I vividly remember the day when I learned more about t-matix. It was two months ago, when my senior colleague Matko introduced me to his success story.
While having coffee in a place near our faculty, Matko shared how, after doing a one-year student job, he got the job offer and officially joined t-matix frontend team. His insights were extremely valuable. He told me all I wanted to know about the team, the company profile, and the business in general. There was no doubt, I liked what I heard. t-matix seemed like a well-oiled machine, and I realized that the chance of participating in developing the IoT platform was not the only reason I wanted to do my co-op there. So, the very next day, my application was already on the way.
When RIT officials informed me that t-matix had accepted my application, I felt a rush of happiness. As the company noted in the offer letter, I would get hands-on experience with frontend architecture, develop React components, and learn various tools and development processes. I was very excited about the opportunity but also quite nervous, because I was unsure whether I would fit in. Luckily, Davor, my designated mentor, removed all my fears on day one. He seemed like a guy who always knows what he is doing and is entirely reliable. I already knew that he was the Frontend Team lead, but soon I also realized that I could pick his brain on any subject. After exchanging initial greetings, in front of the Green Gold Tower, Davor showed me the way to the office where I would be spending the next seven weeks.
The first look at the office was not what I had expected. It was open and spacious. There was a lot of light and the place was filled with monitors, when all I had expected were hallways and rooms. Also, it was bizarre seeing x marks on some of the desks, but that was understandable given the new regulations pertaining to the COVID-19 situation. Disinfectants were all over the place, some rooms were closed, but that didn’t seem to undermine the good atmosphere pervading the place.
After a brief introduction to the team, Davor and Matko helped me to set up my working environment and gave me a high-level overview of the project that I would be enrolled in. Everyone was so helpful and cheerful, which made me feel at ease.
The next day, I learned more about the company structure and the product itself through video presentations prepared by t-matix heads and team leads. I was surprised to learn that t-matix had started developing the platform six years ago, when IoT had not been such a buzzword yet. The founders conceived a flexible and programming-free solution that eventually found its rightful place on the DACH region market. Today, companies in various industries rely on the t-matix IoT solution to digitize their products and processes. The platform is complex, but that explains, I guess, why it rocks the ingestion of all incoming data.
The introduction part was useful, but I wanted some action, so my first technical assignment caused quite a stir. All about the frontend was my main point of interest, and I wanted to do some coding or even fix some bugs. It wasn’t straightforward at first because I didn’t know much about React – I had just started to learn the ropes. The assignment implied creating Redux and then connecting it to the store and implementing Saga. IT was very challenging, but after a few days of research on how the Redux Saga works, I finally figured it out.
After building Redux, I was assigned another task, namely to create a button that would do something on click. Even though the task seemed fairly easy and was not supposed to be time-consuming, I wanted to do it as best I could and with all the right components. I wanted to create something unique, so I put extra time into it.
In the next couple of weeks, I played with tables and gathered information with Ajax. While creating different tables, I started implementing some Line and Pie charts. It all started to make more sense, and I finally started to figure out each separate component and part of the program. After Davor saw that I knew how to handle information, I was assigned the hardest task yet – showing different time zones and manipulating seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, and years. Basically, time manipulation. On top of that, I had to create a map that would show all the cities that I picked for showing the time. To my surprise, I was done in less than a week. My expectations regarding how long it would take me to create the whole thing had probably never been less realistic. I thought I would finish no sooner than by the end of the co-op. Davor was surprised but also very proud of the work that I had done and the commitment that I had shown.
What is more, I even tackled a bugfix. My team found a bug, and they wanted me to see it as well, and then fix it. I managed to do it in 2 hours. I was confident and genuinely happy because I finally gained some practical knowledge and experienced real teamwork.
Unfortunately, in late June, there was an increase in COVID-19 cases, and we had to switch to remote work. That made me quite sad and, as a result, I didn’t have that amount of focus as I did when working in the office. Also, I didn’t feel comfortable asking too many questions via Slack because I know how annoying it can be to be pinged five times in two minutes while you are working on something. Thank God everyone was super patient and was willing to help me anytime! Regular calls and code reviews made my home office less boring.
Even though I finished my internship working from home, I had felt part of the team the whole time. I met creative and ambitious developers that work independently. They will like you if you are proactive, present new ideas, and are not afraid of facing a problem. To recap, I have to say that the time spent in t-matix was a unique experience and a fun one as well. I had a lot of work to do, but it was all worth it. I even got the chance to play the company quiz. I feel like I learned a lot, and I would recommend the company to anyone who is just starting with his/her co-op. Next year, I will again do my co-op in t-matix, for sure. As in Matko’s case, I firmly believe that my success story is just around the corner.
After a successful academic year and all the hard work during his student co-op, this Rochester Institute of Technology student has more than deserved his summer vacation, and we kept on working to compress his seven weeks co-op at t-matix to a 90-second overview.
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December 18, 2019
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