Introduction to Kickstart — The skills incubator
From the first moment I saw the internship offer, I knew I was going to have an incredible experience. I wasn't disappointed. As a French maker/handyman who loves discovering the world, coming to Bucharest to learn a lot of engineering things and to do stuff was a perfect match. Here at Kickstart, we don’t feel like we’re working and that’s something very special and rare at this point. The tasks are so versatile, from shopping and painting, electronics, software and 3D printing, this company provided me with the environment I needed to be happy, developing a ton of crazy products thanks to exceptional new ideas. Brainstorming, designing, manufacturing, testing and repeating until we were happy with our solution, wasn’t boring for a single day.
The Kickstart team integrated me into the team so naturally that I never felt like an intern. I was a real member of the team. Except for the time when my task was to automate the coffee machine because they drank too much coffee and were too lazy to fill the water tank every day… but even that was an amazing project.
My participation in the team projects and… my OWN projects?
One of my first projects was to design and build an enclosure for our 3D printer which struggled to print well when the outside temperature was too low. After some research, we went to a store to buy a table, plexiglass etc. and I created this enclosure which solved this problem. Not all the problems. Shitty printer. Never again. We should have bought another one from day one. But it was very funny. And it printed a lot of parts for all of our projects without any big issues so that’s okay.
During those 6 months, I worked on 4 different projects with the team, having nothing in common. Each time, we brought lots of ideas into discussion, debating the approaches and trying to make sense of the problems we were trying to solve. Eventually, we would arrive at the best option we had and then jump straight into testing out our assumptions. My contributions to the team would usually come over aspects I'm good at, but I also tried a lot of things that are normally out of the scope of my skills. All of them were very interesting and the fact that we never know what our next project is going to involve is quite exciting.
I was also got to be in charge of an entire project once. The team did the first version and presented it to the client. After it came back to the office for a second iteration to upgrade a lot of things, the CEO decided I will be in charge of the project. Finally, I was alone and responsible for this project in every aspect and working on it was very cool. I had to think a lot about different solutions, find the components and order them, mount everything, design a lot of pieces to print them, update the software part and test everything until finding the perfect solution.
International team in a small start-up
They’re all speaking English perfectly, even between them from time to time to include me so I’ve never been on the side within the team. I participated in the growth of this company and I will remember my role in this adventure for years.
Moreover, the fact that Kickstart is not an enormous multinational company has only benefits. Being close to the team means being close to the decisions and the clients and I felt that I had a special place inside the company, even though I was only an intern.
My experience at Kickstart has been rewarding in absolutely every aspect. I learned a lot in all the areas that I wanted to improve and I am leaving this very cool company after 6 months of interesting and versatile tasks, with strong skills. The team was a great help whatever my problem and the working conditions would have been difficult to improve. Working on interesting projects in a great fun atmosphere and being responsible for tasks or even entire projects was the best I could have wished for. Together we have struggled a lot to find solutions to our hundreds of problems for hours on end and that is only one of the best parts of the experience, the happiness of finding the solutions being absolutely insane. I can only recommend working at Kickstart if you are passionate about DIY, embedded systems or software, you will be able to develop a ton of different skills with very talented people.
At Kickstart, you work because it’s cool, not because you have to.
Note from Kick-start.ro
We @Kick-start have been enjoying a lot having Maxence (the intern/author of this article) with us in our early days. We are looking for people like him everyday, never closing our software and hardware engineering positions. If you are interested in joining us, please hit Theodor up (email@example.com)