A student in Centennial College’s Software Engineering Technology program, when Hoi Fong (Marcus) Ho learned about a Student Researcher position at WIMTACH, he saw an opportunity to grow his developments skills. As a result, he excitedly applied for a role as a Quality Assurance person to gain entry into the learning environment at WIMTACH. He had hopes of transitioning into development roles. “I was lucky enough to get an opportunity at WIMTACH and I have been doing it ever since,” he said.
In the early days of his Student Researcher role, Marcus contributed towards a migration project for Xello Inc. and he decided to narrow in on quickly resolving development tasks to prove his skills. Since the flexible learning environment at WIMTACH, enables students to try on different roles and cultivate their talents, he had the chance to seamlessly carve out a path for himself as a student developer. “They saw that in me and then they just let me do development stuff,” he said. Very quickly, with the recognition of his development contributions, he was enabled to transition into an official Front-end student development role. “I had actually proven that I can do development [work] and then I became a developer and I’ve been doing it ever since,” he said. “I’m glad that I joined WIMTACH.”
At the moment, his primary focus is to continue building on his Front-end development knowledge and then learn more about Back-end development. Through his role as a Front-end student developer at WIMTACH, he has been able to effectively polish his skills to become a better developer. Still, he remembers that before he joined WIMTACH, he felt that he was more of a hobbyist but his exposure to senior developers on project collaborations with Xello Inc. was a major turning point in his learning journey. “After I joined WIMTACH I started to learn things from senior developers from Xello and because I’ve been needing to solve different problems and I have had to keep learning and learning … my skill level improved greatly,” he said. Working with a professional development team was very valuable for his education on industry standards. “That’s actually something that I value. It’s one of the most important things from this job,” he said. “You are fully soaked into a professional environment and I’ve learned how to do things in an official quote on quote way, a professional way.”
In particular, Marcus has been able to gain a better understanding of Angular, CSS, Webpack as well as a strong foundation of how to properly use Git and how to work with legacy code. Additionally, he was able to learn about how to use the newest technologies. For Marcus, another important feature of his internship was that it also enabled him to become faster and efficient while managing independent learning. “Because I’ve gained all these experiences, now I think I’m better at finding new things to learn, finding the things that matters to learn, and learn them quicker. I think that’s the important skill I’ve learned from doing this job,” he said. Since WIMTACH simulated a professional working environment for students like him, he felt embolden to take on industry roles. “Because what we are doing is actually going into the public, we have a lot of aspects that we [have to pay attention to] so, [learning] how to deal with them professionally, like working in this professional environment is the most important thing that I have experienced and learned.”
Marcus also enjoyed working with other students on innovative projects and has been able to build lasting relationships with his teammates. “My team is great. I don’t think I could find a better team at WIMTACH,” he said. When he first joined his team, the collective and open learning environment was very new to him but the experience helped to reinforce his ability to work well in a collaborative environment, a skill which will be practical to have once he transitions into his career. “I feel like I’ve got the best team on WIMTACH honestly,” he said. “My teammates know what they are doing and they are actively helping others and they are actively trying to stop the problems that we are facing.”
All of these experiences and his time with his teammates have helped Marcus to become the mature developer that he is today. His continued diligence in contributing his best work while working on innovative projects for Xello Inc., helped Marcus to secure a full time Front-end development position with the company and he is very excited for his future. “WIMTACH opened up the door for me. It gave me an opportunity to get a job even before I graduate,” he said. “My full-time offer couldn’t have happened if I hadn’t joined WIMTACH so I really appreciate the opportunity and the experience.”
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