Brock enjoys fine dining and long walks through Stack Overflow.
December 15, 2018
I’m Brock, a senior at the University of Kansas, and one of the latest intern developers that’s been on the scene at BNB. I sent an email to Nate with a link to my GitHub and an inquiry about work opportunities. He emailed back within thirty minutes, noting the bio of my GitHub profile, which mentioned something about enjoying “long walks through Stack Overflow.”
I completely credit getting picked up as an intern to this line.
Coming to BNB, I knew I was walking into a Ruby on Rails shop. I expected to take a dive in to full-stack development, and that certainly happened. However, there a few things I hadn’t anticipated—dipping my toes into the entrepreneurial process by getting to develop a project of my own creation, for example. Nate and Matt also allowed me plenty of time to get the hang of Rails—a scarily awesome tool that can come with a steep learning curve if you’ve never written Ruby (speaking from experience on this one.) Database design, wire-framing, prototyping, and a healthy amount of UX/UI work were all things that hadn’t even entered my realm of expectations when starting out. But I learned them nonetheless, and I’ve come out all the richer for it.
During my time here, I’ve had the pleasure to work on a few different projects. The first was my intern project Schol Haller, a web application designed to allow residents of KU’s Scholarship Hall community (of which I myself was a member) to network professionally. From ideation and a bit of market research, to wire framing a prototype for review, the process for creating the app from scratch was very comprehensive. I really had to put myself in the shoes of a potential user and be able to view what I was creating through that lens—a task that was consistently challenging for a student that has been trained to think like an engineer. I could talk all day about the skills I picked up working on this project, but being able to understand a product from a user/client viewpoint was the most valuable to me personally.
The second project—which I’ve spent the bulk of my time on—is COLA, a building management system built and maintained for the County of Los Angeles. A few of the things I’ve worked on include containerizing the codebase so that it can run on any of the BNB machines, making the seeding process more robust so we have plenty of fake data to work with in development, modifying the code and layout of a few pages so that they’re styled by Bootstrap 4, and other various odds-and-ends fixes that I’ve implemented. Without a doubt, the greatest thing that COLA has given me is persistence. Like, a LOT of it. Stepping in to an unfamiliar codebase is always difficult, and an application as robust as this one comes with a learning curve. However, after spending a lot of quality time with it, I’ve cultivated what I now consider the most valuable virtue of all in software development; patience.
Overall, it’s been an awesome experience, and I’m very fortunate to get to work with such great people every day (plus, the coffee isn’t half bad!) I’m looking forward to the rest of my time here, and I’m excited to see what the future holds.