From Camper to Titan: What Our Summer Experience Students Did Next

July 28, 2022

How Critical’s Summer Camp boosted the career of three young Titans.

Students at the Critical Summer camp

Every year, Critical runs the Summer Camp: a summer programme available in two formats for university students interested in tech.  

The programme covers the Innovation Experience, a full week of challenges where students join our senior engineers to come up with innovative solutions and prototypes in areas such as robotics, IoT, AI, UX, in addition to the Summer Internships, a four week experience where the young apprentices get a taste of what it’s like to work at Critical. The programmes include workshops, actual work experience and gives students the opportunity to learn new skills. All this takes place across our three engineering divisions.  


Critical’s Summer Camp has formed the gateway to successful careers in tech  

Every year, the Camp allows 30 students to put into practice their newfound skills and apply practical knowledge in various areas. 

João, Alexandre and Rui went from Camper to Titan in the blink of an eye. 

Critical spoke with them about their experiences. Read their testimonies below! 

What did you like the most about your Summer Camp experience? 

João Ferreira: The joy of the event and the engagement between all the campers. The several mini games throughout the day, our lunches, the dinner with our co-founder and last but not least, those delicious donuts! 

Alexandre Gabriel: The whole experience was fantastic! But without a doubt, the best part was the atmosphere in the company.  

Rui Nunes: I really enjoyed the challenge. I worked with machine learning for the first time, and this was really a milestone in my engineering career since it has now become a hobby for me. However, the biggest surprise for me was the people and the culture at Critical Software. I really felt like everyone was on the same level and treated equally, no matter the experience or the role. 


How has Summer Camp boosted your career at Critical? 

JF: The knowledge I gathered during the Summer Camp helped me with my Master’s thesis, allowing me to improve the machine learning models I was creating and greatly improving the overall quality of my work. It was great to get to know Critical as well as its people and projects developed, making me want to join this huge family even more! 


AG: Thanks to the efforts of the People team and all the engineering divisions in a short time I was able to understand the whole structure and way of working at Critical, which made it much easier when I joined the company.  

RN: When starting something new, the first steps are always the hardest. The Innovation Experience provided that, meaning that on my first day at Critical, I already felt at home. It was like I already knew everyone. 


What was for you the most positive and memorable thing of the experience? 

JF: The dinner with all the students, mentors and everyone involved in the organisation of this event, including Critical’s co-founder Gonçalo Quadros. It was an opportunity to relax, exchange ideas, laugh and establish relationships with people I can now proudly call colleagues. 

AG: I was amazed and glad that, even during COVID-19, Critical continued to host the initiative, unlike other companies. For the Summer Internships, we had 2 days in Coimbra, the first and the last. And no doubt those were the best moments, from the funny icebreakers and the unbelievable NASA stories that Gonçalo Quadros told, to the final thanks and goodbyes. 

RN: I would say that the best thing was the fact that every team was celebrating not only their accomplishments but also the ones from the other teams. 


What are you doing now at Critical? Are you enjoying the experience?  

JF: I am currently working in the Space industry, and I have had the pleasure of being part of several projects as well as an abroad experience which was been rewarding!  


AG: At the moment I'm part of the Borg pluton and I've already had the opportunity to work on two projects, the most recent being the first project for WindRiver. My introduction to the company was super easy due to the internships - and all my expectations were exceeded! From the friends I already made in Lisbon, to the amount of knowledge and expertise in the area of embedded systems that I have been acquiring, I couldn’t be happier with this decision.   

RN: Now I’m a tester and I’m working on two projects. Moreover, I’m now starting a new adventure as a software testing engineer. Before joining Critical I had never worked on testing activities but I’m really enjoying the experience which contradicts my initial expectations. I guess that you can’t know if you like it until you try it! 


This year's Summer Camp is about to end but stay tuned for next year’s edition!