When Jethro proposed this topic, he was probably thinking of computer programs. I’m going left-field. My greatest application to date was my application to become an intern at Google.
I applied for my internship in July of 2009, and heard nothing back from them until late October; I finally got accepted in late November, just a week out from when I was due to start. Despite the difficulties involved with moving away from home, to a completely different state at two week’s notice, the experience of living in Sydney and working daily with some of the most brilliant and driven geeks I’ve ever met was one that’s affected me greatly.
Being an intern at Google taught me a lot of things. Firstly it gave me exposure to being a part of a larger team of developers — there’s a very strong culture of discussion and peer review within that company, and learning to both get my own code reviewed, and justify decisions I’d made to people who are smarter than me was quite an important learning experience. Secondly I got an opportunity to learn how coding works in a large distributed environment such as Google’s. Neither of those experiences I’d have had elsewhere, and it’s definitely put me in better stead.
Getting an opportunity to learn and apply programming techniques to an interesting problem, and getting to meet all manner of interesting people was a fantastic experience. And I wouldn’t gave got there if it weren’t for making an application.