With the transition to June and the move from spring into summer, the Nebraska Dev Lab Pipeline Program also made a transition, moving from Doane-led instruction to Don’t Panic Labs-led instruction. As we mentioned in the May newsletter, the final six weeks of the second stage cover various software engineering topics. The specific Modules of this stage are:
We covered a lot of ground in June, and the students were tasked with a variety of labs and activities that covered architectural patterns, analyzing designs, story mapping, designing and developing unit tests, building a code review checklist, and developing a variety of applications using C# and Angular. In addition to the course content, we also enjoyed some excellent seminars on software engineering ethics, continuous integration/development (CI/CD), and application security.
The core content for this stage was completed before the end of June, which left the final 1 ½ weeks to devote to the development of a project that will prepare the students for the capstone project in the 12 weeks of the third stage. This final project is designed to introduce the students to the mobile application technology stack for the capstone project (Ionic) as well as give them some experience deploying applications to the cloud and setting up CI/CD environments. This stage will conclude on July 10th. The students will have a one-week break before beginning the next stage.
We have also spent some time this month preparing to launch into our third stage – the capstone project. In this third stage (the last stage prior to the three-month apprenticeship at the participants’ sponsor organizations), our goal is to provide a real-world experience working as part of a development team where the students will be able to put their education into practice.
The project for this cohort will be a mobile application/back-end services for the Nebraska Suicide Prevention Coalition. Don’t Panic Labs has already been working with the Coalition to identify the requirements and design for this application. We will kick off this effort the week of July 20th. The development team will consist of the six Dev Lab participants along with a project manager, development lead, interaction designer, and quality assurance specialist from Don’t Panic Labs.
The Dev Lab instructors will continue to meet with the participants throughout this third stage to reinforce and connect the experience to the content of the first and second stages.
Participant Spotlight: Rafael Simosa
This month, we are highlighting Don’t Panic Labs employee Rafael Simosa.
Why did you sign up for the Pipeline Program?
It was an amazing opportunity to learn from industry professionals, and it is a perfect fit for my goals and the career I am after.
What was your level of familiarity with software development prior to starting the
I have an engineering degree in Information that I received when I lived in Venezuela. The degree required some programming as part of the program. In 2012, I worked as an intern at a software company in Venezuela. My main responsibility was to prepare the UX functionality of mockups for clients. But nothing really impressive or on the same level as what I am being taught here.
What have you enjoyed about the program so far?
The hands-on approach for this program is definitely what I enjoy the most. The program is well structured, and the people teaching us are really helpful and dependable. They give us all the tools that we need to develop our careers. The members of this first cohort have also been really helpful; we can support each other to make sure everyone understands the topics being taught to us.
The fact that I am being paid to learn takes a big weight off my back; I can put all of my focus on learning.
What about the program has challenged or surprised you the most so far?
The amount of information that has to be processed and transformed into usable knowledge on a daily basis. The Dev Lab is truly intensive and keeps you on your toes.
Looking ahead to after you’ve completed the program, what most excites you about being able to use the skills and knowledge you’ve gained through the program?
It’s going to be like a dream come true. I am looking forward to all the new opportunities and challenges this new career will provide. What I am learning will enable me to be productive and work effectively as part of a team to build tools and apps that can help others.
Can you list a few things you would recommend to someone applying to a future Dev Lab cohort?
You have to come in with a mentality that you can do it, and that you will have to put forth that extra effort to be sure you understand everything they are throwing at you.
This career path is going to challenge you on a daily basis. You must be able to work well with other people. You have to be open to receiving feedback. Having the ability to break down problems into smaller components is essential.