I spent the summer as a Software Developer Intern at the SIOLab— a Digital Catalyst Lab thriving in between the Strategy and Innovation Office's startup culture and the purpose of transforming pediatric health care within BC Children's Hospital.
A "Turkish" Delight. A backend cyborg. A tinkerbell with magical designer dust. An analytics wizard. An analytics wizard intern who couldn't turn down a good Game of Thrones debate. The boss who had 2 masters and an extra one in sarcasm. And there I was, wondering how I got this lucky to have the opportunity to work amongst them.
On my first day of work, I went home and told my mom that this place would be hard to leave behind.
On my third day of work, I changed my mind. I jokingly typed "sudo rm -rf", but ended up accidentally actually destroying the VM (thankfully) I was working on. I was so angry and disappointed in myself. But my manager told me that everybody makes mistakes-- he refused to think less of me or my skills as a developer because of the mistake. I needed to hear this. I needed to know that someone believed in me enough to encourage mistakes for my own personal growth. This one sentence left an impact on me. I went home and told my mom that this place would be impossible to leave behind.
On my last day of work, I look back at one of the best summers I’ve ever had and I’m completely speechless about this whole experience. I’ve dug up my passions by working and falling in love with PWAs— the allergy symptom checker app I was working on had its beta released, but I can’t wait for it be released to the public! I felt like a proud mother as I watched and helped transform mockups to first a working front end (Angular 4, Ionic 3 & Cordova), then to implementing a backend in PHP (Laravel) with a MySQL database, and finally seeding data and testing the application thoroughly. In addition, I was given the opportunity to extend my interests as a Hobbyist Game Developer to developing an HoloLens application that combines slices of patients’ MRI scans into a 3D model to provide holistic visualizations and analysis of a patient's brain in Augmented Reality.
I also spent some of my time playing with Data Analytics and Machine Learning (Python & R). So workwise, I felt fulfilled. I saw the impact of the work I was doing, all while learning and discovering new things every moment of the day. However, that experience could be gained anywhere (well, maybe— considering how diverse the tasks I was given were, but they really do adjust your work according to your interests to the best of their abilities). But what I couldn’t have learnt anywhere else was the importance of dynamic within a team. It’s impossible to explain my work family but it all boiled down to the fact that we valued each other, we respected each other, and we were constantly learning but also challenging each other. And in a blink of an eye, my 4 month internship was over.
Sooo... to upkeep my title as the intern who sang one (or ten) too many musicals at work, I'll summarize my internship and this post with a song from my favourite musical, Wicked.