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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Fig Leaf's 2013 Summer Intern

Each year Fig Leaf Software offers a summer internship and scholarship to University of Maryland students. Fig Leaf’s internships foster professional as well as personal development. Usually two students are chosen, one for the internship and one for the scholarship. However this year was different, because Andy Baer, currently a Senior at UMD, was the recipient of both the scholarship, and summer internship. Andy is studying for a dual-degree in Linguistics and Computer Science.

Interning at Fig Leaf isn’t at all like the normal stigmas that come with the word “internship”. There is no fetching coffee, sorting mail, or running errands for executives. Interns at Fig Leaf are just as much a part of the Fig Leaf team as every other employee. They are exposed to skills and technology first-hand, that will help them both in college and after college as well. Andy says, “During this internship I was able to learn more about web development, and will be able to apply new programming skills to my current classes. My school doesn’t have strong mobile development, so it was great being able to learn about that also. I think it will really help my resume stand out.”

During his time at Fig Leaf this summer, Andy was heavily involved with two major projects.

The first project was Sencha Raiders, a gaming app for BlackBerry. Andy worked collaboratively with Fig Leaf’s President and Founder, Steve Drucker to build the gaming app. The app was entered into the BlackBerry 10 and Sencha App competition, and it won!  The prize included a all inclusive, trip to Orlando, Florida to participate in SenchaCon 2013, BlackBerry swag, and having the app featured at the conference. The free trip to SenchaCon was an especially big deal for Andy, because this was his first time attending a technical conference and his first trip to Disney World. It was a great opportunity for someone new in the field to be able to network with Sencha engineers and learn about new developments for the framework. After speaking with Andy about his experience at SenchaCon 2013, he said, “The best part about the conference was seeing how other more experienced developers were using the same technology I used to create things on a much larger scale.


Check out Sencha Raiders in action here: http://webapps.figleaf.com/sr/

The second project was a Sencha Touch based app for the Archdiocese of St. Louis, which is the mobile experience for the organization’s website. The touch app includes a search for Parishes and schools based on a visitor’s location using Google Maps. The app also has a news feed which pulls content from www.stlouisreview.com. The app features sections for social media, video, and an address book and was a great project for Andy to be involved with because it is a real world app that people parishioners use regularly.  The app is available as a touch based app for visitors to http://www.archstl.org/ and can be downloaded as a native app on iOS via the iTunes App Store or on Android via the Google Play store.

“I loved working at Fig Leaf, it was nice being able to program all day! I had the opportunity to work projects that people will actually put to use.” - Andy Baer

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