The Sysco LABS Intern Diaries, Volume Two; Chapter Two: Work and Play

by Sysco LABS Blog 26 September 2017


By: Chanuka Wijayakoon

By the end of the third month of our internship, we’d gotten more accustomed to the company’s culture and workflows. We actively engaged in project design discussions, made design documents, took part in events and learned from it all. It’s been quite a colorful month indeed, with the Sports Fiesta being the main attraction. 

The annual inter-tribe sports fiesta, called Endurance 2017, saw employees taking part in track and field events. It kicked off with a welcome dance and the traditional hoisting of flags, the lighting of the Olympic lamp, and a speech by the Managing Director, Mr. Shanil Fernando. Before the event, Einstein was leading the tribal scoreboard this year. They were keen to keep their lead, while the rest of us – Galileo, Maxwell and Newton tribes – were determined to dethrone them and claim victory for ourselves. After a day of competitive sports and camaraderie, the Maxwell tribe was crowned the overall champions of the sports fiesta.

As for work, the month kicked off with our first real-world project at the company – making a new reports application. This would replace an older reporting tool with a more modern application as part of a wider family of applications using the Universal Admin framework (one of the in-house frameworks). We conducted a hot-house to discuss the project requirements during which we identified possible changes to the original requirements of the project. The difficult part about changing requirements is that it needs clarifications that literally goes around the world. Sometimes there’s friction between being practical and looking nice, plus, not all possible issues are foreseen during the design phase. The hot-house allowed us to identify a number of such issues with the proposed UI.

Making design documents occupied us for several days, as we plotted the high level architecture, identified use cases and made test plans. The level of abstraction we chose to depict things was not always the best, and continuous feedback from senior colleagues helped us to improve our outputs. To err is intern, and Sysco is a safe space that values learning. Senior colleagues were patient and helpful when providing feedback to our work and made useful suggestions.

During this time we took part in a design discussion for an upcoming API’s specification called the Data Aggregate API. It was enlightening to note the different takes and opinions on certain issues and the process of coming to agreements on solutions. We were to write our application to be used with this API. Since it’s not currently available, we’re writing a wrapper API to use existing tools in the manner that the future API will be used. To write the wrapper API, we had to set up the project from scratch which provided us with the opportunity to further solidify our knowledge on different tools used in the Javascript ecosystem.

Later in the month, one of our fellow interns brought a treat for us all to celebrate his cultural holiday, Hajj. Watalappan is always welcome of course, and sweet semolina balls mixed well with it. In between all this, we didn’t forget to take a break and play carrom every now and then. Some of us have made great improvements, I might add. And that marks the end of the third month of my internship.

Time’s passing too fast.


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.

The Interns

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