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SFU Co-op Student

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Austin Distel on Unsplash.
However, to my surprise, my co-op work experience has exceeded my expectations. Not only did I learn how to write industry standard C++ code, I also had the opportunity to automate cross-platform build and packaging.

Simba Technologies, a division of Magnitude Software, is the industry’s source for standards-based relational data connectivity solutions. Having co-developed the ODBC specification with Microsoft in 1992, Simba has become the de-facto standard technology stack for ISVs to use when building their drivers. Our reputation as a connectivity pioneer has made us the partner of choice for innovative enterprise data connectivity solutions, literally, tens of millions of business professionals use our software every day.

This is an exciting time to join the company. Already the market leader, Simba is rapidly expanding its solutions to address the new and emerging database technologies such as Block Chain, Time Series, Graph and others as the market defines and embraces new technologies. Simba’s latest customers read like a who’s who of the Big Data, Hadoop, and NoSQL worlds including companies like Alteryx, Cloudera, DataStax, Google, Informatica, Hortonworks, MapR, Microsoft, SAP and Teradata. Simba’s ODBC and JDBC drivers are the most widely used for connecting BI, reporting, analytics and machine learning tools to data sources like Cassandra, Google BigQuery, Hive, Impala, and MongoDB. Every major Hadoop distribution, including Cloudera, Hortonworks, MapR, and Microsoft, have independently chosen Simba’s ODBC drivers.

As a Junior Software Developer in the co-op program, I have had the privilege of working on the Simba ODBC driver for Google BigQuery. While working on the development of this ODBC driver, I often had to troubleshoot issues that are not only internal within my team but also requiring involvement from other teams. I am very fortunate that the colleagues whom I have had the opportunity to work with are very friendly and knowledgeable. Questions were always encouraged and everyone I talked to was reachable in case I had any problems or concerns.

When I started my co-op term, I underwent a training period of approximately one month. During this period, I was grouped with the other newly hired co-op students to work on an ODBC driver that connects to a RESTful API data source. This training process has helped me gain a lot of understanding of how ODBC drivers work and exposed me to the main Software Development Kit (SDK) that Simba developers use to develop ODBC drivers for multiple types of data source, known as the SimbaEngine X SDK.

Before starting my co-op, I had previous experience working with C++ programming language, but mostly in an academic context such as course assignments and final projects. I had expected the experience as a software developer to be quite like that of my academic experiences, especially since they also provide a C++ course for the first few months. However, to my surprise, my co-op work experience has exceeded my expectations. Not only did I learn how to write industry standard C++ code, I also had the opportunity to automate cross-platform build and packaging. They also involved me in customer calls, expanding my networking skills even further.

Overall, the time I spent working at Magnitude Software’s Simba division, has been amazing and rewarding. I’m glad that I had the opportunity to develop my technical expertise especially in the area of C++ language and compilation. Collaborating with colleagues from different teams also helped improve my communication skills.

Magnitude has several social events such as the TGIFF (Thank Goodness It’s First Friday) social scheduled every first Friday of the month and many more team or theme-based events that create opportunities for colleagues to connect socially. I am certain that the knowledge and experience I obtained from my co-op term will be helpful in shaping my future career, both as a software developer and as a productive member of any organization.

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