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How My Co-op Term at D2L Offered Technical Exploration

  • 3 Min Read

I recently completed my second co-op work term as a Software Developer Co-op Student at D2L in Kitchener, Ontario. D2L was a really awesome workplace from a technical perspective as I was able to experience a lot of different tools and technologies that I had not used professionally before. It was a very interesting place and offered a lot of room to grow professionally.

When I first got to D2L, the first few tasks that were assigned to me were for an off-stack project. It was a really interesting project that enabled me to use some new tools and languages that I had not used before. In particular, for this project I had to create a GitHub app using their API. As part of this, I found a library called Probot that allows you to create GitHub apps really easily with Node.js. This was an intriguing project as it was my first time using Node.js for any sort of development and part of the challenges faced were due to my unfamiliarity (at the time) with the languages and frameworks. Another part of this project was deploying it to AWS after I had finished developing it, it was a simple project that we had designed to be serverless and as such, we could deploy it to AWS Lambda. Serverless is a big buzz word in today’s tech world, and it was really awesome to be able to build my own serverless app from the ground up. Being already familiar with AWS from my prior work terms, I was able to get a handle on this first project very quickly and I would say it turned out really well. This project is still being used at D2L today; months after my co-op term ended.

This was a really cool project, but what really impressed me about D2L was the vast amount of technologies they were playing with. Brightspace is built using .NET and C# however they try their best to incorporate lots of different tools and even newer web technologies. At D2L, we even have what is known as “inspiration sprints” every few months. This is essentially a time for developers to take a break from their normal development work and build anything they want as long as it is related to D2L’s mission of helping transform the way the world learns. This was an awesome opportunity as a co-op, I was able to spend my time developing something brand-new and to help improve the same tools that I used throughout my university career. In fact, working at D2L with the student perspective from using Brightspace in school was perhaps some of the coolest work I did during my co-op term, directly developing for a product you know millions of others are using was very exciting.

Another thing that was really cool about D2L was this conference that they hold every year called InFusion, it’s an internal conference that they hold to bring the entire company together and have presentations about the various things teams are exploring within the company. There were also various different workshops you could attend to learn and try new things in the field. This was a lot of fun especially for a co-op student, I got to meet so many people within the company and link up with faces that I had only ever seen on Slack.

To conclude, I really enjoyed my time as a co-op at D2L. I really liked working with my team and contributing to the company’s main product. Alongside that, having the freedom to explore modern tools and technologies was awesome. Working on that off-stack project was a fun way to start my work term as a co-op as I got to use new tools and languages I hadn’t used before. The inspiration sprints we do was another awesome thing at D2L, just spending a week working on anything at all to help improve E-Learning was a lot of fun. I would definitely recommend doing a co-op at D2L, and I am thrilled to announce that I will be returning to D2L for the summer co-op term.

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