Students gain real-world web development experience through OHIO’s computer program
Through Brad Golski’s participation in the Student Software Engineering program, he gained first-hand experience in web application development and secured two summer internships.
Golski, a junior computer science student, has been working with the Office of Information Technology (OIT) program since September 2019. The Software Engineering student program provides computer science students with work experience that benefits both their career and the University. from Ohio. The hands-on program has served dozens of OHIO students such as Golski for nearly a decade.
Through the program, Golski is currently rewriting a web application for the Ohio Intensive English Program.
“It’s honestly priceless; it’s so helpful, ”Golski said of the experience. “There is a lot that we learn in the ILO that complements the things we learn in computer classes. I would say that the majority of the things we do in the ILO are things that we would not have experienced in our courses otherwise.
Last summer, Golski interned at Cleveland Key Bank. He will work at JP Morgan-Chase in Columbus as a software engineering intern this summer.
The work done by students such as Golski in the Student Software Engineering program makes them live web applications used by students, faculty, and staff at Ohio University. Examples include the web-based online class authorization system, Upperclass and Ohio University course offerings.
Student programmers also worked on updating the student and employer portals for the Career Exploration Assistance Program (PACE). The project has been going on for almost two years and has been taken on exclusively by the students as a senior synthesis project.
“One of the real benefits is the ability for students to work on real-world applications while they are students here at the University before entering the workforce,” said Robert Foreman, director of OIT’s software engineering team and oversees the students’ software engineering program.
By employing students, the program is a cost effective method of enhancing academic web applications used by students, administrators, and staff.
Computer Science Education Professor Nasseef Abukamail teaches senior design computer science courses and works with Foreman to recruit potential students for the program.
Each fall, the program welcomes three to four new students who spend an average of 10 to 15 hours of work per week upgrading web application technology and security.
By the time computer science students reach their senior synthesis program, where they are divided into cohorts, they are well versed in the technology needed.
Program participants are expected to follow the same procedures and processes as full-time ILO professionals. Students learn to use:
- Source code versioning tools like git
- Project management and time management tools like Jira
- Agile development processes like sprints
- Technologies including Angular, TypeScript, NodeJS, Kubernetes, Java, Python and relational databases
“Students work with tools and programming languages commonly used in industry,” said Abukamail. “Not only that, but it prepares students to work in groups. Building this team dynamic and learning to deal with others is extremely beneficial for them.
Karl Francis is a software engineer and mentor for the software engineering student program. Francis mainly supervises senior students by assigning them tasks and giving technical advice.
“Supervising students allows me to learn. Students are always finding new and interesting ways to break things that we think worked well. They also ask difficult questions which, when answered, allow the student and myself to grow, ”said Francis.
Daniel Jacques is a senior computer specialist who has been a member of the program since his first year. He is currently working on a project for the State of Ohio through a partnership with Ohio University.
“Many of the technological tools we use at the ILO are relevant to the real world,” Jacques said. “The languages and the workflow we go through are not always taught in the classroom. ”
Jacques recently accepted a position with Nationwide in Columbus which he will start after graduating.
Foreman ultimately hopes to formalize the relationship between the software engineering student program and the Russ College of Engineering and Technology and use it as a means of attracting potential computer science students.
“I am working to try to expand opportunities like this within the ILO. I have encouraged other managers to find similar opportunities and to structure the employment and internship opportunities for the students, ”said Foreman.
Students working in the maintenance of the University’s web applications are increasingly needed to help the OHIO community teach, learn and work in the digital age, allowing Ohio University to continue to be successful while preparing students for careers in information technology.