Every week here and in our newsletter, we feature a new developer/blogger from the DZone community to catch up and find out what he or she is working on now and what's coming next. This week we're getting a different sort of perspective from DZone's development interns, Jeffery Kim and Trevor Gasdaska:
Jeffrey is a rising Senior studying Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Trevor is a rising Junior studying Computer Science and Mathematics. Both are students at North Carolina State University.
1. What have you been working on lately?
Jeffrey: I am interning as one of the developers at DZone. I have been assigned to Process Management plugin project, which is a plugin that can document or implement processes. My responsibility for this project so far was mainly working on the front-end, such as coming up with the mockups and coding in HTML, FreeMarker, and CSS. As the project progresses, I will also be working on the back-end as well.
Trevor: Since my start at DZone, I have been working on developing an eCommerce AnswerHub plugin for selling AnswerHub online.
2. You're the new interns at DZone. What's it like applying your development skills in a real-world setting, rather than an academic one?
Jeffrey: It is definitely a lot different. Doing academic related development felt like homework, but applying my developing skills in a real-world setting makes it feel like I am doing something more meaning full and rewarding. It is cool how my work is actually being used in a company setting.
Trevor: Real-world development is a completely different world from development in the academic setting. The first thing that hit me upon starting at DZone was the vast difference in the scale of the software I was working on. At school my projects are at most 10 files (usually 1 or 2) and each project is used as an aid to learn a very specific design pattern or concept. Working with and understanding the thousands of different files that go into making AnswerHub, and understanding how they all work together, has been a real challenge.
So far, I have really enjoyed the “real” aspect of real-world development. I feel that the majority of my school projects (like implementing Kruskal’s algorithm), while fun, are purely academic and are not something I would ever need to implement in the “real world”. Being able to design and implement something that people will actually use is very exciting.
3. Are there any particular developer tools or resources you couldn't live without?
Trevor: StackOverflow is my best friend. I also enjoy browsing youtube for lectures on interesting topics. The MIT OpenCourseWare channel is one of my favorites :).
4. Have you worked on any notable school or personal projects that have really pushed or tested your skills?
Jeffrey: In my computer architecture class, we had to build a Dynamic Instruction Scheduler. I constructed a simulator for out-of-order superscalar processor based on Tomasulo’s algorithm, which was a challenge because we had to also implement a cache module and a branch predictor that we constructed in the beginning of the semester.
Trevor: This past winter break I worked on making a simple platformer game using java. Having just learned about object-oriented programming, the game challenged me to become highly proficient as an object-oriented thinker.
5. As an up-and-coming developer, what do you hope to do in the future? Where would you like to see your career take you?
Jeffrey: I would like to be part of a project that is not only intended for business, but a project that can benefit the society. Within that team, I would like to work as a lead developer.
Trevor: Oh gosh… I’m not really sure what I want to do in the future. I guess the most immediate decision I have to make is whether I want to attend graduate school or not; and if I do attend graduate school whether I want to pursue math or computer science. I am hoping that the time I spend as an intern at DZone will help me sort all that out.
6. Did you have a coding first love -- a particular program, gadget, game, or language that set you on the path to life as a developer?
Jeffrey: I study electrical and computer engineering, and one of my favorite courses was embedded systems class. The end goal of the course was to create a line-following car with a microcontroller. Coding this microcontroller and watching this microcontroller turn on the motors and making the car move was one of the coolest thing ever. It felt like my code was becoming alive and moving in a 3 dimensional space instead of the 2 dimensional screen. That is where I got interested in coding and how coding became visual.
Thanks, Jeffrey & Trevor!