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News Skip Navigation LinksComp Sci internships prep Surrey students for ‘career of the future’

Feb 18
Comp Sci internships prep Surrey students for ‘career of the future’

Safe Software story - Ryan and Jerry.jpg

Grade 12 Fleetwood Park Secondary students Ryan Chen and Jerry Chen (no relation) stepped out of the classroom and into meaningful computer science internships with Surrey-based tech company Safe Software. The two seniors got eye-opening experience in coding and programming, as part of their school’s comp sci co-op program.

Students in Fleetwood Park Secondary's computer science co-op program are testing their newfound skills in the real world, thanks to internships with local tech companies.

This year, the co-op program has started offering three-week work experiences with Lower Mainland companies, including in Surrey, in which students gain valuable insight to working in the tech industry.

"We wanted to give the students the opportunity to go into work placements and get some experience in tech-related placements," said teacher Brianna Stusiak. "We have some amazing companies that are popping up and so they don't necessarily have to move to Silicon Valley."

The co-op teaches related elements of physics and math to give a more well-rounded understanding of computer science, which proved important for Grade 12 students Ryan Chen and Jerry Chen (no relation). The pair interned together with Safe Software, a Surrey-based company that processes vast amounts of data with more than 400 partners.

"All the skills that are required for a programming job, 99.9% of the skills I have gained in this school," said Ryan. "The work that I've done at Safe Software was related to graphing data, visualizing data, and it just so happened to be we were taught exactly how to do that in Python."

"On the job, it was basically just writing code all day and knowing at least one language," said Jerry. "Also, teaching efficient ways to code. There are many different ways to code and knowing the proper ways and being more efficient – that's something the course has taught me."

Both Ryan and Jerry said their internship with Safe Software taught them about their strengths and weaknesses in programming, and exposed them to seemingly endless career potential in an industry that has more than piqued their interest.

"I've been told by many people that computer science is a career of the future," said Ryan. "This work experience taught me two things: I probably will love a computer science- or programming-related job in the future, and it taught me how important interpersonal, communications and planning skills are in the workforce."

"When my code works, you just get a feeling of self-accomplishment that you can't get anywhere else," said Jerry. "It really sold me on this career path. I've done some research to see if what I did at Safe Software is what a real job looks like and the setting is really the same.

"I think every student should consider computer science as a path for them."


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