TFM Co-Op: Week 13

It is almost the end of the co-op, and I have learned so much here in my time as a web developer intern. There are so many skills that are needed in order to contribute to the larger IT goals of an organization. Although my title is Web Developer and I primarily work on our client’s web application, the tools we use are transferable to nearly any type of software development position. Working on the backend with PHP, databases and SQL, as well as file directories are all primary skills I had to learn in order to complete my assignment. I have also learn a lot about how our system is designed and how MVC functions as well as different ways to approach problem solving and optimization. For example, this past week I learned how to structure my SELECT queries better with table indexes to reduce the amount of calculations the database must perform, thus increasing performance. I also wrote some useful functions in jQuery to make our client page more dynamic using some of the information I learned from my classes at Point Park.

Besides technical skills, there are a number of fundamental communication and business skills that every developer should maintain. When working on a project, it is important to fully understand the business requirements to design, then implement your solutions. It is also important to communicate your ideas not just to other developers, but non-technical people who are more focused on the end result. This was needed during our weekly IT meeting on Monday with our CEO and some of my coworkers from our logistics department who were able to see our progress so far and coordinate the requirements that our clients requested. There was also lots of time spent on communicating with carriers to get our FTP connections set up.

It was another busy week as we are nearing the end of the program, I gave myself a rating of 5. In the last week I will be focusing on continuing to make sure all the requirements are met, and setting up a cron job that will automate the process of downloading and processing our carriers files. I am certainly going to get the most out of the time I have left in this great learning experience!

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