CodeClan Youth Academy

8 September 2022
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Our interns get hands-on with APEX and Progressive Web Applications

 ‘If you are good enough, you are old enough’

Inoapps hosted two interns this summer as part of CodeClan’s Youth Academy (CCYA) scheme, a new initiative aiming to provide young people with coding skills and hands-on experience in technology-driven businesses.

Paul (17) and Vedic (18) have been working as part of our development team alongside VP of Technology Dermot Murray and Products Development Manager Abhinav – and we met them in Part One of this series.  

As the internship spell wrapped up, we asked: what are you going to take away from the CodeClan Youth Academy internship experience?

Vedic: “I think a key thing for me is about having experience of the working environment. If in the future I'll be going straight into an office with a startup, I’ll be able to talk freely because I already have some experience and I know what to do – instead of just thinking about what I'm going to do so. I think I'll have a strong foundation.”

Abhinav: “I also think that there are some things you can only learn through making mistakes. I think they've had the opportunity here to ‘make that mistake’. This being a cloud environment means there’s the ability to de-risk things so knowing nothing’s going to break gives them the freedom to go and play around with certain features!”

Paul: “And if things do go wrong, what you get from that is experience of what other people did, working together to fix things - so you both end up getting more experience out of what you’ve been doing.”

Abhinav: “Once our interns started to understand more about APEX they sat in some of our actual team stand-ups, so they could actually get a feel for how development operations run and work with international teams and so on. So this is 360 degree exposure to operations, and not just technology. To my surprise, these guys already knew what Agile is, with schools teaching a lot of these things. So obviously other than giving them the technical skills, you're also exposing them to actual operational tools, ways of working and so on.”

Paul: “Looking back on my time at Inoapps and now starting in a new role (at IBM) I really value how my time here has helped me. I have had more experience in the technology sector and have things to put on my CV, and feel more prepared for my new job because I also have basic office knowledge - things like joining meetings, managing emails and doing admin tasks - that I didn’t have before. All in all the internship at Inoapps was great and has helped me in lots of ways. Thanks to Inoapps - and of course CodeClan - for the opportunity.”

Vedic: “I agree. This was a wonderful experience which as well as being enjoyable and informative has taught me about work in the real world. I am so glad to have had this opportunity.”

As part of making this a ‘real world’ experience, Paul and Vedic worked together on a core project to develop a Progressive Web Application (PWA) built using Oracle APEX. This application focused on handling timesheet authorisations (which are fundamental for most businesses that bill or account for projects) specifically in disconnected environments – places like remote field locations for maintenance or engineering.

Paul explains: “We built an offline-enabled PWA application that handles notifications for timesheet approvals. This will allow a manager to be able to see on a dashboard all of the timesheets submitted, ready for their approval. This also included “push” notifications to notify the user when new timesheets are created or updated. The clever part is that this also works offline, allowing managers to approve or reject timesheets even when they are not connected via a 4G signal or Wi-Fi. Although we were unable to do some small things that would have been nice to have in the final product, we managed to create an offline-enabled PWA with notifications that was mobile friendly. The feeling of succeeding was fantastic and made me feel proud of myself and Vedic for achieving something that has not been done before and will help the business.”

Why would this kind of capability be needed in the real world? Many of the organisations that Inoapps work with provide services to their customers in diverse locations – remote parts of the country, building sites, tunnels or similar. That dispersed team needs the capability to log, gather and then upload time spent on various jobs throughout the day, for managerial review and approval, in order for the business to promptly invoice the pipeline owner based on team activity. And that interaction needs to take place at the remote location, disconnected from the network.

At the end of their time with Inoapps our interns delivered a live working solution to deliver a “disconnected” timesheet authorisation app that could be used by a manager working off-site to review and authorise team engineer time spent across multiple sites, assets or projects.

Here’s some screens of the app dashboard, and some of the APEX environment used to build it:



PWAs are something that the Inoapps product development team are passionate about, and we've talked about them recently here. They are perfect fit between the costly and support-intensive overheads of building native Android or iOS mobile apps, and the ‘out of the box’ responsive capabilities provided by Oracle Cloud applications.

To sum things up, we asked Dermot to share a few thoughts about both the CCYA scheme and what we can learn from the wider requirement for skills, especially among the up-and-coming workforce:

Dermot: "This was the first time that Inoapps has supported a programme of this type, and without doubt we have all learnt a lot. Of course Vedic and Paul have learnt lots of new technical skills, as well as valuable lessons about life in the workforce. But Inoapps has also learnt a lot - we have learnt that talented individuals, when provided with the right environment and a supportive network, can deliver high quality output, beyond our expectations, in very short timescales.

When we embarked on the CCYA scheme we thought that the interns would complete some basic training and some rudimentary development. But Vedic and Paul have delivered outcomes that show real value, and have proven the famous Matt Busby quote  ‘if you are good enough, you are old enough’. I wish them both well in whatever they do next, and look forward to welcoming the next generation of talent on our next iteration of the programme."

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