24th November 2021
Here at DisplayNote, we currently run an intern program within our engineering team. For us, it’s an opportunity to gain fresh talent and perspective, a new approach to how we do things. For young professionals, it’s a chance to be exposed to the industry, to get hands-on with technology and problem-solving.
Our current intake, Jordan and Darryl, have just completed their first solo project. We thought it was a good time to check in with them to see how things are going. Next up is Darryl, our Computer Science student from Queen's University.
We asked him a few questions about his project and what he’s learned so far.
Hi Darryl! Firstly, tell us a little about the project - what were your objectives?
The aim of the project was to create a desktop application that would allow an educator to create a session for a lesson and gauge the engagement of connected students.
The students would rate their engagement on a mobile application during the lesson using a slider on their device. It would then be sent to the educator’s host application and displayed as a line graph that would update every second or so, essentially giving them live feedback.
What challenges did you face?
One of the first issues I faced was that I had never really used Xamarin before, and C# was a language I didn’t have much experience in either. It took some time to get a real understanding of how to proceed, learning how to structure my code with MVVM and using PubNub to allow for communication between the desktop and mobile applications.
I was also fairly inexperienced with Git, and even after getting started with it, it took some time to get used to using it effectively. They’re all challenges I appreciate facing, as I’ve learned so much from each one.
What elements did you particularly enjoy?
I enjoyed encountering an issue and learning from it. While there were times where a problem could be frustrating, it was satisfying when you reached a resolution.
Even working through a bug or error can be interesting at times, seeing why an error may have occurred and possibly finding out something new and useful in the process.
It’s also nice to create a plan at the start of the process, and see the applications slowly evolve over time to more closely resemble the final product.
What have you learned from the experience?
In the end, I was able to create an application that performed its primary functions, as well as some secondary functions such as tracking enjoyment and understanding as well as engagement.
I am happy with how the app turned out; it ended up being relatively functional and stable, with a UI that looks nice and is simple to use and navigate.
I learned how to develop a cross-platform application using C# and Xamarin, how to properly structure code to separate logic from UI, and how to effectively use source control during development.
How have you found the internship so far? (particularly working mostly remotely!)
I’ve found the internship to be great so far. The working environment is very different from any projects undertaken during my university course.
Working remotely has been a different experience, with some unique challenges and benefits. I’ve been able to work in my own space, and it’s also helpful not having to travel every day and not having to be concerned with the colder temperatures, weather, and simply the time it takes to travel itself.
In terms of issues, it can be easier and more effective to communicate with other people in person. There’s also the issue of needing a stable internet connection when you’re working from home; mine has mostly been sufficient, though you do encounter the odd problem...
I’m looking forward to our group project, in which we’ll be creating a whiteboard application. Through this, I hope to improve my ability to use c++ and learn how to use QT during this project. And beyond that, I look forward to working with others, doing my part in real projects, and improving my skills and knowledge as a programmer.
We’re always on the lookout for fresh talent. If you’d like to find out about intern opportunities within our engineering or business teams, drop us a message at email@example.com.