Updated: Jul 29, 2020
I’m Julia Steed and I graduated from Oak Ridge High School in June 2020. I began my internship at Acato during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, so my experience has been very unique. Due to COVID-19, I have been working from home for the entirety of the internship. Nevertheless, I have still been able to have valuable interactions with the people at Acato.
Acato intentionally created an Agile team that worked in two-week sprints for me to be a part of, with a Scrum Master, Product Owner, and two team members. My team and I have daily virtual stand up meetings to discuss work that was done yesterday, work that will be done today, and to resolve any impediments.
We also have biweekly virtual meetings to plan the work for the coming two weeks, and meetings to reflect on the past two weeks’ work. By participating in and observing these Agile ceremonies, I have learned how the Agile methodologies that Acato uses make software development more efficient.
My job was to help to develop team resources to fortify testing in its early stages. This problem gave me a lot of room for creativity. I started out with a simple Excel file checklist of items to verify, but that quickly morphed into a modified flow chart. I also was tasked with finding user-friendly, maintainable version control software to create these flow charts, which I found in draw.io.
The flow chart was much easier to follow than the Excel file and had an overall more positive reaction from testers. In solving the problem, I felt like I was doing something beneficial to the company in addition to having a great educational experience.
My team consists of four people who I interact with on a daily basis. While I haven’t gotten to know them as well as I would have in-person, I have still had opportunities to ask about their experiences, get advice about college, and build relationships.
Everyone at Acato, especially my team, has been extremely kind and welcoming. Even though we have been meeting virtually, I have still been able to get a sense of the fun, yet hard-working environment at Acato, which has been one of the best parts of working here.