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Summer Internship – Week 2

To follow the theme from last week, a large portionĀ of my time this week was spent learning about new technologies I haven’t used before. I was taught about dependency injection, something I’d heard about a lot but never really gotten to grips with. I think this will be a tough thing to use in my own work at first, as it requires a bit of a change in thinking. Aurelia is used for front end web development within the team, and I got to see it being used and contribute to the development of a web view for the Lab Marks system with Kevin. For my own personal project, which I’ll talk about soon, I learnt how to use the Service Now Rest API, and even a little bit of web crawling. I also had a little bit of time to dig into a new book – Clean Code by Robert C. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading up on these things, and reading Clean Code in particular, and I’m looking forward to putting some of these things into practice with my own work.

This week wasn’t all about reading, however – I got the chance to join a team briefing and to start work on my own personal project. The team briefing was interesting to see, and it was refreshing to see that people within iSolutions really do care about what the students want and need. It was great to be able to add a fresh perspective and talk about issues I’ve experienced from outside the organisation as an undergrad and as a prospective PhD student. It also gave me a better overview of the team and their role within iSolutions, the direction they’re heading in in the long term and why.

And most excitingly, I got to start work on my own project. I’ll be designing and making a small proof of concept system that makes the University of Southampton knowledge base easier to access and specific articles easier to locate. The idea is to help ease the work load for the service desk who may be answering generic questions that have already been thoroughly answered and explained online. As a student, I’ve never used the knowledge base before, and when I had the idea to make an intuitive question answering service I didn’t realise that one already existed. This needs to change, and a more open google-able system could do that. To start my project off, I investigated how to use the Service Now Rest API to extract knowledge base articles to display in my own web application. I managed to do this, and now have a web application that has an index page that loads all the knowledge base articles into a list in a table with links to the article details page. The article details page takes an article number as a parameter in the url, and will display a short description and the given text for that article in browser. It’s a very basic set up for now, but I feel like it’s a good starting point. The next steps for my project include investigating web crawling to make the knowledge base searchable, and investigating adding features such as related pages.

Posted in HTTP, Programming.

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