From June to December 2022, two students at Northeastern University’s Roux Institute, Noah Beliveau and Dylan Wu, joined VETRO as Software Engineer co-ops. They were quickly exposed to lots of useful and interesting information about the codebase, technical environment, infrastructure, and the development processes used by VETRO. Soon they were put on teams composed of 4 to 5 other engineers, a QA engineer, and a UI/UX designer. On these teams they were treated as regular, full-time engineers, and were given important responsibilities ranging from attacking high-priority bugs and features to guiding the release process.
Written by Dylan Wu and Noah Beliveau
Both our teams followed an Agile, Scrum-based development process. Our time was split into 2-week long chunks called sprints. At the start of each sprint we planned tasks to complete, and at the end we reflected on how the sprint went and released features that we built. Additionally, we also participated in more experimental modes of development; for example we took part in a hackathon in which the whole engineering team worked together to complete a list of high-priority features during the period of just two days.
My background was not in Software Engineering, but as a Biologist. Through this, I gained experience and an interest in GIS that I brought with me to my studies at Northeastern. When given the opportunity to build my own project, I was inspired by my previous work and built a simple mapping application. I enjoyed working on GIS technology like this, so I jumped at the opportunity to work as a co-op at VETRO to delve deeper into this niche of software engineering.
Over the course of my time at VETRO I had the opportunity to work on multiple customer facing products, including both the main Fibermap application and new features like the public-facing Stakeholder Engagement Maps and the new Broadband Intelligence Platform. Working on these products consisted of finding and fixing bugs, tweaking existing features like UI updates, and building completely new features and components. This work consisted of both front end UI updates, and backend API changes. Because we worked as integrated parts of our respective engineering teams, my work had an immediate impact on VETRO’s products.
While I studied Computer Science during my undergraduate degree, I didn’t get the chance to dip my toes into any real-world software engineering. At VETRO, I’ve had the opportunity to contribute significantly to customer-facing full stack features, and even do some engineering research and design. I have worked closely with and learned a great deal from my team – all the way from design and planning to testing and deployment.
I was lucky to contribute to several major features at VETRO. For example, within the Layer Permissions feature, I implemented tables to enable admin users to grant users in their organization permissions to different map layers. I wrote code for various features like Line Offsetting, Stakeholder Engagement Maps, and a feature that enables admin users to upload custom logos for their organization.
In the last couple of months, I took on a research project that serves as the groundwork for future platform features. To complete this project, I presented and discussed my design and research with the engineering team during weekly design review meetings, integrated a proof of concept into the existing codebase, and researched various methods to achieve the desired outcome.
Along with sharpening my technical acumen and improving my ability to quickly make sense of a complex codebase, working at VETRO has made me a clearer communicator and a more confident and helpful team member.
VETRO has been a great place to begin our software engineering careers. It has allowed us to explore the whole SDLC – from building frontend components to writing SQL queries in the backend, while getting the chance to see much of the code we write go into production. It has been empowering to be a trusted player with a large role in writing important features, while also receiving valuable feedback and mentorship along the way.
Interested in a career at VETRO? Visit our Careers Page see our current openings.
VETRO builds software that makes it radically simpler and faster for broadband providers to plan, design, build, and operate their fiber optic networks. Our map-based SaaS platform is easier to use and more powerful than traditional tools, and enables network owners, operators and sponsors to benefit from a modern, integrated, and connected digital hub for their physical network assets.