WIMTACH Student Profile: Jarod Lavine

Jarod Lavine decided to apply for a Student Researcher position at WIMTACH in 2020 and he assisted the research team as a Front-End developer.

The first project he contributed towards was for an EMR company as part of a team that was updating a website to a new framework. Some of the other Student Researchers on that team were instrumental in his learning journey and particularly, at teaching him about how to make services, API calls, and how to collaborate with other team members on a common goal. “That’s where I learned a lot about Angular,” he said. “Ever since then, it’s just been up hill from there. I learned quite a bit.”

On that first project, he learned about how to make Front-End components from designs, how to make services, as well as how to update his code based on the work of a large team of designers, Business Analysts, and developers. “It was a really nice little team, a little family,” he said. “It was a really good experience. I learned so much.”

Knowing that he was able to get assistance at any given notice for a project gave him a sense of security and confidence. “It really has been like a family because if I have any issues with a Back-End route I can just message Back-End developers, we get on a call and we solve the issue,” he said.

Now a graduate from the Software Engineering Technology program at Centennial College, he found that his involvement at WIMTACH introduced him to the inner workings of software development projects and a chance to contribute to significant projects such as a migration plan for Xello Inc.

He was able to gain valuable insight into Unit testing, Functional Testing, the Quality Assurance workflow along with a deeper understanding of the different versions of Angular. “There’s been a lot of collaboration between us and the team we’re working with for this application. It’s been really really good so far. They’ve been super super helpful,” he said.

In fact, his most memorable experience at WIMTACH was when he finished the first part of the Xello project collaboration. “When we finally finished the first one, I think that was the most memorable because [the Xello team] made a video about it,” he said. “When we were finally finished it was like ‘oh, this is a good feeling’.”

Jarod also appreciates the opportunity to form lasting relationships with other Student Researchers as well as the chance to form a relationship with the Xello team. Just recently, he accepted a job offer as a Front-end Engineer at Xello and will begin his role this month.

“This project is even more fun because we’re working directly with the developers that have the knowledge of the app so we usually get stuff resolved fairly quickly,” he said. “We can always message them. We always just talk and hang out and just talk about anything we need … they’ve been really helpful and [they’ve] taught us a lot of stuff.”

Now, with over a year of experience at WIMTACH, Jarod feels very confident about his skills and he is able to speak positively about his knowledge of subjects like Unit Testing. “This project has taught me so much about unit testing: what to test, what I should be looking for when testing, and what shouldn’t be tested and what the purpose of testing even is,” he said.

Additionally, contributing to daily stand-ups and weekly demos at WIMTACH encouraged Jarod to develop his communication skills and extend himself beyond what he’s used to. “That has been a new experience for me when I first started because I have never had to do anything like that before so it did teach me how to like talk and try to explain stuff because I’m usually very shy,” he said.

Further, knowing that his contributions have a direct impact on business clients asserted assurance and a sense of reward in his work. “It definitely feels good,” he said. “It feels like I put a lot of hard work into it and it’s actually paying off and being appreciated.”

More, he explained that WIMTACH advisors provided him with a variety of different exercises to prepare for job hunting. This included the chance to observe interviews for the hiring of other Student Researchers to learn about what employers are looking for when hiring. This helped him to alleviate his anxiety about interviews.

“It kind of gave me an idea of what the interview process is like and what the interview perspective is like from the other side of the table,” he said. “Whenever I go into an interview I just shut down because I just get so nervous because I don’t know what the other person is thinking. But with this I can kind of understand what they are looking for.”

He emphasized the significant impact WIMTACH advisors had on his learning as he compared his skill level upon first joining WIMTACH until now. “If I went back to when we first started, I’d be completely different from what I am right now,” he said.

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