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Kent Huang

SFU Student Undergraduate
Science › Mathematics | Applied Sciences › Computing Science
Co-operative Education › Local Co-op

Position Title
Experience Faculty
Trulioo is a fantastic company to have a fulfilling co-op/internship at. If you want to learn a lot, you must push yourself and strive to become the best.
Experience Details
Application and Interview Tips

The application includes both the applicant's resume and their cover letter.

Resume wise, I personally believe having a professional and bland looking resume is best (black and white only). Your skills and experiences should speak for themselves, and having a resume with different colours of the rainbow is unnecessary. Avoid large margins, and not too much white space as well. At the same time, do not cram too much information into your resume, which makes it unreadable. A fine balance is necessary here; be succinct in your descriptions. Final tip would be: try to have quantitative bullet points for each experience, ideally for the result of what you did in that project/previous job.

Cover letter wise would be to try and have a personalized first and last paragraph and personalized could mean describing how you would fit in the company's culture. Researching what the company does, describing that in your cover letter and how you would fit in would make for a stronger application when the talent acquisition specialist reads it. Only then can they feel your enthusiasm for the role.

Software developer/engineer positions at any company typically have a lengthy interview process. There are two parts that one must prepare for their interview at Trulioo: the behavioural portion and the technical portion. Mastering both is key to succeeding the interview.

The behavioural portion should be answered using the STAR method, and you can use experiences on your resume. Try to pull stories from all parts of your resume and not just one past job/experience/project, so that you can have a wide variety of coverage for your past experiences. You want to answer in a way where it makes others want to work with you. 

The technical portion is best prepared by doing Leetcode. There is no way around it if one is applying for software positions as it is the only way to screen and test whether an applicant is successful in coding. Preparing a coding editor like Visual Studio and being able to run some methods is the basics of what must be prepared. An application should also prepare for theory questions like time complexity and Object-Oriented programming knowledge

Team Activity: Went bouldering with my team members. Had a lot of fun trying to climb high and it was great for team bonding. Hands hurt a lot after though.
Team Activity: Went bouldering with my team members. Had a lot of fun trying to climb high and it was great for team bonding. Hands hurt a lot after though.
Team Activity: Virtual reality game with my team members outside of work. It was really fun killing zombies together and using our phenomenal teamwork to cover each other's backs.
Team Activity: Virtual reality game with my team members outside of work. It was really fun killing zombies together and using our phenomenal teamwork to cover each other's backs.
During my Experience
Orientation and First Weeks

During the first day, there will be someone from People and Culture that explains what the Trulioo is and what we do. They will describe how our products impact other companies and/or people, and this is more of an introduction in understanding what a software company like Trulioo does. You will receive some merchandise with the company's logo, and of course, your laptop for work.

The first week for my role specifically was to onboard all the necessary software needed to be installed for work. This includes setting up software like Visual Studio, as well as all the necessary repositories needed for coding. This process is quite painful, since there will be many roadblocks, but the developers on the team will be very kind and help you when needed. It is imperative that one asks for help when blocked immediately, and your first week is the best time for asking assistance as much as possible. You might feel bad for spamming questions at the busy developers, but the team would be happier the faster you are onboarded. This should take no longer than two weeks, and if it does take longer, then you are not asking for help enough.

There is also some compliance training and filling in payroll information during the first week as well. This should be done as fast as possible, and it should not take long at all. If you have any questions for this, ask the person from People and Culture and they will be happy to help you figure out what is unknown.

Learning and Adaptation

Learning wise, it would be the tech stack. This includes C# and the .NET framework for Trulioo, as this is described on the job posting from when I first applied. Although I had no previous knowledge of C# and .NET, some self learning will be necessary to succeed at the job. Although I am near the end of my second term here at Trulioo, I am still learning more about C# itself. Best way to learn would be doing Leetcode to understand how to use the language's syntax.

How software teams operate at Trulioo is that we have two week sprints to complete our tasks. These tasks are typically in the form of tickets, which are picked up in a meeting with both your team lead and the other developers on your team. The goal here is to pick up the same number of story points as the other developers on the team because all developers, including interns, should be able to carry their own weight and support the team as equally as possible. However, despite the sprint being two weeks, developers only have roughly one week to complete their tickets because quality assurance needs to test the changes made by developers.

Thus, adaptation wise I believe that the mindset required is: the ability to complete fast and with quality. It is a very fast paced role, and losing a day of time for completing tasks is huge. I frequently got stuck when I didn't understand what I needed to do, and this was because I lacked domain knowledge of the codebase. The best thing to do here is to ask for help from other developers, so that you can move forward in completing your work. Although work is hybrid, communication when working remotely through Slack is necessary to being an integrated developer of the team.


