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Learning the ropes – Denis’ Internship Adventures #1

Greetings, I’m Denis and I’m the new TID intern. Few details about me:

  • Just finished my second year at university, doing Computer Science.
  • Interested in Artificial Intelligence and Neural Interfaces, but also … pretty much anything tech related.
  • Avid gamer (both tabletop and computer games)
  • Proud Golden State Warriors fan.

For the next 12 weeks, I will be doing multiple projects of varying sizes which I am very excited about. Currently, I’m working on a project for the Towing Tank (Boldrewood Campus) about visualisation of data on a website. 

My first day was spent installing tools and getting my workspace in order. The laptop already had a clean install of Windows 10, so everything else was quite straightforward.

The main thing I was doing during the first 2 weeks, was learning ASP.Net Core. That proved to be a nice challenge as I had never worked on Web Development and my previous experience with the MVC architectural pattern had not really prepared me for this. I started from the base and was soon able to get a functional example website (different from the bootstrap 3 built-in website).

During my first week me and my teammates met with the product owner of the Towing Tank Project. He showed us the facility, and explained what he had in mind for the project. What he described is simply getting data from a database and then displaying it on a website, with some export functionality. Because of its size and relative simplicity of its requirements, the project seems like a really good induction into WebDev and ASP.Net Core.

From that we create some tasks, assigned them to everyone and we got to work. I mainly did project set-up:

  • Setting up Dependency Injections
  • Setting the university branding
  • Global Error Handling using middleware

The biggest issues I ran into were simply understanding how to do specific things in relation to the framework. While setting up the branding and the Dependency Injections (using Autofac) was relatively simple, the global error handling part was quite difficult, as I did not know enough about error handling to understand how to do it. A few days later and about 20 hours of tutorials and asking around, I was able to get the functionality working.

I also spent a day hopping from campus to campus, on a mission to find water fountains, gender-neutral toilets and baby changing/feeding facilities to put on UoS Maps. It was a fun and enjoyable experience, and I ended up gathering more data than I expected. I still have Winchester campus and Oceanography Center to go through if the opportunity presents itself. 

What I will be doing next 2 weeks:

We are waiting for a database schema for the Towing Tank Project, so whenever that arrives (hopefully this week) we can start development. In the meantime, I will be doing different bits of work that need to be done, as well as doing more .Net Core training and testing.

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