Local High School Students Get Practical Work Experience

At 14 Oranges we know the value of hiring highly-skilled employees as well as giving back to the community, which is why we have partnered with McMath Secondary School to help technically inclined students gain valuable work experience. 

Located in Richmond, B.C., the high school is only a few kilometers away from our office and is full of bright, young students. To help some of these students gain valuable work experience, we teamed up with the school in 2018 to start offering their students the opportunity to learn new skills by working with us. Since the program began, we have had two students successfully complete the Work Experience Program and we currently have a third student who is working with us right now. 

The way the program works is the school identifies and selects students who have shown a keen interest in technology and have demonstrated the technical skills needed to develop software. The program is unpaid and runs from October to May every year. The student is expected to spend four to six hours a week or about 120 hours over the course of those seven months. 

Once a student is selected by the school we choose a project the student will work on and assign them a mentor. For example, the first two students who completed the program worked on an internal tool that we use to test our apps. The tool helps us document any bugs that may be in our mobile applications. The tool allows users to upload a screenshot of the issue, input details about where and how they encountered the issue, and then upload all of the details through the app directly into our bug tracking system. 

Prior to developing this internal tool, we used a more rudimentary approach to attach mobile screenshots to our bugs. Whenever a tester would encounter a bug they would take a screenshot of it, send it to Dropbox, download it onto their computer and then send the image to the company’s bug tracking system. This process was not very efficient, which is why we asked the students to help us streamline the process. Thanks to their collective efforts over the past three years we now have a tool that allows us to simply use our phones to grab a screenshot when we run into a bug and directly send it to our tracking system. It has had an immediate impact on our company’s overall efficiency and has made our quality assurance process a lot better.

Offering local high school students the chance to get some real-world experience is close to my heart. As a young man, I personally benefited from five different internships across the country and credit those experiences and opportunities for helping me gain the skills I needed to eventually launch 14 Oranges.

If you are a student, parent, or teacher at McMath Secondary School and want to learn more please visit our website and/or send us an email. We’d be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Sylvain Marcotte is CEO and President of 14 Oranges.

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