Internship Field: Computer Science, Traffic Technology
Major: Computer Science
Host: BMW AG
Duration: June – September 2008
Description: My main project was writing a plug-in application for BMWs developing navigation system. It was a program that used a driver’s historical data to predict where his current destination is and which route he will take to get there. My plug-in was one of several in the project. The others included the interface to the database, the gps geocoder, and the route recorder, among others. I was in charge of writing this plug-in more or less from scratch. A previous intern had written a similar program in a different language and a different platform. I was re-implementing his program and adding new algorithmic features. The project was written in Visual C++ using Visual Studio 2006.
Aside from this plug-in I also wrote some simple programs that re-ordered or processed data in text files. These were good little assignments for me that helped me get familiar with the software and programming language while also being useful to my team.
Comments: It was all a great experience. I learned many programming concepts that will be useful later; also, the experience of working in a programming team was really rewarding and will be beneficial for the future. Some of the concepts I learned during my internship have already come in handy for the computer science classes I am currently taking.
Personally rewarding: Having a finished product at the end. I saw my program running inside the test car. It is great knowing that I contributed and that somehow what I did will be used by BMW in their future cars. [...]
I got to experience a professional working environment, both in a formal corporate setting and in a small programming team setting. I met people who gave me a lot of professional advice. And of course I learned about German culture and life through the daily interaction with my coworkers.
German language skills: I went from barely being able to hold a conversation to being able to converse much more naturally. It is still difficult and slow when I speak, but I can communicate and interact with Germans in German.
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