This summer, I worked as a software engineering intern for Williams alumni to help develop their app called Nomad. The goal of the app is to facilitate user interaction with people nearby through chat groups as well as to let users get involved in the community by displaying nearby events.
One of the projects that I worked on was scraping events from a website called Eventbrite and parsing those events onto a CSV file. Since the software was written in Python, I was able to develop my Python skills and get practice writing scripts. I also learned how to use BeautifulSoup to extract information and data from the HTML that websites are usually written in. In addition to that project, I also fixed some frontend and backend bugs and added some small features to the codebase. One of the features that I added was enabling Typescript to allow users to take a photo in real time. Another feature implemented on the backend side was the ability to flag users. This way, the app could be a safer space and users who were identified as causing trouble could be dealt with. Implementing this feature allowed me to learn some SQL and how databases are accessed through a codebase.
This internship influenced me in so many ways. By getting exposure to what a professional software development environment would be like, I feel more comfortable working on a team and more comfortable with real-world experience. Through the numerous code reviews and weekly meetings, my intern supervisors were able to improve my coding skills and provide me with valuable feedback on how to make my code more readable. I was also able to learn how to pull and push code in a professional environment, as well as make sure that the code I write passes unit tests to ensure it will not mess up anything else in the system. Before, I was considering doing software engineering as a career, and having enjoyed the internship experience so much, I am certain I want to pursue software development in the future.
In terms of course selection, this internship has solidified my choice to major in computer science and mathematics. I believe that the skills that I acquire in both majors will give me a strong foundation for any future career that I want to pursue.
To Mr. and Mrs. Case, I am very grateful for your generosity which has allowed me greater flexibility in pursuing my passions. I am also very thankful to the ’68 Center for Career Exploration for providing me the resources necessary to pursue my dream career and presenting me with the numerous opportunities to improve myself as a professional.