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How Most Interns Fail

Here are the common ways software engineer interns at Meta fail:

  • Misalignment of expectations: Make sure that you're getting feedback regularly from your intern manager (IM) and ask every 2-3 weeks for a honest, real take on how you're trending. Don't wait until mid-cycle for real feedback!
  • Doesn't take feedback well: Remember, feedback is a gift. Respond to it gracefully and quickly; treat every piece of feedback with urgency. As a software engineer intern, you barely know anything (which is expected): If you get constructive criticism, there is a 99% chance that it is correct.
  • Writes sloppy code: Volume is straightforward and not that special - Most interns know how to write a lot of code from school. The point of your internship is mostly to teach you how to write good, clean, production-level code. Make sure your diffs are thoughtful, focused, and atomic with thorough context sections and test plans.
  • Sphere of influence is too small: Don't only rely on your IM; you need to have 2-3 other peers to vouch for you in final calibrations. It can be comfortable asking your IM for help on everything, but you have to diversify: Make sure that you also ask other peers for help and to review your diffs. Consider having a recurring 1:1 (once every 3-4 weeks) with your non-IM peers.