A Summer At Airsource

Well – this is it! After a fantastic 9 week internship it’s sad to be leaving behind the code, co-workers and, of course, coffee machine I have got to know so well. From the very first day I was plunged straight in the deep end, coding new features and fixing bugs. It’s been fun, frustrating and interesting in equal measures, but I can assure you that an internship here is never dull!

So what is it that I’ve been doing? My first few weeks were a steep learning curve, as I battled to comprehend the delegate design pattern while also trying to work out why there’s a small toy bear which lives in the office. (Though I am now completely au fait with the former, the latter continues to bemuse me)! A couple of code reviews later I had free reign to amend or add code, and moved onto adding social media compatibility to several of our apps. If you’re planning to do this yourself, I would recommend ShareKit as a good starting point.

By mid-August I was working full time on Optiscan. There’s a host of new features which will arrive on the AppStore soon, including much more support for creating QR codes. As a member of the engineering team I played a big role in delivering this functionality, both from a coding perspective and by participating in numerous (friendly if raucous) office arguments! The last couple of weeks have seen development give way to testing, so I’ve been scrambling to fix any bugs before I leave. For any of you who are newbie iPhone developers I’d have 3 words of advice – watch out for memory warnings, be careful when using UITableViews, and always keep an eye on your reference counting!

It hasn’t all been coding though. I’ve spent many a lunchtime dreaming up app ideas on the office kitchen whiteboard, with concepts ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous. The company lunches and barbecues were a particular highlight, as was a (slightly surreal) morning of set theory in order to write a Python script. These and other amusements unique to a small company like Airsource made this summer particularly enjoyable, even on the odd occasions where I did stare at the same bug for hours before seeing the simple solution!

Time to say farewell to everyone here, and thanks for a great summer. Keep an eye out for future releases of Optiscan and Cellar (there’s some quite cool stuff to come, by the sounds of things in the office). Adios!

(Oh and I must ask someone about that bear before I go…)

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