Join HPCC Systems as an intern

Farah Alshanik and her 2019 Poster

2019 student intern Farah Alshanik, Clemson University (2nd from the right) presenting her poster at our 2019 Technical Poster Contest. Also from Clemson University, Dr Amy Apon (centre), two alumni and previous HPCC Systems interns who are now LexisNexis employees, Michael Payne (2nd left) and Lili Xu (end right). Yash Misrah (end left), also a poster presenter at our 2019 contest, completes the 2019 Clemson University team.

Every year, HPCC Systems publishes a list of projects which are designed to be completed by students during our summer intern program. These projects cover a wide range of areas from Web Interfaces, Machine Learning, JAVA programming, Internet of Things, Compiler related projects and more. So if you are a would be software developer or data scientist, go and take a look at the list and the details of previously completed projects to see what being an HPCC Systems Intern involves.

The Intern Program for 2019 has now completed and the proposal period for the 2020 Intern Program will be opening before the end of November 2019. Subscribe to our forum to receive announcement details.

While there will be a final deadline for applications, we do make offers to students submitting exceptional proposals as we see them and you are welcome to get in touch before the proposal period opens to let us know you are interested.

We supply enough information for students to be able to make a judgement about whether a project on our list is in an area of interest to you, or whether you have the prerequisite skills required. You then submit a proposal which scopes out the tasks required to complete the project including a timeline showing what will be completed when. Our developers assess each proposal, awarding an internship to students who submit the best proposals according to the number of places we have available. We generally award between 4-6 internships every year to a mixture of high school, undergraduates, masters and PhD students.

Successful students are generally high achievers. They have a high grade point average and their proposals usually show that they are interested and motivated beyond their studies. Typically, students who apply for an HPCC Systems internship intend to or are already studying a STEM related subject, such as computer science, mathematics, statistics, physics, information technology, engineering etc. All these subjects generally involve studying software development including programming skills, which are necessary for students to be able to successfully complete one of our projects.

You can also suggest a project of your own but it must be something that is relevant to and provides obvious benefits to the HPCC Systems open source project and community. For example, a past student intern implemented machine learning algorithms which he suggested in our Machine Learning Library as part of his PhD.

During the internship, our interns work alongside a mentor who is an experienced developer on the HPCC Systems platform team. All interns work in the same way as our developers, using the same tools, checking in code and going through the same code review process.

It’s a really great opportunity to work directly with knowledgeable, experienced software developers and architects while being exposed to what it’s like to work in a real world development environment. In fact, what actually happens is this; you basically join the HPCC Systems platform development team as a developer for 12 weeks.

The requirement to submit a proposal makes certain that both student and mentor have a good idea of what needs to be achieved during the internship. Supplying a timeline means that when the internship starts, you already know what the first tasks should be. So your finger is right on the pulse from the very beginning.

Now we’re talking research and development here, so sometimes the nature of a project can change based on what is discovered along the way. But this isn’t a problem. Mentors work closely with students and can spot this happening, working with you to revise the plan and helping you to keep moving forward. Obviously, communication is key, so regular contact with your mentor is crucial and weekly status reports help everyone to stay in the loop.

There are opportunities to work in a LexisNexis office alongside the project mentor, but it’s not necessary to do so. Every year, we have students who work either partly or completely remotely from the development team and their mentor. This is more common and works just as well. We are used to this approach because our own development team is dispersed with people working together across different time zones. The wonderful thing about supporting remote working is that we can cast the net wide when it comes to taking on interns. We can just as easily accept an intern from Europe or Asia as we can from the USA. We can also be flexible to accommodate the differences in semester duration which vary around the world.

I’ve been asked in the past whether allowing students to work remotely is potentially concerning in terms of getting projects successfully completed. All I can say is that it hasn’t been an issue so far and it’s something that I don’t worry too much about. Why?

Well, if you are applying for the HPCC Systems intern program you have to be extremely able and dedicated. Students have to jump through a fairly big hoop to get accepted. The projects are challenging and it’s no mean feat to prepare a well thought out and detailed proposal. We don’t necessarily expect you to have all the answers in your proposal, but we do need to see evidence of your ability, genuine interest and you also need to demonstrate your understanding of the project and its potential challenges. While you’re working on your proposal, do strike up a conversation with the project mentor who can answer any questions you have that will help you to improve your proposal before submitting your final version. A good quality proposal gives us clues about your suitability for what is really a masterclass intern program and any student who successfully navigates this process is obviously commited to working hard and really wants the opportunity to complete an internship with us.

Every year, we are pleased to received proposals from students who want to intern with us again. Not only is this an indicator of how seriously we take our investment in our student contributors, but it also illustrates the value students place on the experience. Read what they have to say about their HPCC Systems internship for yourself. 

As an intern with HPCC Systems, you will work with a mentor, contributing to a thriving open source project alongside an experienced development team. But it doesn’t haven’t stop there. There is always the potential of a great future with HPCC Systems waiting for you once you’ve graduated. 

To get reminders and updates, subscribe to our Student Forum or Developer Newsletter and look out for announcements on FaceBook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media outlets. Start date is end May, early June with the final day 12 weeks later in mid to late August based on university semester dates.


  1. Take a look at the HPCC Systems developer wiki. Download the latest version of the software or the source code.
  2. New to HPCC Systems? Find out about us and how HPCC Systems works.
  3. Join our open source community
  4. Read about our expectations of students during the summer internship program.
  5. Find out about our mentors. Read their testimonials.
  6. Really keen to intern with us? Here’s how to stand out from the crowd.
  7. Questions or just want to talk it through? Email Lorraine Chapman.
  8. Find out about previously completed intern projects.