Before Evan Feng joined Centennial College, he was working as a Software Engineer in Hong Kong, and although he was thriving, he found the job boring and lacking in the sort of challenge he craved. This prompted him to explore a new field and since Artificial Intelligence was expected to be a big industry in the future, he enrolled in Centennial College’s Software Engineering, Artificial Intelligence program to lay the groundwork for a major career shift. When he learned about WIMTACH and an opening for a Front-end Development Student Researcher position for an applied research project with Canadian staffing company Aspiring Ingenuity, he was eager to apply. “I already had a strong grounding of Front-end development … so [I thought] maybe I can handle it,” he said.
Evan was accepted into a team of programmers in the development of a mobile application. The application empowers dental practice administrators with shift management for the hiring of new staff workers and includes features to support alerts of newly available shifts, as well as notifications through email. Evan’s primary role in the project was to assist with the Android development portion of the project and the development of features such as account registration and Google Map integration. “After joining WIMTACH, because I hadn’t done mobile development at an enterprise level … [it was] the first-time experience for me,” he said. “Not only did I gain exposure to a new set of development skills, but also to the Scrum Framework, which was new to me.”
Learning about the Scrum Framework was instrumental for Evan in understanding how a collaborative team could become more efficient. He regularly participated in retrospective meetings which were helpful for illustrating areas of improvement within the team. “I am sure that our next sprint was even more productive,” he said. This collaborative work environment was especially helpful when he was learning how to develop an application using Flutter for the first time, and once he had a better grasp of Flutter, he was able to take on the role of a coach and help other junior developers with the software development kit. Through this mentorship role, he was able to quickly enhance his skills with Flutter along with his problem-solving and communication skills. “WIMTACH also provided me with a persistent opportunity to step into the role of coach,” he said. “I feel more competent to come into the team lead role.”
Evan was involved in the development of the application from the beginning and because it was his first time being heavily involved in a project in this way, he found his internship to be an invaluable learning experience. The internship was a great confidence booster and it doubled as a reliable resource whenever he needed assistance with schoolwork. He noted that his most memorable moments from the internship often involved learning from other students and he was emphatic in saying that the internship enhanced his social, management, and problem-solving skills along with his technical skills. In particular, he remembers how students like Suraj Regmi, helped him to gain an understanding of how to integrate the Back-end and Front-end development sections of the application, how to implement clean code, and how to simplify a complex concept to make efficient scripts. As a result of supportive teammates like Suraj, over the course of his internship at WIMTACH, he became quite familiar with how to integrate backend APIs. “I want to emphasize how rewarding and transformative my journey at WIMTACH has been,” he said. “From the onset of a new project to its successful completion, from acquiring new skills to mentoring colleagues, the entire experience has been enriching.”
Now a self-assured Full-Stack developer and a recent graduate from Centennial College, Evan has his pick of the role he wants to specialize in the future, and he hopes to eventually gain a full-time developer role as a Back-end developer. He notes that WIMTACH helped him to get his first real experience in the Canadian technology industry and he is certain that having this credential on his resume will be helpful in securing employment. “WIMTACH helped me to build confidence,” he said. “I [gained] a lot of hands-on experience and theoretical learning at WIMTACH which is a truly unique opportunity.”
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