Crucially, Ishan was able to capitalize on the programming skills he acquired through the Collaboratory to secure his internship at Amazon, where he is working on the Alexa Machine Learning Data Platform. Ishan's superiors have come to realize that he has substantially more experience in web development than the other interns on his team -- in fact, Ishan has now taken the lead role in advising newer interns on the aesthetic element of front-end web development, a skill that he refined as our primary website developer.
As he finishes up his ten-week internship at Amazon, Ishan reflected on the impact of his Collaboratory experience: "One of the top skills I believe any software engineer should have is the ability to quickly learn new technologies. Exposing yourself to a variety of projects with diverse groups of people is the best way to develop this skill. Within the Collaboratory, I was fortunate to receive this opportunity through developing a website and aiding in the development of a digital archive (still under progress). Though I had a basic understanding of web development when I was originally hired on the Collaboratory project, I would consider the skills I had at that time weak compared to what I’ve learned during the past year as the primary website developer. The community fostered in the Collaboratory proved to be the perfect preparation for anyone hoping to learn what coding in the real world can look like. Nick and Lorenzo gave me a vague idea of what they were looking for, and we worked together to make it happen -- I am truly proud to have created such a beautiful product. Getting involved in team-based projects outside of the classroom is the best way to grow no matter your discipline. It can be a lot of fun too!"
The great news is that Ishan is a rising senior at Michigan, and we are fortunate to collaborate with him one more year while he completes his BS in Computer Science. So, look forward to more updates to our website, our online archive, and other digital products that result from our collaboration (forthcoming in Fall 2018....).