I've done three internships (4 months each). My grades in university from Software Engineering were so-so - I've always done well and had a good grasp of our labs, but I test horribly.
My biggest weakness is that I'm not a good programmer in the sense I am often crippled by anxiety, preventing me from mapping and planning out projects and getting started. As someone who has played countless instruments, I understand that practice is required for mastery and I feel that programming is no different. When my programming experience is limited to just labs, I feel that it isn't necessarily representative of the real world.
Regardless, I was hoping my 3 internship experiences over the course of my bachelors would give me the confidence I needed. So far, working at 3 different corporations, my role has been tasked in simple coding tasks/bug fixes and I've noticed that I'm...much slower than the other interns. Implementing a UI feature took me a week and during one of our Agile standups, another engineer made a remark after a colleague congratulated me saying "...what? that's it? that's all he did?".
I thought I had the skills based on the labs and reports I've done in academia, but
My last internship was abysmal. I wasn't given any concrete tasks so I just decided to be proactive and go into their issues and attempted to fix bugs in their codebase (which was almost 15 years old). Most of the time I just spent my time mindlessly sifting through undocumented code, not knowing where to even start and trying to debug something so massive without any guidance that in the end I just resorted to doing QA work just for the sake of reducing their backlog.
I guess the advice I'm seeking from other software engineers is their own personal experience and what was it that propelled/inspired them to the discipline - what made you realize that you have something to contribute?
Because from my experience in my last three internships, the feedback I've gotten were neutral. To be quite honest, I'm not even sure if I am even worth the salt to be hired as a software engineer.