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The Sysco LABS Intern Diaries, Volume Two; Chapter 6: Practical Application

by Sysco LABS Articles 29 January 2018

 

By: Umesh Jayasinghe

It’s almost the end of the 4th month of our internship at Sysco LABS. Although it’s only been a few months, the experience I’ve gained so far has been fascinating. During our time here, we’ve been fully immersed in not only the technologies, but also the whole architecture of how a product is developed – from the requirements to the delivery phase. We started the internship with a sample project and it took us almost one and a half months to complete it. That’s when I realized that the technology is not the only thing that matters; the design architectures, concepts, decisions, communication, and the teamwork are also important. Technologies may change with time, but adhering to the change is easy if we know the basics and follow them. That’s how I got oriented to work at Sysco LABS. Working here enabled me to understand and apply concepts and theories that we learned at the university. We worked on more projects during the past few months, most of which are covered by my other intern colleagues in their articles.

Currently, we are working on a project to manage internal users. After completing the requirements specification, the design documentation, and the test plan, we participated in a hothouse planning session where we clarified and refined the requirements and the design. Then we were able to start the 1st sprint of the project. We did not have prior experience with agile and scrum, so we knee it would be harder for us to put it into practice. But the people at Sysco LABS were very friendly and helped us navigate unfamiliar territory. With lots of mistakes, we finished our 1st sprint and the knowledge and the experience we gained through those mistakes gave us a better understanding of the practicalities of the process. We are currently at the end of the second sprint and are planning the next one. Working at Sysco LABS is not difficult due to the guidance and support from the staff. It’s fun. Senior members review our code and share their experience to show us the areas we need to improve on when writing code. This is the work we’ve done so far and there’s more to write on it, but I have a lot more to convey on the other non-work related things here.

We were taken on a merchant visit where we were able to observe how the systems developed at Sysco LABS are used by the merchants. One of the main highlights of the visit was the chance to order whatever we liked from the merchant we visited.

It’s not all about work here at Sysco LABS – they also care about the health and well-being of the employees. Wellness day was organized in mid-October to create awareness among employees, on health issues. The ‘Blend Juice’ bike was one of the highlights of the event and was a contraption that made it possible to make fruit juice by riding the bicycle (the rotation of the wheel activates the blender with the fruits in it). Nusry (one of my fellow interns) and I played motion sensor video games and got our arms stretched. White Cane Safety Day was another highlight in October. It was organized to raise funds and lend a helping hand to the visually impaired.

One of the best opportunities an intern gets in the internship is the Intern Tech-Talk session. It’s a 20-minute session where an intern has to conduct the session on a given topic for Sysco LABS colleagues. I did my session during early October, on the topic ‘Dependency management’. I haven’t done much public speaking before, but Sysco LABS gave me the opportunity to enhance my skills in this area as well. I can remember the second on-boarding session where we were introduced to the Toastmasters Club of Sysco LABS – I had to do an impromptu speech on the topic ‘The Future of Shopping’. Sysco LABS provides a lot of opportunities for self development and it’s really helpful to make use of these opportunities to sharpen our skills.

Every dev intern also has to conduct a question and answer session for fellow interns. So far, we’ve covered OOP, Functional Programming, Trees, Sorting Algorithms, Searching Algorithms, Design Patterns, and Threads. I will be conducting the next session, which will be the last Q&A session for the year on the topic NoSQL.

It’s not only the projects and the work that we are doing. Once we feel it’s time to play, we go to the rooftop and engage in a game of carrom and table tennis. There’s a nice and free environment to work without any stress, and I think it’s the secret behind the productivity at Sysco LABS.

I feel sad when I realize that there are only two months more before we leave this amazing place. I’m pretty sure the rest of our time here will be busy but not without the fun and excitement. I’m looking forward to finishing my internship with maximum effort on my part, and hope to get the most out of this experience.

 

The Series

The Sysco LABS Intern Diaries chronicles the experience of being in an internship program at Sysco LABS and is written by our interns themselves. It will be periodically updated by the interns while they go through this six-month program with us.

 

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