Interns obtain priceless industry insight

Monday, March 7th, 2022

Getting to know computer programming languages in depth, being exposed to new code bases and being supported to be creative have stood out to the latest group of Maptek summer interns.

Six interns, who between them study Computer Science, Maths and Software Engineering, held roles across different Maptek teams in Adelaide between November 2021 and February this year.

Maptek 2021/22 summer interns Jash, Cindy, Nathan, Harkaranveer, Anthony and Jared.

Nathan Shepherd and Jared Gibson dedicated their time to Workbench, Harkaranveer Singh worked on Evolution, Jash Vira on Vulcan GeologyCore and Anthony Seager and Cindy Seuk were in the Experimentation group.

Jared said working on a large code base in a language he had not used before proved an exciting challenge.

‘I have found working with the pre-existing code base to be an interesting experience. Gradually improving my understanding of how it all fits together and seeing how it works gives an appreciation to how impressive large software products really are. As well as the development methods used by the teams to ensure anything made is of the highest quality it can be,’ he said.

‘The people I’ve worked with have been amazing and incredibly helpful.’

Nathan also appreciated the team culture and noted the greater scale of projects in a real-world company compared to smaller, targeted university assignments.

‘It’s really another whole ball park, but at the same time, learning how to read and adapt within a codebase has really been an invaluable experience and is something I’ll treasure,’ he said.

‘Before Maptek, I never knew how in-depth the C++ language really was! I’d only ever really used it at a high level within university work, so learning about the different strategies to effectively manage information in various new, safe ways was super unexpected and an exciting experience!’

Having previously completed a project with Maptek as part of his honors project, Harkaranveer was confident he would be exposed to interesting projects.

‘The internship experience has developed my coding skills and practices, which will help me with my future studies and career as I am more confident in my abilities. Interning at Maptek has also allowed me to build connections and expand my professional network which is great for future opportunities,’ he said.

‘Maptek has a ‘10% day’, where you can spend 10% of your day working on something other than your tickets to further develop your skills. I thought this was great as you are given an opportunity to improve as a developer and learn something new at work.’

The most exciting and unexpected experience Cindy had was liaising and collaborating with geologists from Tier 1 mining companies.

‘I had the expectation that I would be sitting at a desk all day coding. I did not expect to be hands on in both fields of software engineering and geology,’ Cindy said.

Jash was struck by the vastness of mining as an industry and the number of problems and challenges computer scientists can solve.

‘I learnt how systematically and accurately a mine functions and a lot of things relating to geology,’ he added.

Having ‘loved’ his internship, Anthony was sad to see it come to an end.

‘Not only have I furthered my programming skills, I have gained invaluable experience about working, communicating and collaborating with others in a professional workplace,’ Anthony said.

‘Throughout my time at Maptek, I’ve learnt to stop and think laterally about problems, rather than giving up or assuming things aren’t possible ‘

Maptek Global Development Strategy Manager Will Reid said the internships were mutually beneficial.

‘Internships are a great opportunity on multiple fronts. They allow students to gain real-world experience, giving them the opportunity to see how they can apply their studies to industry problems. It also allows Maptek to gain some insight into the next round of graduates, and Maptek employees!’ he said.

‘These projects are not just something for them to do over their summer break – these are real customer problems they are solving. They will form part of our solution to those problems, and eventually make their way into production software customers use every day.

‘One change to our program this year was placing internships into our experimentation division. Led by Simon Ratcliffe, two students were able to apply more relaxed software principles to prototype new technology, and innovate in an industry setting.

‘I am always pleased to see the transformation of our cohort from university students into fully fledged software developers. I look forward to seeing how they progress in their careers and hope to see them back at Maptek soon.’

Some of this year’s group are already locked in to continue working with Maptek or are interviewing for ongoing positions with the company.

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