This summer I was given the great opportunity to work for the Long Island Rail Road as a summer intern. I was given a position as a programmer within the Mail&Ride project. The experience proved to be very educational, teaching me some of a few different programming languages, and learning about the business processes as well.
The first assignment I was given was to document several test cases to instruct users on how to use the program interfaces to complete the tasks in the cases. It gave me a better idea of how much documentation actually gets done in the work environment; I had never realized to what extent everything is documented. It also reminded me of the importance of documentation, so that a user has something they could refer to if there is ever a problem during production, it can be resolved much more easily and quickly so that minimal money and time is lost.
The second higher priority assignment I was given was to write the business processes for the interface files using Oracleís BPEL projects. I had never heard of BPEL before this summer, it stands for Business Process Execution Language that allows automation of common job processes with capability of interaction with web services and allows for human task interaction as well. One of these web services is a Database Adapter so you can perform actions on the database within your process. This helped me learn more sql that I only knew a small amount of before I came to intern here. Another one of the web services is a file adapter, which introduced me to some Cobol of which I had never even seen before. I also needed to learn about file formatting and schemas in order to output the files. The most important thing that Iíve gained is experience working on a project as part of a large team. Learning that when you need to do something and donít know what the specifications are, you can always go up to someone and ask them for what you need to know and theyíll be more than willing to help you. This seems like it will be an incredible experience to be able to leave this internship with.
Overall Iíve learned a lot of programming information, as well as job experience and experience working in a team. The summer turned out to be a great educational step in my staircase toward success, and hope that I can come back again next summer to learn even more.