitious things in summertime and that if you don’t do the same, you’ll fall behind. But not everyone does this kind of summer work, and plenty of us have been successful in tech without doing so. (The author didn’t do ANY internships until he was in grad school, though I did work as a TA sometimes.) You don’t need to feel pressure to do an internship or a project. If doing so isn’t compatible with your schedule, or you prefer not to do so, or you aren’t able to find an offer for one, that is completely okay. It is fine to spend your first college summer traveling, learning a musical instrument, seeing your loved ones, improving at League of Legends, binge-watching Game of Thrones, or whatever you most want to do. Relaxing and recharging your batteries are also very important things to do.

Narrow fixed-width fonts for coding

I code a lot, and so I like having good monospaced / fixed-width fonts for doing so. Lately I think I prefer narrow coding fonts because they give me more characters per line that I can see at once. So I did a web dive to find some good narrow coding fonts online. Here are some I liked. I’m currently using M+1M as my main code font in Eclipse, Qt Creator, and other IDEs.

MVC Podcast

So, my good friend Victoria​ and I made a podcast. We call it “MVC” (Marty and Victoria Conversations). We wanted an excuse to talk once a week about various tech news for nerds. In this one, we talk about topics like:

  • Do you need to be good at math to learn to code?
  • the Ashley Madison hack
  • removal of Flash from web browsers
  • a few other things.

    It’s pretty “version 1.0”: not perfect audio, kind of long and rambly (around an hour), more than a few “ums” and “uhs.” We’ll try to do shorter ones in the future. But we thought we’d post it anyway in case anybody enjoys it. We fully expect this to be one of those “only our moms and S.O.s listen to it” podcasts, but we’ll see. :-)