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Programming Internship 2016

One intern to work collaboratively on developing new features and improve existing ones for large on-going projects with guidance and instruction from our programmer.

Note: This internship concluded in September 2016

Our development environment

You will learn and become familiar with our development environment and process, which includes:


The Project

You will be working with our programmer on a web-based application used by our Student Disability Resources group to provide services to students with disabilities at Penn State. There are many aspects of this application under development but you will likely be assisting with the design and development of a new system for coordinating exams administered by the Student Disability Resources Testing Center.

You will have daily meetings with the programmer to discuss project progress, problems, and future directions. You will also get to meet with the end user(s) in conjunction with the programmer to learn how the exam coordination system currently works and then strategize about how to reinvent this system with more self-service and automation. Finally you will be involved in the process of committing ideas to code as the new exam coordination system is built, tested, demoed, and deployed.

What will I learn

  • How to analyze an existing application’s functionality
  • How to adapt your development style to that of the project you are contributing to
  • The development lifecycle of a web-based application
  • Agile development practices
  • Python/Django web application development
  • jQuery for building interactive user interfaces
  • Bootstrap for frontend user interface design and theming
  • Revision control best practices with Git
  • Vagrant for ensuring a consistent development environment between programmers


What can I expect in this internship

Within the first 2 weeks, come up to speed with our development environment

  • Setup your computer with all the software necessary to develop modern web applications
  • Develop a general understanding of Agile software development
  • Learn the basic syntax and usage of the Python programming language
  • Build your first Django application using the online tutorial
  • Create a repeatable development environment with Vagrant
  • Create new code repositories, clone existing repositories, and commit changes to a code repository all using Git

Within the first month, take ownership of development tasks and expand knowledge

  • Participate in design meetings with end users and the programmer
  • Help define the features for the overall project
  • Take ownership of features and work to implement them with assistance from the programmer

By the end of the internship, understand and have been part of the development lifecycle

  • See features bundled together into releases
  • Be part of deploying working code to a staging environment
  • Demonstrate new features and enhancements to end users
  • Incorporate end user feedback into future feature requests



Direct questions or resumes to Paul Rentschler via email.


Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status.

Employment with the University will require successful completion of background check(s) in accordance with University policies.