March 16th, 2012 by admin
We are pleased to have Frederick Jansen start this month as our first international intern. To start off his internship with us, we had him sit down and answer a couple of questions. As a student at the Interactive Multimedia Design at Lessius Mechelen situated in the quaint country of Belgium, Frederick focuses on anything and everything related to multimedia. In his own words, “Imagine a mix of design, development and the odd course focusing on business side of things, and you will have a pretty accurate view of what I do on a day to day basis”. He will be spending the next three months with us and we look forward to working with him.
1. Why did you choose Infrared5 as the place to do your internship?
Infrared5 was really my first and only choice. I met Chris Allen at FITC in Amsterdam when he was showing off their highly impressive Star Wars game along with Brass Monkey. Though my internship would not take place in at least another year, I figured it would not hurt to inquire about the option of training there. We kept in touch and things just followed (with some minor detours) from there on out.
2. What are the key things you hope to take away from this experience?
According to the US Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs, my visa is meant for: “[...] promoting mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by educational and cultural exchanges.” That along with networking and hopefully having some of the ingenuity of people working here brush off on me.
3. What is your favorite programming language?
The first language that comes to mind is ActionScript 3.0 with the addition of Flex, for a couple of reasons. A major point is definitely that it is one of the few languages which give me a sense of mastery. I feel comfortable to work with these techs and I know what will be outputted to my screen before hitting the compile button. There is a great community with tons of reading material and code examples, which makes the language both accessible and more rich.
Even though it sometimes feels a bit dumbed down with regard to lower level programming and could definitely benefit from a faster JIT compiler, it is one of the few languages with which you can easily reach a massive audience in the way you envisioned.
4. What would be an ideal position for you post college?
Though my work experience is quite limited at the moment, I think consultancy would be where I want to end up. Working for various companies on challenging problems, which they cannot wrap their head around, keeps things fresh and you on your toes. Ideally, that would be combined with some traveling as an alternative to the 9-5 schedule.
5. What drove you to do a internship in the USA?
Most of my fellow students picked a local company for their internship, which to me seems convenient, safe and overall not very exciting. Belgium does have some creative agencies which stand out, but they all center around the Belgian (or even Flemish) market. When it comes to (web) development, the focus in general is even more on small projects for local businesses, working with a standard array of technologies.
I knew I wanted to go abroad for my internship and experience more, though it was not the USA in itself which grabbed my attention. The fact of the matter is just that this country happens to offer the most exciting opportunities when it comes to working with cutting edge technology. After all, where else do you see more start-ups than here?
6. How do you keep on top of new technology?
With technology, especially web related, evolving so fast, to me this is one of the hardest things to do. There are a couple of ways I try to keep track of it though.
The benefit of being a student and not having to worry about providing for a family gives me the opportunity to experiment to my heart’s content. For college projects, I try to explore the boundaries of what we are allowed to work with and what I can personally achieve. Much to the dismay of a lot of professors, there is probably a 50/50 chance that I fail miserably or end up with something I can proudly showcase. Either way, to me that is the best way to learn so I will keep it up for as long as I can.
Then there are perhaps some more “conventional” ways. Whenever I get the opportunity, I go to Adobe Usergroup Meetings and conferences to get a feel for what others are working on. This not only inspires me to experiment more myself, but also gives me an insight in new and upcoming technology. I work with a lot of unreleased software and technology and try to incorporate that in my daily workflow. Though not always ideal, it does provide me with the opportunity to always keep one step ahead of what is coming and influence the direction of technology I work with on a day to day basis.
Finally, I browse the programming section of reddit, read technology related news sites, subscribe to various blogs, follow people on twitter, receive a weekly newsletter with interesting projects people are working on and various other things.