I will soon be graduating from IT Sligo with a Level 7 BSc in Software Development. As part of my course, it was required to complete a three-month work placement. For this, I was delighted to be given the opportunity to work at Cora Systems as a Software Development Intern.
The people at Cora Systems are a tight-knit bunch. Everyone works together and there was never a shortage of help. The sense of community and wonderful culture made the transition from classroom to real-world seamless.
Working here has taught me a wide range of skills; many of which cannot be learned in a classroom. Communication, consideration for present and future developers who may be working with your code and the necessity to stand on your own two feet to figure out complex code, were all key skills I will take away from my experience here.
Coming into the office, I was worried that my lack of knowledge of the programming language used here would be a hinderance to the team. I quickly learned this was not the case and with great support received from the development team, it was as if I had been using it all along.
I was surprised at the amount of trust I was given from the beginning. Being given new features to develop greatly improved my confidence and self-belief in my programming abilities. Among the huge variety of new experiences and skills I learned, there were three major things that I am grateful to have been exposed to.
Theoretical knowledge to real-life application:
One of the classes in college was all about project management. There, I learned all about agile methodologies, sprint planning and retrospectives and daily stand-up meetings. Once here, I was immersed in a real agile environment. I could fully appreciate such practices I had learned about.
Code quality and improvement:
Code refactoring and bug fixing was another eye-opening experience. Working with old code – some of it probably older than myself – and trying to improve it was something I hadn’t done before. When it comes to bugs, working here has made me realise that it is almost impossible to develop a new feature without something going astray along the way; and that was ok. It made me really think and analyse my solutions to ensure that the effects of my changes were minimal.
I think the biggest learning curve was the sheer vastness of the entire Cora PPM project. What I considered ‘big projects’ in college usually consisted of seven or eight database tables with a couple of stored procedures and a codebase with two projects, all of which had about five pages and about one hundred lines of code long. You can imagine my surprise to find that Cora PPM was made up of countless database tables and stored procedures, not to mention the mass of projects and code files with not hundreds but thousands of lines of code in some cases. Navigating through the project was a challenge at first, but one that has highlighted what a real-world application consists of.
To say I enjoyed my time at Cora Systems would be an understatement. The knowledge and experience I gained from every person on the team will be invaluable as I continue on and return to college for my final year. The level of teamwork and commitment I witnessed here has set the bar high for any future teams I may work with.
I am truly grateful to everyone who contributed to making my time at Cora Systems as successful as it was.
A number of full-time positions are currently available here at Cora Systems. Find out more at corasystems.com/careers