When I first applied to Tasktop, I admittedly had not heard much about the company. What drew me to the company was when I personally visited for my onsite interview. Almost everyone in the Vancouver office works in one wide open room with floor to ceiling windows giving off a bright and amicable atmosphere where everyone is approachable. My biggest concern, however, was whether Tasktop would help me build a sturdy foundation in software development and design. I had heard horror stories of fellow students’ co-op experiences at other companies being unengaging and unfulfilling. So when I was told that I would be writing production level code and learning high quality design practices while doing it, I was resolved to work for Tasktop and could not be happier with that decision.
Since most of my experience writing software had been classroom-based, I was initially intimidated by the sheer size of the code base I would be working with over my term. Luckily, I have had a great team — lead by full-time Tasktopian and Mylyn contributor Sam Davis — that has ensured a smooth transition from the classroom to the real-world software industry. The engineers here are intelligent problem solvers, friendly, and more than helpful when I’ve needed anything. Everyone works hard, yet still makes time for a cold pale ale during the Friday afternoon socials, where I get to chat with the engineers who I don’t interact with daily. It’s also not uncommon for Mario Kart to make an appearance (or my personal favourite, Rock Band!).
Most importantly, the work I have been doing is engaging, aptly challenging, and useful for the users of the product. While I spend a large portion of my time improving Tasktop Dev, one of Tasktop’s original products, my team is also heavily involved in contributing to the Mylyn open source project. Some of the recent developments I have made involve bringing the Gerrit connector up to speed with the latest API changes and even improving on certain features. The connector now supports cherry picking reviews and navigating the EGit Eclipse editor using parent commit IDs. Here’s a video where I demo a few of these features:
I will be returning to classes at UBC this summer, but I plan to continue contributing to Mylyn, using the skills that I am still developing at Tasktop. It has been a blast working with these folks and I have gained a stronger appreciation for working in a fast-paced Agile environment in the Vancouver tech scene.