The applicant: intern life at The App Business

By The App Business under #TABLife 16 May 2013

Strategy intern José Carbajo shares his first impressions of life at The App Business (TAB).

How I found myself at TAB

Like many arts students before me I found myself lost in the limbo of post university life armed only with vague intentions to work in a ‘cool’ industry. The world of marketing and advertising seemed like the best place to start but after speculatively applying to several graduate schemes I wasn’t really getting anywhere.

I had heard some useful hints along the way that the world of mobile technology was the future - and sensing the allure of a ‘.com’ style gold-rush, I changed my tactics and applied to several digital agencies to try and get a piece of the action. Soon enough I found myself interning at TAB.

My first impressions of the TAB culture

My first impressions were that this was a company that had embraced a David versus Goliath mentality – poaching and coercing the world’s biggest brands and blue-chip companies into reinventing their businesses though technology. Big players like Unilever, News International and Sony were not only trusting TAB to create industry-changing apps but also fully revamp their back-end systems to make these products ready for today’s mobile world. Pretty looking UI it seems, was only the tip of the iceberg.

I quickly learned that TAB is not concerned about being the first at what they do, but about being the best at what they do. This culture of self improvement is evident in TAB’s weekly talks, during which a different member of staff shares something new that they’ve learned – all with the aim of sharing knowledge to improve the way TAB does business.

My role at The App Business

Unlike my previous work stints in larger companies, I didn’t suffer the hum drum of photocopying duties and feeling bad for continuously nagging my supervisor for more interesting work to do (a condition I like to call ‘intern guilt syndrome’).

Instead I was quite literally thrown into the thick of it, and given a place in the middle of the strategy desk. Not only does this discourage mindless internet procrastination, but it means that I’m privy to senior discussions that an intern in a larger company would not be. This gives me a 360 degree view of how TAB is run.

Learning the ropes of The App Business

Although I was completely alien to the language of software development when I started, my colleagues were more than willing to patiently explain the ins and outs of how an app is made, from the initial exploration session through to building and testing. After a couple of months I was getting to grips with writing business-driven development tests and feature design discussions.

What I’m looking to learn next

After four months at TAB I still feel that I have so much to learn. The beauty of this line of work is that although I am surrounded by experts, the relative infancy of the app industry means that they too are learning to adapt to the new challenges presented by our increasingly tech-driven world. And I’m content knowing that TAB are here to train me, not entertain me.