My Internship (now job) at PVA

    Working at my internship has been a very challenging but rewarding experience. It has been nothing like I have learned at school. PVA produces conformal coating, pick-and-place and various material dispensing machines. My main responsibilities there include developing source code for the machine processes using the visual programming language LABVIEW, building pc’s to specification, tuning electrical motors, debugging the machines electrical components fresh from the production floor, device driver programming(made simple through LABVIEW), and setting up communications between the machines computer and various peripheral components including amps and motion controllers.
    Going into the internship they knew that I had no experience in just about anything that they were going to assign me to do. My superior started me with small assignments as I was getting used to coding in LABVIEW and gradually gave me more and more complicated assignments. My first assignment was to write code for handheld controllers that would make it easy for a user to program paths into the machine manually. Next I coded a floating and re-sizable window that displayed what a camera on the machine was looking at. After that I was out on the production floor for a few weeks learning how to debug the machines electrical systems after they were built and turn them on. They taught me how to interpret electrical system schematics and use a multimeter to test for continuity and verify correct voltage. After that I learned how to tune the motors and then set up communications with the motion controller which controlled the gantry on each machine and various other measurement devices such as laser sensors and dial indicators. Currently I am working on an XML parser that helps to change various XML files used to control machine processes.
    I am graduating this semester and thankfully they have offered me a full time position. I have to say that you can’t be intimidated when you apply to positions and with hard work you can learn to do just about anything. U-Albany has definitely opens up the doors you just have to bust your hump and persevere to succeed.

Joe DeRubertis
Graduation date: December 2012
Major: B.S. Computer Science combined Physics
Current position: Software engineer

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