WIMTACH Student Profile: Ines Lee

“I find that WIMTACH is good to put what I learn into practice and even … more than I learn,” said recent WIMTACH Student Researcher alumni Ines Lee. Newly graduated from the Software Engineering Technician program at Centennial College, when Ines first joined WIMTACH, she used her internship experience to link her understanding of the theoretical ideas she was learning in school to constructive application. “The projects involve real-world clients; we’re developing actual apps for real-world customers that, I find this hands-on experience is not only practical but also provides a great opportunity,” she said.

During her time at WIMTACH, Ines worked with a team of researchers in a project collaboration with staffing company, Aspiring Ingenuity Inc. The project collaboration was centered on developing a stand-alone staffing management application to enable dental practices to connect with and hire temporary dental staff quickly and easily. The application enables dental practices to gain administrative control in shift management. As a student mobile developer and scrum master, Ines used Flutter to develop the mobile application with a particular focus on iOS deployments. She was also involved with the development of several features like account registration, a job calendar and a photo-taking feature, along with engineering a Google Maps integration. Acting as the Scrum Master for the project, she used the Scrum ceremony in project meetings, and she was able to also take a leadership role in assisting her teammates to adapt to the Scrum framework. “One of the good things I like is the retrospective with the team so that we can discuss and help each other to be better in the next sprint,” she said. “WIMTACH is also a different experience for us to practice scrum because my teammates haven’t learned scrum before.”

Likewise, previous to her involvement with WIMTACH, Ines had no experience with mobile app development or with Flutter. Yet, throughout the first few weeks of her internship at WIMTACH, she learned about how to use Flutter to test and develop mobile applications, and she worked with her teammates to ease the learning process. She also noted that, crucially, her work enabled her to gain problem-solving and communication skills. “I’ve learned and developed because it’s a real-world project that I have to work on with my teammates. We have to make an effort on tackling the code to figure out a problem,” she said. “We have to design our solutions to build the application, so it’s more practical to do the problem-solving on our own.” She enjoyed the day-to-day development work required for the project and the effort needed to build new features even when she faced challenges. For instance, she encountered difficulties when trying to integrate a Google Maps feature into the application, but she was pleased to know that it was part of the process of improving her coding skills. “It takes so much time because there is a lack of information online. This is one of the features that required a significant time investment,” she said. “But the key is we learned how to solve a problem … by using different resources.”

For Ines, the collaborative work environment at WIMTACH and the mentorship from her teammates has been crucial for her success. “Through learning from studying their code, that’s how I really learned Flutter very fast,” she said. “They taught me so many things.” She was regularly inspired by the work of her teammates, and she often used their work as a reference to create her own. As a result of considerations like this, Ines sees great value for other students who may wish to join WIMTACH, and she is emphatic about the practical learning experience that is uniquely designed to develop the skills of Centennial College students. “It’s [a chance to] work on a real project with client expectations,” she said. “And, it’s incredibly satisfying when you complete a project.”

Through her exposure to Mobile App Development and other development roles, Ines has found that she has a natural affinity toward Back-end development. In five years, she wants to become a professional Back-end Developer, working on Back-end architecture, and she believes that since she was able to get this opportunity, WIMTACH is guiding her toward this path. She is currently looking for employment and though she is nervous about finding a job, she feels certain that her experience at WIMTACH has armed her with the skills needed to succeed in any development role. “I am still nervous, but I believe in my skills to thrive in a professional role,” she said.

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