What’s it like to work for an innovative, employee-focused, dynamic supply chain software company? From valuable working experiences, strong connections, participation in Hackathons, in-house concerts and even some amazing soup...read on to find out what our current Co-Op/Intern students have to say!
Kinaxis employs a variety of Co-Op/Intern students and each student has their own situations and experiences. I spoke with a cross-section of Kinaxis Co-Op/Interns to share some of their individual stories, experiences and cultural impressions from their placements.
Marzuk is completing his eight-month placement in our Front End Development team as a Co-Op Developer, Platform, Application Server.
How would you describe the culture at Kinaxis? At Kinaxis, I am lucky to be part of a workplace culture that places a high value on people. One of the company's core beliefs is that "people matter here" and this philosophy is truly embodied by everyone I've interacted with.
The culture is built on open communication and collaboration across multiple teams and departments, which helps foster a strong sense of community. I've received a lot of help and support to succeed and grow within my role, and it's clear that everyone is sincerely enthusiastic about contributing to each other's success. I particularly appreciate the opportunity to connect with my colleagues over shared interests through various communication channels, groups, and events that take place frequently. Despite working remotely, this has helped me feel strongly connected to the Kinaxis community.
Overall, Kinaxis provides not only challenging and meaningful work, but also a fun and supportive environment to thrive both professionally and personally.
What have you learned in your time at Kinaxis? Kinaxis has an exceptional reputation for having strong technology and engineering teams, and my own team members are no exception. In addition to their remarkable technical skills, they also possess a wealth of knowledge about both the product and the problem domain it addresses, which is Supply Chain Management. In the two months that I've been with the company, I've learnt a great deal from my team about the product and the problem domain.
More importantly, under the guidance of my supervisor and team members, I have had the opportunity to further develop my skills in the C# .NET and Java ecosystems and delve deeper into the tools and libraries used in the software development process at Kinaxis.
What are some of the highlights of your experience at Kinaxis? One of the highlights of my experience at Kinaxis was getting to know my team members and forging strong relationships with them. Additionally, I had the opportunity to connect with the Machine Learning team and attend their biweekly technical meetups, where they discuss a variety of ML-related topics, ranging from models and research to ML building, including feature and metadata stores, Spark and SQL optimization, MLOPs, etc.
One personal highlight for me was having my first Pull Request approved and merged, which led to the changes I made being released to our clients worldwide as part of a Service Update. Even though my first contributions were relatively small, it was a great feeling to know that my work had a meaningful impact on the company and its clients on such a large scale. Since then, I have continued to submit Pull Requests that were also approved and merged, allowing me to continue making meaningful contributions to the company.
What are some of the projects that you have worked on during your placement? In my two months with Kinaxis, I've been working on various customer-facing issues involving both the Java Client and the Application Server. One of my notable contributions involved integrating a Custom Message Handler into the request-response pipeline of the Application Server. This allowed us to provide customizable error responses, which improved the security of our product.
What advice would you give to an incoming Co-Op/Intern? As a member of the Software Development team, I believe that it is crucial to have a comprehensive understanding of our product, RapidResponse, as well as the problem domain it addresses – Supply Chain Management. While it is essential to learn about the software development process, tools, and technologies that we use, understanding the broader context will enable you to contribute more effectively to Kinaxis's success.
To achieve this, there are many resources available, including the Kinaxis Learning Center, User Documentation, Development Documentation, and more. Additionally, your team members will always be there to aid and guide you every step of the way.
By gaining a deep understanding of the product and problem domain, you can see the bigger picture and make more valuable contributions to the team. This understanding will also help you to better communicate with members of other teams and stakeholders.
Chloe is completing the second semester of her placement in our in our Corporate IT team as a Co-Op Developer, IT Business Solutions.
How would you describe the culture at Kinaxis? The culture at Kinaxis is nothing short of amazing. The emphasis on mutual respect quickly becomes apparent, as every team I had the pleasure of working with was, first and foremost, empathetic and kind. Everyone is trusted: trusted to work hard, to collaborate, and to take the necessary steps to keeping ourselves healthy and happy, which has effectively created a positive environment within which co-ops can grow and learn from seasoned industry professionals.
What have you learned in your time at Kinaxis? Over the past eight months, I have developed both my technical and soft skills. On the technical side, my understanding of APIs and the software development lifecycle greatly improved, and I had the opportunity to learn Python, Groovy, Apex and C# for my projects. I also honed my soft-skills, such as learning to ask the right questions while gathering requirements from stakeholders, how to successfully collaborate in an Agile team environment, and how to clearly communicate my solutions and ideas to others.
What are some of the highlights of your experience at Kinaxis? The 2022 Hackathon was a very enriching experience. During Hackathon, dozens of teams pitched an idea and developed it over the course of one week. Developing something functional within five days proved to be a fun and rewarding challenge. I also thoroughly enjoyed each Kinaxis InConcert event, where we were invited to take a break and listen to talented local artists while eating great food.
What advice would you give to an incoming Co-Op/Intern? Ask a lot of questions, especially "why?" When I first started, I was focused on the "how?" as it allowed me to quickly develop my technical skills. Asking "why?" granted insight into the logic and reasoning behind the decisions that were being made. Though this does not necessarily translate into technical improvements, I gained insight into Kinaxis' operations and a better understanding of the assumptions underlying our projects' development.
Lastly, don't hesitate to admit you don't know something. As co-ops, we are given space to grow and to learn, so if you don't know something, say so and take the time to find an answer.
Alexandra is completing her seventh semester with Kinaxis in our Product Quality team as an Intern Developer, Quality Frameworks & Tooling.
How would you describe the culture at Kinaxis? The culture at Kinaxis is phenomenal. It feels easy to engage and exchange ideas, and reaching for help or to discuss projects and possibilities is definitely encouraged.
What have you learned in your time at Kinaxis? I have obviously learned a lot about the programming languages and paradigms used in the industry, but an unexpected bonus was code readability. It's not something you think of very often, but organizing code in a manner that is clear and easy to share with your co-workers is important. The discipline of ensure readability gained me quite a few compliments within school projects too.
What are some of the highlights in your experience at Kinaxis? There are plenty of fun events organized by Kinaxis that I would like to highlight, but one of them is definitely the InConcert experience. Once or twice a month a local artist performs in the Hive and I have enjoyed every concert I have attended. Coming to the office has also been fun, since it's easier to reach out to teammates when you're working in a shared space.
What are some of the projects that you have worked on during your placement?
I have mostly been working on enhancing the tools and present frameworks within the team's code base, but I have developed toolsets that would manage maintaining and monitoring our Jenkins instances automatically.
What advice would you give to an incoming Co-Op/Intern? Never be afraid to ask and engage! There are many learning and social opportunities that would definitely enhance your career and personal growth. Ideas and input are always encouraged and given constructive feedback or support. And another tip would be that if you have lunch at the cafeteria, always get the soup!
If you'd like to read more first-hand accounts of gaining valuable career knowledge at Kinaxis, check out our past posts:
Part 1 -- Part 2 -- Part 3 -- Part 4 -- Part 5
Ready to apply? Here’s how!
If these personal insights sound like the kind of professional experience you’re looking for, be sure to check out our current Co-Op/Intern opportunities right now. Check back often, as more roles will be posted soon!
All of Kinaxis’ Co-Op/Intern role are posted on our Kinaxis Careers page: https://www.kinaxis.com/en/open-positions
To learn more about the Kinaxis Co-Op/Intern program, please contact me at: jhisko [at] kinaxis [dot] com or connect with me on LinkedIn.
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