Interns put their learning to the test

Each year Maptek selects a small group of computer science undergraduates from South Australia to participate in the intern program across the Adelaide software development teams.

Places in the annual intern program are highly sought after, and for good reason according to Program Lead Will Reid.

‘Maptek internships provide a unique opportunity to apply skills learned through their studies to software that helps the mining industry operate safely and efficiently,’ Reid said.

‘It improves their employability and for some interns is also a precursor to a role with Maptek.’


Read about the experiences of the 2022-23 interns below.

Matt Stringer

For Matt Stringer, the decision to apply for an internship with Maptek was an easy one, in part because of his experience working on his final year honours project.

‘Solving problems under the guidance of two great mentors was frankly the most fun I’ve had completing an assignment, so I already knew the quality of the people at Maptek and their engineering skills,’ Matt said. 

Matt has been building on previous internship work to implement a Property Editor, a multi-purpose tool to view and edit properties of any object across Maptek software products, using a combination of C++ and C# to tie in different applications to work together.

‘Every assignment or project throughout university was given in a single programming language. However, real-world problems are solved by integrating many different languages–writing an API in C# and feeding it information from C++ using JSON is not something I expected to be doing!’

Don’t be scared to apply for an internship until your final year of university because you’re too worried you won’t know enough to be useful … you won’t learn without trying!

Working on a real project has helped Matt alleviate his imposter syndrome and gain confidence in his choice of career.

‘Knowing I can write, and have now written, code that will be useful to real-world Maptek customers, the career path finally feels right.’

Matt’s intern experience in three words: Got a demo?

Ben Wheeler

Ben Wheeler chose to do his internship at Maptek after hearing encouraging things about the company culture, and many positive opinions through partnering activities with The University of Adelaide.

‘I joined the UIX team, helping expand the functionality of the Animation Editor found in many core applications. This has included working in the back end, creating new data objects, and also on the front end tweaking the UI and working with widgets that render the Animation Editor,’ Ben said.

The biggest challenge for Ben has been working with large projects for the first time, having to jump in and comprehend such a large code base, with many layers of abstraction and interconnected code, but he can see the upside of the challenge.

‘My ability to understand and read code within large existing code bases will be invaluable for my future studies and career, where the team nature of programming often means you’re experiencing code written by others,’ he said.

I’ve learnt a lot about full stack development, as well as being constantly impressed by the depth and many use cases of C++ that I wasn’t even aware existed.

For anyone considering an internship, Ben has some advice: Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

‘The first few weeks I was full of questions and was constantly coming across things I had never seen before. The team was really helpful and more than willing to help explain, and I found it a really good way to quickly learn a lot of new things.

Ben’s intern experience in three words: Exciting, helpful and insightful.

Aiden Mazik

Meeting some of the Maptek team at a careers fair called ‘The Big Meet’ gave Aiden Mazik the opportunity to learn more about Maptek, which sparked his interest to apply for the internship program.  

‘During the interview process I really enjoyed being tested on the way I solved a problem rather than memorising specific programming principles, which other workplaces quiz you on,’ Aiden said. ‘The workplace culture demonstrated during the interview was also very attractive.’

Aiden has been working on improving the waste haulage algorithm used in Evolution, moving from the previously greedy algorithm into a smarter linear programming algorithm. This will reduce the total time the trucks spend transferring waste, with the aim that an efficient schedule can reduce the total number of trucks required.

The confidence I have gathered in my ability to work in already existing code bases will be useful in adapting to future unfamiliar code.

One of the things Aiden enjoyed most about his internship was being able to allocate time each week to focus on his professional development, which we call ‘10% time’ around the office.

‘Spending dedicated time learning new skills to further develop professionally was invaluable to ensuring I was able to grow my skill set during my time at Maptek, which is not something other workplaces offer so readily.’

Aiden’s intern experience in three words: Insightful, fun and challenging.

Prajna Gupta

Prajna Gupta had worked on personal projects and collaborated with her peers at university, but had never done a software engineering internship. However, after reading about Maptek mining software solutions such as DomainMCF, and the myriad of problems it tackles, she decided apply for the opportunity.

Prajna has been developing a web-based tool that allows database administrators to access and configure their BlastLogic Servers without having to remotely login.

‘The project is broken down into two websites, where the first focuses on the creation of server instances and database management and the second website is used to configure a specific server instance.

