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iSchool student Chris Chomicki interns at Amazon in Seattle, WA.

Conquering Mt. Success: Learn and Be Curious

My job as a Software Development Engineer at Amazon certainly comes with many challenges along the way. This only makes celebrating successes so much more significant.

One of the most exhilarating experiences I can think of on the job is finally unblocking yourself after long hours of working on a bug. It makes me proud to see how far I’ve come along.

Learning More Python and JavaScript

One of my favorite things about this internship is that I’ve had the ability to incorporate both skills that I’ve had experience with and those that I’ve newly learned.

My projects have led me to expand my existing Python and JavaScript skillsets. Since my prior work experience has mostly been in those 2 languages, it was a lot easier to get used to some of the processes used here at Amazon for them.

On the other hand, this was also my first time developing a Java application at the enterprise level. The Java language is completely different than most other languages I’ve worked in since it’s entirely class based.

It’s been thrilling to learn the nuances of the language that powers some of the world’s biggest companies out there. I can thank CIS 351: Data Structures and IST 256: Application Programming for Information Systems for enhancing both my Java and Python development skills.

Why Writing is Important for Developers

This internship has also taught me the power of writing good and clear documentation for software. Without documentation, the job as a software development engineer would be much more complicated. I will never take that for granted again.

A good developer knows how to write documentation so his or her software will be useable for the indefinite future. The documentation here at Amazon is held to very high standards. In any job, it’s imperative to be able to write and convey your ideas in a clear manner.

“A good developer knows how to write documentation so his or her software will be useable for the indefinite future.”

For my projects, I’ve been writing both a clear user and developer guide to be used with my applications. The writing classes I’ve taken as part of my Information Management & Technology major have helped me to do just that.

Practicing Perseverance

If there’s one thing that software development teaches you, it’s perseverance. Working through that one bug you have no clue why it’s happening or not being able to deploy an environment can be infuriating.

The process of scanning through thousands of lines of logs is not an easy task, but the Terminal command “grep”, has become my new best friend. Although, nothing can beat the satisfaction of working through the issue and continuing your current task. The world is full of blockers, so learn how to unblock yourself.

Life in Seattle

Outside of work, I’ve continued to explore the nature of the Pacific Northwest. I recently went to Tolmie Peak in Mt. Rainier National Park and got some magnificent views of Mt. Rainier up close.

Mount Rainier. Photo by Chris Chomicki.
Mount Rainier. Photo by Chris Chomicki.

I also swam in Lake 22 in the Northern Cascades where the water was just shy of about 60 degrees Fahrenheit, but totally worth it. Climbing up all these mountains has made me appreciate the need to put in the work on the hike up, so I can reap the reward of the spectacular views up top. I think that can be applied to a lot of things in life.

My time in Seattle is ending rapidly. I’ll soon be doing my final presentation and demoing to 2 different teams as well as upper management in my organization. The pressure’s on, but it’ll all be worth it once I get to the top of the mountain.

Chris Chomicki

Chris Chomicki

Chris Chomicki here, a rising senior in the iSchool studying Information Management & Technology with minors in Global Enterprise Technologies and Computer Science. I’ve been on the Division 1 Cheerleading squad here at Syracuse University for 2 years now, so bleeding orange is more than just a passion of mine. Other than that, I’m big into nutrition/fitness and try to get to the beach as much as I can!

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