IndustryMSwDev

A collaborative team culture is invaluable

By June 9, 2020 No Comments

Alexis and Jason, two of our Master of Software Development students, have been doing their internship (the final part of the programme where students are placed in local tech businesses) at Snapper for the last few months. This included working from home during the COVID-19 lockdown where they had to find meaningful ways communicate and collaborate remotely.

Snapper is a contactless electronic ticketing card used to pay for bus fares in Wellington. Richard McClure, Product Owner at Snapper, said that they’d “previously taken on two interns from the programme who are still with us today so we’ve had 100% success rate” and it is a “good alignment between where the students are at in their study and where we need interns to be when they start with us.”

Richard said that Alexis and Jason are working on “projects that are critical for Snapper and our customers, and we’ve found the best way to integrate new interns into our teams is to get them working straight away on our projects.”

Alexis De Meo is working on Snapper’s bus network performance insights tool which is used by the Greater Wellington Regional Council and Wellington bus operators. She is really enjoying “seeing the work I’m doing going into production and knowing that it plays part” for it makes her feel like she is making a difference and is a valuable part of the team.

Jason Shi is working on improving Snapper’s CI/CD (Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery) pipelines across their development teams, primarily with a development team undertaking a new piece of work for a client in Dublin. The most important thing he’s learning about is working with AWS (Amazon Web Services) since it “contributes to a faster release rate…and it provides great convenience to the company to manage its applications” which helps him support the team.

The COVID-19 lockdown did not impact the project’s overarching goals and, for the most part, they just continued as usual from home. Richard said that “communication has been key; replicating the same levels of communication we value working in an office together, while working from home using audio/video conferencing and messaging tools.”

“Snapper has a great collaborative culture and that hasn’t changed with the shift to remote work. We have leveraged communication platforms, like Slack, to make working collaboratively on projects possible and to recreate a lot of the social situations that we often miss out on while working remotely,” Alexis said.

COVID-19 will have a fundamental impact on public transport globally and Snapper are expecting significant change driven by fundamental shifts in the economy, Richard said that “Concerns about the potential re-emergence of COVID-19 and changing work patterns will influence how and when people use public transport…We see core skills being the most important as they will help us understand what the new customer needs are, and how we need to reshape our own activities to deliver upon them.”

Richard believes important core skills in their industry to be “judgement, communication, impact, curiosity, innovation, courage, passion, honesty, selflessness, teamwork.” Both Alexis and Jason said they have seen the Snapper team display these skills, Alexis said whenever she was stuck someone more experienced would help her out – she really appreciated Snapper’s culture in enabling that.

Alexis said that “an average day starts with checking in with my colleagues to discuss project tasks, any related questions, and/or concerns. Then we have our daily standup meeting where we usually discuss team priorities, project tasks in progress/review, allocate tasks and make sure everyone is happy and ready to get stuck into their tasks. I usually work on my allocated task for the rest of the day, regularly collaborating with my colleagues, clarifying anything I am not sure about, and learning as much as I can.”

The project Alexis worked on included front-end and back-end development which has meant she was able to utilise the range of programming languages, technology, and tools she learned during studying with us. But the most important skill Alexis utilised during her internship is “how to leverage what we were taught during the programme to quickly pick up new concepts, languages and tech and then apply them to the development task at hand.”

You can enrol in our Master of Software Development now and you could have a hands-on industry experience like Alexis and Jason!

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