My name is Ori Talmor and I am a third-year student at the University of Guelph. Not long ago, I completed an 8 month-long term at NCR in Waterloo, Ontario. This blog will analyze the goals I set for myself and the steps I took to reach them. This blog will dive into my role as an intern at NCR and the skills I learned while working there.
NCR Corporation, originally known as the National Cash Register, is an organization that deals with financial transaction software such as self-service kiosks, point-of-sale terminals, teller machines, and check processing. Founded in 1884, NCR began as an innovator in the world of small businesses helping to reinvent the cash register and produce a need for business responsibility in the form of receipts. The office I was located at, NCR Waterloo, was concentrated on new software solutions for Omni-Channel Commerce. This software which is highlighted in the below video allows online shoppers to transact on multiple devices at once (i.e. A customer can start a transaction on their phone and a teller can finish it off for them in the bank).
During my 8 month-long term, I was a Software Development Intern tasked with developing solutions to requirements given to us by clients looking to license a new flagship software solution that released during my term. My tasks would range anywhere from testing and bug fixing, updating/improving functionality to meet a specific requirement all the way to implementing security measures to thwart possible log injection and HTML escape sequences. When I began working in May 2018, all the skills I needed were taught on the job. It took me almost 2 months to feel capable in the workplace, but once I felt like I understood what was going on, I felt right at home. From the start I was given tasks with high importance to the team, including adding functionality to microservices and adding handlers to ElasticSearch. I had the amazing opportunity to demo my additions to the project to the entire software development team multiple times throughtout my term which helped me develop my communication skills in the workplace. The most important skills needed for this job I believe are open-mindedness, flexibility, and a positive attitude. By having these three I think anyone can succeed. Throughout my term, I believe I came to a realization that as with most things - programming good code and learning proper standards comes with practice. In school I have been faced with churning out projects, assignments, and code as quickly as possible so my style and standards were shy of what they needed to be to satisfy a core principle of the development process at NCR. As a result, I learned very quickly that school wouldn't be able to prepare me for this, I had to take my own initiative to practice good programming habits on the job. Being open to new ideas and suggestions was super important as things don't often go as planned meaning having a positive attitude is super important and helpful for taking things into perspective and lowering stress at work.
I learned so much from this work term, but I think the most significant piece is what I learned about myself and what I want to do. I learned that as much as I loved NCR, the company culture, and the people there; I felt like the workplace isn’t for me. I had a realization that maybe I want to go into academia and pursue a different route. Although, I did notice that what I did at NCR was not in any way related to my original field of interest, Cyber Security, it was still a good indication of what I should look for in the future. Nevertheless, the skills I learned in this term I will carry forward and it will certainly prove to be helpful in making me a better person as well as a better applicant for future employment.
I would like to thank Dima Abu-Alhaija, Callum Butterworth, Yuktika Pahwa, Vladan Marcic, and Qiu Zhuohui for giving me the opportunity to work with them and for always pushing me to think critically and be more diligent in my work. Thank you for putting up with all my questions and for being very friendly, welcoming and happy to help.