Summer Internship 2018

Dwarves Foundation is a software development firm that based in South East Asia. We use cutting-edge technology to help tech startups, entrepreneurs and makers to deliver world-class products. We build software and scale cloud platform.

In 2018, we launched the first Summer Internship Program for students with or without Engineering background from top universities in southern Vietnam. The program was designed with the purpose to give an opportunity for candidates to experience the real world projects. No coffee runs here. We love watching talented people learn and explore their skills.

If you apply for a full-time position, we only want to know if you can bring anything to the table. We get you into the real working environment to see if you can perform well among the team and that’s it. For interns, our approach is different. They are usually quite young and without any experience, so no clues to ask if they can bring in something. The intern candidates will walk through two rounds

  • The first one is the Pre-assessment test in 30 minutes for Computer Software Engineer which is including Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test (CCAT) and Employee Personality Profile (EPP). CCAT measures your ability to problem solve, use new information, and think critically. It will tell employers how quickly you’ll pick up training for your new role. Research shows that cognitive aptitude is one of the best predictors of your job performance. It’s significantly more predictive than interviews, previous job experience, and your education level. Meanwhile, EPP is a general personality inventory that measures twelve personality traits that provide valuable insights into a person’s work styles and how they are likely to interact with co-workers, management, and customers. It can be used for any position and contains position-specific benchmarks that allow administrators to compare an individual’s scores against composite profiles to determine possible job fit.
  • The candidates scoring more than 23 points in the first round will go to the second to have an interview with our VP of Engineering. We evaluate the background, the problem-solving mindset and a bit of personality to see if the candidate is the right person.

The program was prepared in 1 month. We posted about the program at the beginning of June and started it from July to October. In such a coincidence, it was also my very first three months working as an Intern when I was 20.

There were 283 applications in total, 142 applicants passed the pre-assessment test and only 14 offers to the interns. That was over our expectation and was the first success for us.

The interns were divided into three small groups: web, mobile, and devops.

We got them to learn Golang as the primary backend language. Golang is Dwarves language of choice to rewrite the modern world. We think as the team the engineers need to understand the core problem that the business wanted to solve, also what is the value that the firm proposes to the customer. Every team members should know the core backend system by getting involved in before building the frontend or dig into the system.

Even though Golang is a quick language to pick up and get things done, the schedule was pretty tight with three weeks learning Go and then one week for a small assignment. All the interns were stretched out to their limit.

After the first month, we arranged them to multiple projects with different challenges:

  • Find Friends is a mobile application with instant location sharing features will allow people to locate friends and family easily.
  • Smithy is an admin dashboard written in Go and VueJS. It is designed to support multiple existed architectures and databases.
  • Yggdrasil is a business service mesh written in Go.

The internship program was tough but fun. Thank you and congratulation for all the hard work.

Some other fun facts:

  • Most of the interns come from HCM University of Science (US) and University of Information Technology (UIT). They seemed to be more confident and have better engineering background.
  • Most of them don’t care too much about the company. They want to learn from the people in the company. The internship allowance is not essential.
  • The average age is 22. The oldest in the batch is 27.
  • There are three interns studied in a different major, but they decided to join us as Engineer Interns. Brilliant people.
  • The university in Vietnam teaches them .NET, Java or C++.
  • And they all think that Blockchain and AI is the most cooling field to work in.

More at:

End of the Summer program, we received a few messages from the interns that bring us positive motivation for the next program.