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Patrick Underwood

SFU Co-op Student
Applied Sciences › Computing Science

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I discovered all of the opportunities and resources afforded me by being a part of a big company

As soon as the next academic term began I started looking at co-op job postings for my next opportunity since there was no way I could handle two consecutive terms of schooling when the lure of working as a software developer was out there. I knew I wanted a different experience from Malaspina so that I might enjoy the entire gamut of the software development world, so I concentrated my search on larger companies. Four applications and one interview later I became IBM’s newest development co-op for their Vancouver software development lab. I whiled away the remaining weeks of study, eagerly awaiting the commencement of my life as an IBMer.

At IBM I was met with a very different experience than the one I had, had at Malaspina Labs. For starters, there were a lot more people, paperwork and pop (alas no beer). I was uncertain if working as a part of a large corporation was for me. Where Malaspina was a group of engineers building a way to get to space, IBM was the International Space Station. Working as a part of a large team, not quite seeing the big picture, it took a while to adjust to the large company way of things. Slowly but surely though I found my place and found that it was indeed a good place... a very good place.

I discovered all of the opportunities and resources afforded me by being a part of a big company and took advantage where I could, absorbing as much knowledge and experience as I could and I hadn’t even begun to scratch the surface of all the things I could learn and do. Then, four months into my IBM life I was given an amazing opportunity. I was tasked with taking an internal prototype software tool and turning it into something official and presentable to IBMs customers. It's an honour to think something I developed would be used by major corporations around the globe! It's amazing to imagine that some system administrator somewhere in the world will use this tool and say “that was a pretty groovy experience”, and to know that it was me that helped give him that experience! I learned so much about the software development process from taking a simple idea and turning it into something marketable and saw a whole other side of the software development industry.

With the end of my co-op term fast approaching and my imminent return to classes I can’t wait to see where the opportunities and experiences afforded me by the co-op program will take me. I’m certain that upon graduation I will find myself ready and able to jump into my new career as a software developer! 

Beyond the Blog

 

About the Author

Patrick Underwood

SFU Co-op Student
Applied Sciences › Computing Science
Connect with Patrick on LinkedIn!

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