Department of Computer Science

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Recent Internships

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Vernon Foley had a Software Engineer Intern position this summer at EchoStar in Englewood, CO. EchoStar is a Satellite Communications company that offers hardware and software to support to satellite television and telecommunication companies. EchoStar is developing an internal program that tracks their agile software development process and user stories. Vernon’s project was to work on finalizing some new features to help managers better estimate the timeline to implement new features. Due to software and server upgrades his project changed to upgrading to the latest version and merging the changes into the open source base product. The challenges presented in a software maintenance can be exhilarating and frustrating to say the least. The biggest challenge was finding the correct positions to place code when dealing with the changing software architecture. Working with the program required Vernon to learn and use Perl and CGI scripting to merge older in house changes into the new code. Most of the code that he used on the job was learned on the job. Knowing how to implement data structures and strong problem solving skills allows learning a new language to be much easier. Vernon’s favorite part of the Internship was being able to work with a tight knit team and accomplish his goals.

IMG 2677sDenver provides a unique opportunity for people that are looking for big city life and outdoors activity. The downtown area provides good night life and sports venues. The Red Rocks provide a wonderful venue for music shows. During the summer, you have the opportunity to watch Major League Baseball and La Crosse if you so choose. The atmosphere of the people at EchoStar is wonderful. They are a very active company and their culture encourages people to be active and healthy. Vernon spent weekends hiking at ten to twelve thousand feet in the Rocky Mountain National park with a couple of coworkers as well as attempting a 14er before being turned around by the weather. One lesson he would like to impart with any Montana Tech students looking to intern at any company, is the importance of networking. Make an effort to be involved in the culture of the company. Do every activity that is offered to you. Make friends and be courteous and thankful for all the opportunities to meet and make friends while you are there. Hang out with the other interns when you can.

Max Austin, a junior in Computer Science, interned at NorthWestern Energy in Butte over the summer and during the Fall Semester. NorthWestern Energy is responsible for producing and distributing energy and natural gas to Montana, South Dakota, and parts of Nebraska. His internship was in the relay compliance department where he worked to optimize the organization of substation devices and their test results for the audits conducted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). A couple years ago the relay department acquired a database program that would contain all the substations and their devices that are tested by FERC in their audits. Max helped populate the database and make it easier for future use by implementing new reports using SQL that aid in either updating the database or fixing past mistakes.

Max was able to apply concepts from previous classes at Montana Tech for this project and go beyond what was originally required of him. Max’s work will help make future audits and making changes to the database as effortless as possible.

Trevor Brooks, a junior in Computer Science and Software Engineering, completed an internship at Montana Tech this summer. His internship was with Information Services and Campus Technology Services. The internship consisted of a project that allows instructors to pull grades from Moodle and submit them as either midterm or final grades. This will not only encourage more instructors to use the gradebook in Moodle, but also help reduce the time it takes to submit grades. This project was written as a portlet that is within MyMTech. MyMTech relies on Java to create and control the portlets. Multiple databases are used to help pull together instructor, student, and course information to make sure that the information that is submitted is correct. The grades and some of the student information is pulled from Moodle using the REST API.

Trevor was able to not only able to apply concepts from previous classes, but was also able to create an application that will help make finals and midterms easier to submit for instructors. Making Montana Tech a better place for both students and faculty is the foundation for the projects done by Information Service and Campus Technology Services.