My name is Bosco, and I’m currently in my final semester of the Computer Systems diploma program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology in Canada. I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Psychology, but after working with Python and Matlab to analyze experimental data for my thesis project, I realized my interest in coding and software engineering. 

I learned about the Major League Hacking (MLH) Fellowship from a friend who had participated in an MLH hackathon. I was looking for an opportunity to gain real-world work experience and apply the skills I learned in school, so I was particularly thrilled to discover the program! I participated in the MLH Fellowship twice in 2022 for the Software Engineering and Site Reliability Engineering tracks. 

Contributing to JupyterLab-Git  – Software Engineering Track 

During my time as a fellow on the Software Engineering track, I made contributions to JupyterLab-Git, which is an open-source JupyterLab extension that utilizes Git for version control. As part of a small and agile team, I worked on implementing new features for the extension. Working closely with the code maintainer was a pleasure, as they provided invaluable help and guidance throughout the process. I also appreciated the small pod system for fellows, as it allowed for easier communication and problem-solving within a more intimate group setting.

Building and Servicing a Web App – Site Reliability Engineering Track

As a fellow on the Site Reliability Engineering track, I worked on a web-app project with another developer. My experience in the SRE program allowed me to enhance my skills in full-stack web development and to learn about the set-up of CI/CD pipelines, web hosting, and monitoring stack. Moreover, I had the opportunity to attend coding workshops, mentor office hours, and participate in mock interviews with the sponsor company. The mentor office hours were definitely the highlights of the fellowship, as they provided me with valuable insight into the daily work of industry professionals.

The Best Part of the MLH Fellowship

One of the things I loved most about being a part of the MLH Fellowship was the flexibility it offered. Since the program is remote, I was able to structure my daily schedule in a way that worked best for me. During my time as a Software Engineering Fellow, I was primarily focused on implementing new features for JupyterLab-Git, and as a result, I had more control over my time. Meetings with my team and the code maintainer were quick and to the point, leaving me with more time to focus on what I loved doing – coding! 

As a Site Reliability Fellow, my schedule became more structured, but it was exciting to have the opportunity to attend various workshops and events. Alongside these events, I enjoyed collaborating with my peers on open-source projects and attending meetings and completing curriculum-based learning.

Launching My Professional Career 

During my time in the MLH Fellowship, I had the valuable opportunity to gain real-world experience working on open-source projects that are widely used and relied upon. It was an incredible learning experience to collaborate with other talented individuals and industry professionals, and I was able to gain hands-on experience with cutting-edge technologies that are in high demand by employers. The mentorship program was a particularly helpful resource for me, providing guidance and support whenever I needed it. Overall, the MLH Fellowship was a fantastic experience that helped me grow both personally and professionally.

During my time at the MLH Fellowship, I had the opportunity to connect with other like-minded fellows who quickly became my go-to support network. In addition, the mentors and code maintainers provided invaluable guidance and assistance throughout the program, making it a truly collaborative and supportive learning environment.

Standing out as a Job Candidate

The MLH Fellowship also helped me land a co-op position at the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). Since RBC was the sponsor for the Jupyterlab-git project, I was fortunate enough to stay connected with the Director of Investment Platforms at RBC who later helped me land the role. 

The MLH Fellowship has been incredibly valuable for my job search, and I often talk about my experience in interviews. I’ve found that employers really value real-world experience working in a team on a large project, and the skills and knowledge I gained through the fellowship have definitely helped me stand out as a candidate.

Interested in the MLH Fellowship?

For more information about the MLH Fellowship and to apply for the program, visit our website here. Stay connected with Bosco on LinkedIn here!