It is the work semester after all and I think it’s about time for me to write a little something about where I work and what I’m doing there. Of course, it don’t expect anything too specific about what I am/will be doing due to those pesky little things known as Non-Disclosure Agreements (no, I take it completely seriously).
First off, I’m working at Sybase iAnywhere in Waterloo as a product management co-op and have been there for nearly a month now. After my stint at Bell Mobility in the strategy & planning department, I knew I wanted to pursue the business side of technology, but at the same time do some technical stuff. From what I got through both the job description and interview, this position at Sybase seemed to offer that. To be honest, Product Management can mean a whole slew of things. I took the opportunity to try different micro-jobs.
Before my interview, I was invited to a group information session at the Sybase iAnywhere building just north of the University of Waterloo campus in the tech park. I was immediately impressed with the building. Here’s a picture from my walking route.
That’s of the ‘back’ of the building, despite the fact that it faces the road. The product management department is located on the third floor, along with engineering/development and QA. Right behind my cubicle is a large window with some chairs. This where I go sit every once in a while when my eyes are bleeding from staring at the computer screen for too long.
I was informed, at the interview, that the job was quite open-ended. There would be a lot of learning and I would be able to set some of the agenda on the job. It was my intention to do more market research and technical writing, drawing from my experience at Bell Mobility. Instead, after my training was completed, I was thrown into the deep end of programming. I’ve never programmed outside of academia (I don’t count VB or web design) and so when my first project consisted of using C# and XML to write web services, I was more than a little worried.
Looking back over the past couple weeks, I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to work on my programming chops. My comfort level with C# (which I learned in my 1A semester) has risen substantially, I’m now familiar with XML and WSDL, and API is no longer a three letter acronym for intimidation (I’ve now worked with some Sybase, the eBay and Amazon APIs). It’s been a continuous learning experience – this past Friday I was given a web service written in Java to modify, quite extensively I might add. I had no prior experience with Java at all.
In the coming weeks, there’s going to be an information session for students chosen for interviews at Sybase. I’m going to be helping out with some of the introduction and orientation and I’ll have no qualms recommending the job to anyone that asks.