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Co-op at D2L More than Just Technical Growth

This past winter, I had the opportunity to complete a 4 month co-op placement with D2L-on their Continuous delivery (CD) tooling team. Coming into the role, I wasn’t sure what to expect. With-most of my past experience working in tech being at smaller startups, my caliber was-set to run at 110% from day one and to juggle multiple hats. With pandemic burnout, I-was comforted by the idea of having more department and role structure. I knew D2L-had seen hundreds of students through their doors over the years, but wasn’t sure if-corporate bureaucracy and remote work would limit my ability to explore all of my-interests and grow (spoiler: I was wrong).

D2L blew my expectations out of the water! I found myself surrounded by a collective of-people with a passion to change an industry and challenge not only external norms but-also internal. I received endless amounts of support, and was encouraged to reach-beyond my team and role when I felt it would benefit my growth and learning.

My specific team handles the automated deployment of the Brightspace platform to AWS infrastructure for the Brightspace platform. They worked-with me to define a project that would introduce me to their end-to-end process while-also giving me exposure to aspects of data engineering. While this wasn’t expected,-they knew I hoped to pivot into data engineering and took it upon themselves to help me-gain as much exposure as possible during 4 months.

I was given the chance to lead the project of designing and implementing a deployment-telemetry system. This new system records performance metrics surrounding Brightspace installs and updates to help identify bottlenecks and anomalies. This data-empowers the CD tooling team to make data-driven decisions on where to focus-development effort and should lead to reduced operational costs on a company-wide-scale.

Leading this project, I owned the full data collection and visualization process from design to-development. I augmented the existing code to include performance tracking and-worked closely with one of D2L’s principal engineers to integrate into AWS Kinesis to send telemetry data. The gathered data was aggregated into descriptive dashboards to introduce new conversation into the planning meetings of the-team with stakeholders.

While my technical growth with D2L was huge, one of the biggest takeaways from my-term was that professional development can start at any stage. No other coop, and-mind you I’ve done 7 now, has empowered me the way I was at D2L. I was invited to-ask for more and celebrated when I stepped outside of my lane. D2L offered many-opportunities for me to challenge myself professionally and practice skills that would-continue to be valuable into my future career, for example presenting my project to-senior leadership at the end of my term! I was met by industry professionals who-wanted to meet me at my level and begin bridging the gap between where I was and-where I wanted to go. I have a huge admiration for the continual learning motto D2L has-both externally and internally.

My experience with D2L has been a great one and I’m happy to say my journey isn’t-over! This fall I will be returning to D2L to join their Data Analytics team to continue to-help transform the way the world learns.

Want to learn more about the D2L Co-op experience for the upcoming Summer term?
Connect with me on Linkedin and let’s set up a time to chat!

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