It was kind of like the Breakfast Club, except that it happened at about dinner time, and instead of the jock, the nerd, the uptown girl, the misfit, and the rebel…it was the nerd, the nerd, the nerd, the nerd, the nerd, and the nerd.
It was the Coders of the West internship program. Anne (owner of Sheridan Programmers Guild) and I (subordinate/henchman) were fortunate to have the chance to work with the State of Wyoming, Gannett Peak Technical Services of Cheyenne (GTPS), Sheridan College (SC), and Sheridan High School (SHS) to allow high school and college students in Sheridan County to have access to this hands-on software development opportunity. I count myself fortunate to have worked with each of our interns. I can also, confidently, express thanks on their behalf that they had the experience.
Participants in the Sheridan Team contributed code, design elements, copy, and quality assurance (testing, issue reporting) to a professional web development project lead by GTPS. Interns experienced a mixture of local face-to-face teamwork, remote teamwork with Cheyenne, and independent work.
The Coders of the West internship had a twofold purpose:
- Experiential learning of the technical and soft/professional skills required for the software development workplace; and
- Build a product: a professional web application.
The Wyoming Department of Education Career Explorer (WDECE) is a web application commissioned by the Wyoming Dept. of Ed. While the experiential learning should be of the greater importance in the longer run, I would be remiss to omit at least the most cursory description of the product. Aha! But the point of having interns is making them do it for you! Here are two summary posts by Caden Masters: pt 1, pt 2.
In addition to demoing and offering the app to SCSD2, the interns released the code under an open source license on Github (fork it!) so others can use it or develop their own application from it. Here is the live demo (showing SCSD2 data from the 2016-17 school year).
While Gannett Peak professional developers focused on server-side api and, later, the user-facing views of the app, Sheridan Team focused contributions toward the administrative end, providing views wherein a future site administrator will be able to manage, add, or delete companies, schools, etc in the database. Sheridan also contributed:
- Initial About page copy and layout revisions
- The ability to load GeoJSON into a Google Map
- Adding infobox “popovers” to map markers
- Different colored skins with a dropdown selector
- Several custom Google Map styles
- Revision of API calls to reflect an API version update by Cheyenne Team
In the second part of my end-of-year summary, we’ll hear about the program in the voices of its intern participants and reflect on the project-oriented learning experience regarding WDECE.