My Internship at SmartWatt Energy

smart watt

Image by Smart Watt, Inc. {link to}

SmartWatt Energy gave me a great internship opportunity that will affect my future career as an IT professional. It was a pleasure working with everyone, and the experience gained from working in a real-world setting is unlike anything that can be learned in a college course. For this, I would like to formally thank the SmartWatt team for that.

My job as an intern in the IT department consisted of many different roles. SmartWatt offers energy efficiency solutions to businesses. Naturally, the process of providing these solutions requires an internal work-flow. My main projects were working on, directly or indirectly with SmartWatt’s very own developed web application for their work-flow. Directly being, adding content to the application’s functionality and indirectly by means of an ETL (Extract Transform Load) process. The ETL process is used to migrate and transform data from the application into a database to be used for analysis purposes by the other SmartWatt departments. Some other things included adding or updating content on and creating a shell script to back up the website nightly.

I was completely unfamiliar with all other technologies being used, aside from having some minor
knowledge in Java and Linux. The application is developed using Java/JSF based on the Model-View-Controller architecture. I’ve never dealt with JSF or MVC at the point of starting my job. It took sometime to learn how to integrate changes into the application; but the development team gave me a brief outline of how everything worked and tasks with increasingly difficult stages. These stages ranging from changing static content to adding entirely new classes and pages to the application. The ETL project was an entirely different subject. I was required to learn database management and principles for data warehousing among other things.

I believe learning Linux and data warehousing were my greatest feats. Linux because I’ve only scratched the surface and it’s something that I will use for the rest of my career in many different settings. The data warehousing is typically invaluable to any business as it allows them to really analyze and assess their progress as a whole, or in fine detail. To anyone that is hesitant about doing an internship, looking at the positives alone should be able to sway your decision. You’re getting actual job experience, integrating yourself with a fully functioning company and learning how it’s different components work together. The end result could lead to a job offer just as it did for me!
John DeWitt
Spring 2013
Computer Science


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