Student Job Search


8/28/2009 12:00:03 PM

"Baptism by fire". This was a phrase used commonly by my solution lead (Hamish Dobson) during my time on Intergen Dunedin's current project. We had just over 3 weeks to deliver a complex system that involved user registration, referring students for jobs, allowing employers to create new jobs and many other components which I will explain throughout this blog.

The parties that were involved include:

  • Matt Tulloch (BDM)
  • Diana Hennessey (Project Manager)
  • Hamish Dobson (Solution Lead)
  • Jason McBratney
  • Robert Reese
  • Aaron Hall

We could have not done it without our hosting team up north. There were some very late nights for the team up there and they performed just as all of us Intergenites do. Professional is our middle name.

The Website that was built was for a little outfit called Student Job Search. You may have heard of them. They are one of New Zealand's top search Websites for jobs. Of course, any student that is coming from anywhere in the world to study in New Zealand can look and apply for jobs before they arrive.

I mentioned before that we were on a very tight deadline. Let me put that into perspective for you. 5 weeks in total. 2 weeks of that time was required for envisioning. This is the time where the Project Manager and Solution Lead have a chance to sit with the client and ensure what the client wants is very clear. So clear in fact, that during the entire process of coding any questions that we had we could go to our leads and have questions answered as they had the vision. So, us code junkies had 3 weeks. That may sound like a lot of time. I can assure you that it is not a lot of time.

There were times in the project that I could just not see the light at the end of the tunnel. I thought to myself, "This isn't going to happen. There is no way that this is going to happen." I just couldn't see any way that it was going to form. This is particularly funny because this was 3 or 4 days before the deadline. Let me tell you that 4 days was intense. One of the days I think we clocked 17 hours.

Being previously involved with the Microsoft Backstage Website up in Intergen Wellington, this was my first real project down in Intergen Dunedin. Some of the coding techniques I have learned in this project will stay with me for the rest of my career in IT. In particular the coding style of Jason McBratney. His code is VERY clear and VERY easy to read. I can only hope that my future code resembles his.

Hindsight is always a beautiful thing. It is really easy to look back on it now and see that what we did was really, done well. When you have experts in your field it makes your job easy to perform.

Hamish Dobson did an excellent job of leading us and giving us direction throughout the entire project. Any questions about being pulled in 700 different directions. Ask Hamish.

Robert Reese our Database expert was exceptional. I had to deal with a small amount of data and WOW is that nerve wracking or what.

"Jase can I grab you for a minute?". How many times was that phrase used. Oh I don't know a thousand. Maybe two thousand. He is our go to guy for code.

We had our two managers Diana and Matt. They played a very large role in this. They were the filter from the client amongst many other things, but I mention the filter because I saw that as being one of their biggest tasks.

Of course there is always room for Beric in EVERY project. Need questions answered about the most complex things you can think of? Just pop on over to Beric's desk. He’s probably in the middle of some legacy VB6 script, but he will be more than happy to answer EVERY question EVER.

Last but not least they had to put up with my nonsense. I am not a virgin coder. I have been involved in a couple of projects now, but it is all relatively new to me and I had MANY questions.

I have learned a lot with this project and I am ready for new fresh projects lurking around every corner.