Ask HN: Internship for a Java Role

8 points by yusebobo 4 days ago

I got an internship with a startup in EU Central as an international and would be working remotely, the offer is around 200 - 300 monthly, I am just getting started in the profession and I like to know if it is okay.

lucideer 4 days ago

Depending on your situation, some pay might be preferable to none. However there are definitely companies out there that pay "normal" wages to interns. In teams I've worked on interns were typically paid <€2k per month, which I would've said was very low, but the interns themselves disagreed with me as they had friends/classmates in other companies getting paid nothing.

(note: as I mentioned in another comment, it's illegal in Europe to pay interns nothing, but this law is widely flaunted and enforcement is non-existent)

One thing to consider is progression & promotions: expect to change company: if you're hired on the back of an internship will likely net you similarly low wages, which may make %-based pay-rises tricky if you stay in the same company.

  • sokoloff 3 days ago

    When we convert interns, they get full SWEPR1 offers, exactly the same as any other new college grad. I'd be a little surprised if lots of companies would try to shave the salary of a known-good intern. (I'm sure some would, but that seems like a losing proposition.)

    • lucideer 3 days ago

      > I'm sure some would, but that seems like a losing proposition.

      Many do, and it is a losing proposition. Incredibly short-term thinking that just leads to attrition of some of the absolute most valuable hires.

  • rahimnathwani 3 days ago

    "it's illegal in Europe to pay interns nothing"

    There are articles as recent as February 2022, reporting on calls to make unpaid internships illegal in the EU. Has something happened since then to make that a reality? (I didn't find anything.)

  • sccxy 4 days ago

    It is not illegal. Educate yourself about internship in EU.

    • lucideer 3 days ago

      Unpaid work is illegal in the general sense (nothing specific to internships in this).

      This is typically worked around by employers by classifying internships as (purely) educational, but that loophole is predicated on interns not directly contributing to a company's income-generating activities, which is obviously not the case in the majority of instances.

      • sccxy 3 days ago

        Unpaid internship is legal in EU. Just stop spreading misinformation.

  • jbverschoor 4 days ago

    Flag as false info.

    • lucideer 3 days ago

      Can you elaborate?

      • jbverschoor 3 days ago

        Here in NL you're not required to pay interns. So the notion that it's "illegal" in Europe is false. Not sure about regulations in other EU countries.

snovv_crash 4 days ago

Depending on which country it's ok, just don't continue for more than 2, max 3 months. Actively look for dev positions and also tell the company you would like to upgrade to a full time dev position after maximum 3 months if they're happy with your performance.

cphoover 4 days ago

I'm not sure what software dev internships generally pay... But that seems incredibly low even for europe. Maybe other interns can weigh in.

  • easton 4 days ago

    It is low, lower than minimum wage in many places. It really depends who OP is working for and if they’re expected to do it alongside school. This may be more of a stipend or something rather than a wage, and as such they aren’t expected to use it to pay for housing or food.

    The internships I had in private sector in the US paid me usually a few dollars above minimum wage (and in the last case, about $20 per hour). On the other hand, the summer I interned for my high school I wasn’t paid, but that was acceptable because they were a non-profit and I wanted to have something to do besides sit at home :)

  • RugnirViking 4 days ago

    yes, currently a robotics intern and my rent is incredibly cheap for the area, but it is still more than 300 a month. typical salary would be more like 700-1k euros per month. This is northern europe (but not in a large city), it may be significantly less in romania/moldova/bulgaria etc

  • yusebobo 4 days ago

    I am actually doing it remotely from another country outside of EU and NA.

adriancarrieres 4 days ago

I mean, in France if you're over 2 months of internship the minimum is 3.90€ per hour If you're doing 35h per week you should be at the double (540)

So it really depends on the country the company is based on. Try to look for the legally minimum for internship there

hebrox 4 days ago

When I did my internship in 2000, they paid me 1000 euro/m for doing web dev stuff on the Microsoft stack. This was in the Netherlands, and I'm Dutch, so maybe not the same situation.

evolvedlight 4 days ago

Many EU internships would pay the pro-rated same as a new graduate; so 200-300/month seems crazy. Here in Switzerland I think you'd expect to get around 3.5-4k per month

sccxy 4 days ago

Yes, it is good offer.

Most internships are not paid and getting experience is more valuable than those 200 - 300 euros.

But don't stay intern too long.

  • lucideer 4 days ago

    "good" is not quite the right word here - it is an objectively bad offer.

    It is however true that many internships are not paid. This practice is illegal in Europe, but it is widely flaunted and enforcement is zero.

    • sccxy 4 days ago

      Sorry, but internship is very specific term and that means school & student & company.

      You are very wrong about it being illegal! Stop spreading misinformation.

      • lucideer 3 days ago

        To be clear on language here as we're both technically correct:

        - Unpaid "internships" are technically legal in Europe.

        - It is illegal if "an employee is contributing to the workplace" for them to be unpaid

        - Most interns are required to contribute to the workplace, which is an illegal use of internships by employers.

        In reality, the law allowing unpaid internships is almost certainly a deliberate measure to allow employers to exploit this loophole by placing the burden of enforcement upon interns (since it can be technically legal if they're not contributing, the onus is on the intern to legally challenge their employer. Not only are they less likely to take the financial risk here, it's also somewhat paradoxical as presumably a would-by-intern intending to do that would simply turn down the opportunity (precluding any law-breaking by the employer). There's been calls to make such internships blanket illegal, but it hasn't happened yet.

        TL;DR: there is such a thing in theory as a "legal unpaid internship" in the EU, but in practice a large majority of unpaid internships do not fall within the bounds of legal.

        • sccxy 3 days ago

          TL;DR: lucideer lies. do not read his/her false information

          • lucideer 3 days ago

            I'm sorry that you feel the need for ad hominem here - I'm trying to engage in good faith. Do you have some links to the specific legal instruments defining exceptions for "school/student/company"? Open to being corrected here if I'm mistaken.

            • sccxy 3 days ago

              Google: internship contract/agreement + university

              Translate it to czech/hungarian/...