Meet our High School Summer Students – 2015

Noah Tajwar, Chris Bolton, and Emmanuel Sales

In March, Hootsuite kicked off our technology summer job for high school students. Response from our community was both surprising and delightful: 71 applicants, 18 phone screens, eight interviews, three offers, and three new Owls. So many stellar applicants made selecting just three super difficult. Why only three? Three is the number we can currently support with thoughtful and attentive mentorship.

Why does Hootsuite Engineering Offer Summer Jobs to High School Students?

Pre-co-op Co-op

Last Fall, Andrew (Product Manager, Web Operations) and Ajai (Chief Technology Officer) got talking about Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM), co-op programs, and high schools. During the conversation, they hit on the idea of a software engineering summer job as a way to give high school students practical experience and mentorship. I like to call this the “pre-co-op co-op”.

A Successful Experiment

Chris Bolton is a national youth ambassador for The Next Big Thing, a local nonprofit foundation that empowers our next generation of entrepreneurs. Chris showed his high school app (at the time written with PhoneGap) and told us about his work in the community at the end of 2013. To help with his education, he joined our Mobile Web team on a part-time basis for practical experience and mentorship. He’s been building our mobile web application and APIs for our native iOS and Android applications for the last 18 months. Our experience with Chris gave us the confidence to expand this program further.

Lack of Options?

I’m unaware of any other summer job programs in software engineering for high school students in the lower mainland, but if you know of any, let’s get a dialogue going. Leave a note in the comments section so we can work together on developing, supporting, and marketing these opportunities.

What’s Next? How will Students Contribute over the Next Two Months?

The students will join a product team, pair with a mentor during onboarding, participate in all aspects of software engineering as a team, take part in our Q2 open space/unconference retrospective, work out loud in Guild meetings, write a blog post, give a lightning talk … and that’s just the beginning.

We all look forward to learning from this endeavour and working towards a practical, industry-lead educational outlet for high schoolers interested in STEM.

Welcome Chris, Emmanuel, and Noah!

Read about Chris, Emmanuel, and Noah…

Chris Bolton

Chris Bolton

What school do you go to, what grade?

I just finished grade 12 at Windsor Secondary in North Vancouver. In the fall, I’m going into the UBC combined Major in Business and Computer Science (BUCS) program.

What are your favourite technologies?

I love web development, which makes Javascript frameworks like Backbone and React.js my bread and butter. PHP is my go-to server language, though I’m actively pursuing projects in python and Java/Scala. Since being introduced to the world of mobile last year, I’ve been poking around Swift as well.

What project are you most proud of?

Project Seed, an offline local information server based on a Raspberry Pi for developing regions with no hardline internet connection. Built at the University of Waterloo’s first hackathon, Hack the North.

Why do you want to work at Hootsuite?

Working on an engineering team as big as Hootsuite’s would allow me to grow both my technical skills and my communication abilities. Hootsuite’s culture of “working out loud” would further my knowledge in areas even outside of my team’s scope.

Which team at Hootsuite will you be joining?

I’ll be working on the Mobile Web team.

Our Mobile Web team builds and supports our mobile web application and builds APIs for our native iOS and Android applications.

What do you hope to accomplish in your summer job at Hootsuite?

I hope to learn from senior developers in order to better my own technical skillset. I also hope to make an impact in my community through engineering advocacy and learning initiatives.

Emmanuel Sales

Emmanuel Sales
Emmanuel Sales

What school do you go to, what grade?

I just finished Grade 12 at Eric Hamber Secondary School in Vancouver. In the fall, I’m going into UBC Computer Science.

What are your favourite technologies?

As for programming languages, I personally love working in C! It’s the language that gives you the most power over the machine while still being readable and simple to understand. At the same time though, I’m a fan of higher-level languages for different use cases, like Python, Java, and Javascript.

What project are you most proud of?

I’d consider Socksify to be my best project. It’s a tool for Linux that lets users run arbitrary processes with all outgoing network connections going through a proxy. I’m mostly proud of it because I learned some crazy low-level stuff while getting it to work, like overriding function definitions in the standard library.

Why do you want to work at Hootsuite?

Since first learning to program about four years ago, I’ve been wishing to use my programming skills in a summer job. When I heard that Hootsuite was opening high school summer positions, it seemed to be the perfect opportunity for me. As I went through the interview process, I heard all about Hootsuite’s dynamic and fun working environment, which made me even more motivated to work here.

Which team at Hootsuite will you be joining?

I’m going to be joining the Platform team working on our build and deploy pipelines.

Our Platform team is driving our transition to a service oriented architecture (SOA). Their role is to ensure reliability, scalability, and performance for our products, as well as support product growth by building microservices for SOA and support business innovation by opening up external APIs.

What do you hope to accomplish in your summer job at Hootsuite?

I hope to have a ton of new experiences in shipping software that will help me get better at programming and building things in general, as well as be able to make a difference for Hootsuite’s product (and that’s basically a certainty, as I’ll be pushing to production from Day 1!).

Noah Tajwar

Noah Tajwar

What school do you go to, what grade? I’m in grade 11 at Riverside Secondary School.

What are your favourite technologies?

I like working with the Android platform (Java), the Java desktop platform, and I also enjoy working with Arduino (C/C++).

What project are you most proud of?

The project that I’m the most proud of is the Riverside Rapids Android application I made for my school. I just released it in January, and it has features including the school daily announcements, the school calendar, an up-to-date bell schedule, a school map, and the ability to connect to individual teacher’s SharePoint sites for specific courses. I spent approximately one year working on it, discussing and designing features with the school principal, and I’m really happy with the final product.

Why do you want to work at Hootsuite?

After looking into the company it seemed like a very fun, enjoyable environment to work in. This specific job was perfect for me because I love programming and I already had some experience, but I knew there was still a lot I could learn and Hootsuite could offer that. A summer job was definitely an experience I wanted to have before graduating high school and this was exactly what I was looking for.

Which team at Hootsuite will you be joining?

I’ll be joining the Android team at Hootsuite.

Our Android team builds our flagship Hootsuite Android app.

What do you hope to accomplish in your summer job at Hootsuite?

I hope to learn about working in a team environment for software development and I hope to acquire a lot of knowledge and experiences developing and shipping a product to the real world as well as develop my own programming/engineering skills.

Thanks

To Chris, Emmanuel, Noah, Lindsay, and Kimli for their input.

About the AuthorNoel Pullen 200x200

Noel focuses on culture, employee engagement, technical community involvement, and training for Hootsuite’s technical groups. He loves to exchange ideas and would like to hear how you do these things at your organization. Get in touch via LinkedIn.