‘The server instance supports licensing, usage, client usage metrics and site information and involves a tech stack including HTML, CSS, Angular and .NET6. The database management aspect will ultimately enable BlastLogic to be configured in a full cloud environment offering a seamless experience,’ Prajna said.

This internship has given me an insightful experience as to how software engineering principles are used in real-world scenarios, and how to develop production-ready code.

Prajna really enjoyed the brain-storming sessions with her mentor and senior engineers, where she learned how systems are designed from scratch and the importance of UI design principles. 

‘It was interesting to analyse the viability of various solutions during our brainstorming sessions and come up with an appropriate one,‘ she said.

Prajna’s intern experience in three words: Insightful, challenging and practical.

Irhas Gill

Irhas Gill decided to apply for an Maptek internship because he was looking to gain software development experience and learn from coders in the industry to improve his own programming practices and skills.

Irhas has been working on creating new transactions for PointStudio that allow users to more easily perform geotechnical analysis on 3D laser scans. His first project involved clustering discontinuities in rock walls, the second created 2D bird’s eye view outlines of underground mines, and the last was finding key blocks in underground tunnels.  

I have enjoyed my latest project as it has been the most challenging so far. I created and tested several algorithms to try and solve the problem of key block analysis. I believed that algorithms and data structures learned in competitive programming and university work would be less useful in the industry setting, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could still apply that knowledge,’ Irhas said.

The biggest challenge was learning the coding standard and setting up my development environment at the beginning. I had never used a proper debugger before! It was quite a jolt to learn so much at once and while I’m still learning a lot, it has become easier.

One thing Irhas did not expect was to be talking to mining engineers about key block theory as part of his internship.

‘It was definitely interesting to learn about. I had mentioned my strong interest in a mathematical heavy project during my interview and this aligned really well; it was a welcome surprise,’ he said.

Irhas’s intern experience in three words: Geotechnical engineering internship.

Henry Nguyen

Henry Nguyen decided to try for an internship with Maptek because he wanted to apply what he learned from his studies to further extend his experience and knowledge. He also wanted to find out if a career as a software engineer was a good fit for him.

Henry has been working on Maptek Account, developing web pages alongside internal tools and infrastructure to display dashboards for Maptek technical support staff.

‘Working together as software engineers has been most enjoyable. I have experienced teamwork at university, but most of my important projects were individual, so this experience has improved my collaboration skills.

‘The internship has provided further understanding of my career, and long-term areas of interest. My understanding of industry standards and having real experience working in a team will make course work much easier,’ Henry said.

One of the key learnings Henry is taking away from his experience is the importance of understanding, analysing and considering all factors before doing any coding.

‘The impact in the business environment is much greater than for personal projects, so there is a lot to consider before getting started. I also realised that software engineering is not always about coding; there are many other skills you need to master to be successful, just like in any other career,’ he said.

‘Stay curious, because there will be lots of things you will learn in an internship. Always expect the unexpected!’

Henry’s intern experience in three words: Amazing, surreal experience.

Viet An Nguyen

Viet An Nguyen wanted to intern at Maptek to gain hands-on experience in software development. 

‘Maptek is a reputable provider of innovative software and I wanted to benefit from building real-life software applications,’ Viet An said.

Viet An has been working on building the Core Logging Application, an app providing real-time lithology and boundary predictions that helps speed up the core logging process. 

‘This involves designing and implementing a Python REST API to facilitate communications between DomainMCF and Google Sheets, a cloud-based web application, to display meaningful results. The app is expected to turn core logging from a manual task into a machine learning-assisted, cloud-based process.’

Building a piece of software to be used by actual users will serve as a valuable experience that will be a tremendous help in landing a job after graduation.

Learning about new technologies at Maptek has been an eye-opening experience for Viet An, and she has relished the opportunity to learn more about them. 

‘IT is a vast field and people often don’t know which area they’re most interested in unless they can try it,’ she said.

I’ve learnt not to be afraid to ask questions. Working on explaining your thinking process clearly to others has been valuable. Putting yourself in the users’ shoes when designing the app is critical–what’s convenient and straightforward for a developer may not be so for the users.’

Viet’s intern experience in three words: Creative, flexible and exciting.

Will Reid

Will Reid
Global Development Strategy Manager
February 28, 2023

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