I'm a student in college, currently in my 3rd year of my 4 year study. This year means I have to complete an internship, followed by a minor. I have barely any experience in the language I'm working with (C#). I have no experience at all with working in a scrum team.
I currently have an internship at a fairly small IT company (~20 employees). I have a project for my internship where I have to design and develop an algorithm to generate recommendations for a restaurant review platform. I have successfully developed said algorithm, including tests and such. I don't have a lot of time left here, my internship ends at January 31st.
Just for reference, it's currently the holiday season, so there are around 6 employees working at the moment.
I have reached a point where I have nothing to do. I have discussed this with my mentor for my internship. (I'll call him Kevin in the rest of my post.) After a meeting with Kevin and my mentor at the company, we have concluded that I can help develop the app that will use the algorithm. I could implement the algorithm and when I'm done with that, I can help with other functionality. I know I'm at fault here, since I haven't admitted I'm afraid of helping because I'm inexperienced.
This scares me a little. Like I said, I have very limited knowledge of working in a scrum team and developing code in general. I'm certain that my code won't live up to their standards. I have gained access to the code the team is working on, and I barely understand any of it. I understand that my code will be reviewed before it's actually implemented, but I'm still afraid of seeming 'stupid'.
Kevin has told me I'd probably pass my internship with a good grade, since the work I have done so far was good. Obviously, I got a good feeling about this; it was certainly a confidence boost. Now I'm afraid of messing up my progress so far by making stupid mistakes. I'm also aware not doing anything will cause a negative result.
The team for the app is currently on holiday, so I'm the only one working on the project at the moment. I can't ask for help because they are all gone on vacation.
How can I ask politely for more work that I can understand and be confident that I can develop/implement? I understand that the point of an internship is about learning new techniques and such, but I don't want to mess up their work with bad code and/or decisions.
I have come up with a few solutions, but I'm fairly certain that none of them are polite or good.
- I can simply say 'I have nothing to do, is there something simple I can help with?'. I'm afraid about seeming stupid or impolite when I ask this, obviously.
- I can ask to work at home until the team comes back from vacation. This way I can do simple work or just take some time off. Obviously, this would result in problems since they can see I have barely done anything while working at home. I'm afraid this will impact my internship negatively.
- I can keep going like this: Spending most of my time on stackoverflow, re-reading my documents and code, trying to filter out errors. I have been doing this for a week now, and it's getting boring and stale. So far I know, I have filtered out all errors and optimized my code. There is a code review from another employee in a few days which fill fix even more design errors in my code, but this won't happen until he is back from vacation.
I don't know how to proceed from this point, what would be the best way to ask for more work that's still possible for me to understand/achieve?
Edit: I'm afraid of asking for help from employees at the company. I'm pretty certain that most people think I'm 'just the intern' who will hopefully leave in a few weeks. I don't think there are a lot of people who like me and will take the time to explain things to me.