Angie Mead ’20 Develops and Implements Online Review Interface for Harvust in Walla Walla, WA

My name is Angie Mead, and I am a Computer Science and Music major graduating in 2020. This summer I have been interning as a junior developer at Harvust in Walla Walla.

Harvust is an online marketplace for farms and farmworkers to improve their lives and livelihoods through discovery, evaluation and transaction with one another. Farm work is seasonal and can be inconsistent. Harvust gives farm workers a reliable source for jobs, helping them optimize their work season to make it as long and as profitable as possible. Harvust also helps farms find consistent and reliable workers.

My role at Harvust, in addition to general debugging and improvements to the code, has been primarily the design and implementation of a system in which workers can leave a review describing their experience working at a farm. Gathering a large volume of firsthand testimonials will vastly improve workers’ ability to anticipate what to expect at a new job. This is a major step toward Harvust’s goal of creating a more reliable source of information for workers about potential jobs.

Taking charge of each step of the process for my project, from the design to the actual implementation, was a great experience for me in object-oriented, top-down software development. I began by figuring out what I wanted the review interface to look like. Then, I broke up the elements of that design into objects, and determined what attributes each of the objects would need. This breaking down of my design allowed me to easily code each of the parts in the back-end of the website (i.e., the code behind the scenes that deals with the actual data on the website). Once I had the back-end coded, I moved on to the front-end (the website’s graphics and the code that lets the user interact with the site). Once the front-end was done, I tested and debugged the code to make sure everything worked the way it was supposed to.

This internship has been a phenomenal learning experience for me. This has been my first exposure to web development, and I feel that I have gained a good understanding of it. I am now familiar with the JavaScript programming language, Django web framework, and AngularJS front-end web framework – all of which are very useful skills. I also learned how all the pieces of a website (the server, database, etc.) communicate to let the website run. All of these new skills have helped me feel much more comfortable with coding, design, and development, which will undoubtedly help me in my computer science studies going forward.

Experiences like Angie’s are made possible by the Whitman Internship Grant, which provides funding for students to participate in unpaid internships at both for-profit and non-profit organizations. To learn how you could secure a Whitman Internship Grant or host a Whitman intern at your organization, click here or contact Assistant Director for Internship Programs Victoria Wolff

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