A Push To Commit

A Push To Commit

By: Cody Santos
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Not sure what career path you want to take? Computing Science Co-op Student, Cody Santos, was not sure either.  Read about his first co-op term at Mobidia and what he learned because of his experience there.

When I was about 8 years old, I wanted to be the prime minister of Canada.  When I turned 13, I wanted to be a dentist.  When I turned 15, I wanted to be an astronomer, then an architect, then a historian, and then once again the prime minister of Canada.  Shortly after, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life after graduating high school.  The future seemed scary, and because I never applied myself and committed myself to anything, it became increasingly difficult to find passion in anything.  It was very common for me to declare that I was going to try something and stick with it, but that never was the case and I would quickly give up on it. 

The one time this changed was when I took my first programming course.  I can still remember how the feeling of accomplishment and sheer exhilaration when I wrote my first Traffic Light application for a class assignment – the fact that I used simple words and phrases to create something that does exactly what I programmed it to do was breathtaking and empowering.  It was from these assignments that I realized the great feeling of accomplishment from challenges every week to expand my knowledge.  Because of that, my mission in anything I do is to make it a challenge.  I find myself enjoying and learning a lot more when I'm faced with challenges, and that makes the experience even greater.

My First Co-op at Mobidia:

When I started at Mobidia, the company was given a new project, and this was an incredibly valuable experience for me.  Because of this, I was not the only one that was learning the project and so I had to learn how to adapt to certain situations and brainstorm with others that needed more understanding of it as well.  Conversely, another one of my valuable experiences at Mobidia includes being brought into an existing project, with high expectations.  While the new project was introduced, I was also assigned to take care of test case analysis and execution of an existing project that they were updating.  These two experiences alone are incredibly important for my goal of being a software developer, as I will need to take my experience of being dropped into the middle of a project or starting a new project and apply it as a software developer.  With my experiences, I am well prepared for future tasks that are relevant, but I can still improve.  At this point in my career, I do not believe that my interests play a big role in my goal of software development because I enjoy programming and problem solving much more than a preference in industry.  While it seems to be a popular question with my coworkers (e.g. why mobile app development?), I enjoy software development as a whole more enjoyable than sticking to one industry. With that said, I feel that my personality and values would fit into a youthful work environment a lot more than they would in a conservative and business-oriented work environment – but that may be simply due to my first experience at Mobidia.

My Goals:

Before and after graduation, I feel that I should focus more on different programming paradigms and software development models. Because of course work and personal projects, I have gained a lot of experience using object-oriented programming languages, and functional programming languages.  I have also been exposed to imperative programming languages from side projects and personal interest.  As far as experience with software development models go, schoolwork has exposed me to Agile and Waterfall.  Working at Mobidia has reinforced mostly object-oriented and functional programming paradigms and has helped me gain a deep understanding and appreciation for the Agile and Waterfall software development model.  Aside from technical qualifications that I feel that I should improve on, I feel that I should work on my interpersonal communication, and to be more specific, I should work on eye contact in conversation.  In my co-op evaluation form, my supervisor mentioned that my eye contact is something to work on and I wholeheartedly agree.  While I am able to communicate fine verbally and through writing, I feel that a lot of communication is reinforced via eye contact, and failing to keep eye contact in a conversation may have a negative effect on the overall topic being communicated. 

My goal right now is to gain software development experience in Seattle or California, and I would really like to do this before graduation.  Because of this, my first goal is to land a co-op or internship development position before graduation in Seattle or California.  To do this I plan to take the Expression of Interest survey, a survey for students interested in International Co-op, as soon as I get back to school in the fall.  Following this, I would contact my co-op advisor about my interest in the program.  Finally, assuming everything follows through, I would begin my search for co-op jobs in Seattle and California.

My first co-op was a lot of fun.  I was able to contribute to the stability of Mobidia's mobile apps in QA, and was also able to develop unit tests for Mobidia's databases.  This experience reinforced my desire to stay in the software development industry.

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Posted on October 13, 2014