Team Spotlight! Sarah Sami - Mentee at Education Commons
Over the past year, the Education Commons team has had the pleasure to work with Sarah Sami, our Junior Web Application Developer. With Sarah’s time with Education Commons coming to a close at the end of April, we’d like to shine the spotlight on her and Bahman Yaghoobi, Senior Full Stack Developer, and her mentor and colleague.
At Education Commons, mentorship is a valuable way to promote teaching and learning while fostering our commitment to the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) principles, a crucial part of our Strategic Plan. Seeing more women like Sarah pursue hands-on experience in the tech industry and contribute to its diversity and growth is inspiring.
We invite Sarah and Bahman to share their insights and experiences on what she has learned and accomplished working with Education Commons and through its mentorship!
Sarah, how did you make your way to OISE Education Commons?
Sarah Sami (SS):I completed my degree in Computer Programming and Analysis recently, and during my studies, I worked on various projects. However, I also wanted to gain practical experience where I could help people directly. As someone who's been interested in the University of Toronto for a long time, I asked one of my professors for advice, and they suggested that I get in touch with Bahman, who's involved with Education Commons and looking for project assistance.
The big project you worked on here was the Practicum application. Please tell us more about that.
SS: The Practicum application project was designed to assist students in certain U of T programs to find appropriate placements based on their area of study. And Education Commons supports this application.
However, the current interfaces are outdated, not accessible, and incompatible with various devices. For instance, students cannot utilize the application efficiently on mobile phones, tablets, or smaller screens. So, I’m working with Bahman to rebuild it and host it in the cloud. We’re making sure that it's more secure and, at the same time, more available to the students at all times, and we also follow industry standards for design and sustainability.
Sarah, how has working at Education Commons changed you?
SS: During my time at Education Commons, I had the opportunity to work on the practicum project, which involved the entire software development life cycle from system and business analysis to design, testing, and implementation. Through this project, I gained technical expertise and hands-on experience working with frameworks and applying them to real-world scenarios.
Additionally, I learned how to analyze community needs and translate them into software requirements, how to design a user-friendly interface, and how to test and implement the final product while adhering to industry standards for quality assurance.
The experience of working with stakeholders and incorporating feedback to improve the application has given me valuable insight into the importance of user-centred design and continuous improvement in software development. Overall, my time at Education Commons has broadened my understanding of the software development process and prepared me for future endeavours in the field.
Bahman, what role did you play in this change?
Bahman Yaghoobi (BY): Mentorship is essential for professional development, and I am proud to have played a role in Sarah's growth as a developer. Through a mentorship approach, I was able to help Sarah learn and improve her skills.
She was a motivated and talented student, and her enthusiasm for programming was contagious. As someone who benefited from mentorship when I started my career, I see it as my duty to pay it forward and help others who need it.
So, Sarah, what’s next for you?
SS: As I conclude my time at Education Commons, I am excited to pursue new opportunities in the technology and analytics field. Through my work here, I have discovered a natural talent for analytics and a passion for leveraging technology to solve complex problems.
Moving forward, I plan to explore roles where I can further develop my skills and contribute to innovative solutions. In the long-term, I am also considering pursuing additional education to expand my knowledge and expertise in the field.
Bahman, how will you remember Sarah and her time here?
BY: A fun fact I learned about Sarah is that she comes from a city with a rainy climate similar to Vancouver. Whenever it rained, Sarah would light up and feel at home.
Her enthusiasm and positive attitude made working with her a joy, and she will be missed not only as a colleague but also as a friend and an essential member of our community. I wish Sarah all the best in her future endeavours.