Accomplishments and Challenges

One of my personal biggest accomplishments thus far is collaborating with the other developers on the team to work on a new big project. I was given the opportunity to work on a high impact ticket, where I was given a lot of trust to complete. This project had a deadline, and my manager said he was glad I was able to rise up to the challenge and complete on time. Had I failed, it would have stalled the entire team in completing this project on time. Thus, I believe what makes being a developer rewarding at Trulioo is that even an intern like myself has the opportunity to work on tickets just like other full-time developers. I am not only just getting coffee and doing mundane tasks that would be typical of an intern. I am given opportunities to do work as though I am also a full-time employee, and this facilitates learning even before my career as a full-time developer begins after university.

Some challenges I personally faced was figuring out how to complete my tickets. I often got stuck since I lacked the domain knowledge that other developers on the team had. This is hard because it takes time to get to know both the code base and the products Trulioo offers. However, I believe one of the many skills necessary in overcoming such challenges includes knowing how to help oneself. I always felt somewhat hesitant when asking for help from a busy developer, but asking for help is not something one should feel bad for. I came to this realization because from a third person perspective, not asking for help when you need it is only doing more harm. By helping yourself, you help yourself succeed. 

Reflection & Tips

The experience I've gained at Trulioo as a software developer is invaluable. The knowledge I've gained as a developer will help me succeed in my career in the future post graduation, and the environment is top class. The team is overall very supportive of facilitating growth, and during my code reviews I couldn't ask for better feedback. The senior developers are sticklers and any bad code I put up in my pull requests were immediately noticed. I think this kind of experience in a production environment, in the real industry, is something all prospective developers need/want. Having Trulioo as a part of my co-op experience truly makes me feel more employable in the foreseeable future as a developer. Moreover, the other co-op developers on my team are also super intelligent, and I think what makes the team succeed is our drive to do good work, as well as our personalities meshing well. I can see what people mean by culture fit being important because from first hand experience I think what makes my current team so successful is our ability to both have fun together, but also work hard together.

My team loves hiking and one thing I reflect back on is that I need to train my stamina more. This is something unrelated to work, but something personal that I believe I could have improved on.

Most Valuable Aspects of This Experience

The most valuable aspect of this experience is the skills I've obtained as a software developer in C# and .NET. These skills will be absolutely necessary for when I am working full-time at the start of my career as a software developer. Additionally, the code reviews provided by the senior developers really helped with me in understanding how much my code could be better. In that regard, it also means how I now realize how much my code can improve, and that although what I write in code works, it can also be better. The years of experience the senior developers have allow them to have foresight in why certain parts of code do not work, or would be a problem in the foreseeable future.

Moreover, I also believe that the connections I've made with industry software professionals are invaluable because opportunities will exist in the future where we can help one another. Career-wise, the senior developers know a lot more about career trajectory, and when I speak to them about it I learn a lot about how I can navigate in my future career as well as a developer.

The technical skills I've gained as well as the relationships I've made are the most important aspects of the experience I've had so far at Trulioo.

Connection to Academic Studies or Career Goals

Since I am nearing the end of my academic studies, it is difficult to say how the role can connect to back to my academic studies. However, career wise I think that this role provided an ample amount of experience for me to speak about during interviews. Since I want to pursue a career in software, I believe the skills I gained as a programmer increased significantly. Due to this, I can now be more confident in my skills as a programmer, and this gives me an ample amount of topics to talk about that I would otherwise not have during interviews. I have also been pushing myself to pick up more work so that my impact is real on the team. I think that by being able to push myself here, just like going to the gym or running, I gradually got better as a developer. The skills and experience I have gained thus far allows me to succeed more easily in any role that I will be pursuing in the inevitable future. However, I think this can be true for many other co-op positions as well, as any type of experience in the industry a person desires to pursue will be a positive no matter what. 

Advice for Future Students

My advice for future students who want to work at Trulioo is that taking a look at the resumes available online from other software developers would give a better idea of what a good resume should be like. I personally believe that having quantitative results would also provide a stronger resume, as well as having a good template such that online parsers can filter/detect resumes well would be helpful even after co-op. Secondly, it is important to have a strong cover letter personalized so that the talent acquisition specialist will select your application for an interview.

Next, comes the interview portion of the job. If selected, there are both the behaviourals and the technical portions within a given interview for a software role at Trulioo. Although this is common knowledge for technical roles, practicing the STAR method for the experiences within your resume, as well as practicing Leetcode to pass the technical portion is absolutely necessary.

Once the role has been landed, I also strongly believe that fostering good relationships is also a key in succeeding for the role. At the end of the day, every coworker is also a human being, and having people you want to work with will make life more enjoyable. People say that networking is important, and the case is no different here.

Finally, to get the most out of a developer role, I believe as an intern at Trulioo one should try to achieve the level of other full-time developers on the team. This means taking ownership of bugs, taking on the same amount of story points as other developers, and also providing and taking code reviews for pull requests.