Internship Retrospective: Copperleaf Technologies

22 Jun 2019

I’m currently doing my third internship, and it has only just occurred to me that it might be interesting if I wrote some personal reflections on each. Here is the first.

Copperleaf Technologies (Jan - Apr 2017)

Copperleaf is a software company headquartered in Vancouver, BC. This was my first co-op. Yes, I am using the terms “co-op” and “internship” interchangeably.

At the time I did my co-op there, Copperleaf had just broken the 100-person mark. They are now over 200 and still hiring pretty fast.

I worked on Copperleaf’s main product, C55, a traditional enterprise product aimed primarily at utilities companies, or companies that otherwise have large amounts of industrial assets whose lifecycles need careful management.

Something I enjoyed about working at Copperleaf was how integrated my work was with the full-timers’. I pulled tickets from the backlog, sometimes working them out on my own (asking for help when needed), sometimes partnering with a full-timer on tasks. As I completed tasks, my work was merged into the main product and eventually shipped out in the quarterly release cycle. There was no central project or theme to my internship.

I also really liked my coworkers. They were laid back and had a lot of patience for my bumbling questions and mistakes. I couldn’t have asked for a more supportive environment for a first internship.

Finally, I liked that Copperleaf was an active member of the BC and Vancouver tech communities, often sponsoring and appearing at events to promote local business and tech. Many of their company events were community oriented, such as helping pick up trash from the waterfront on Earth Day.

After a few weeks at Copperleaf, I began to feel that the work environment was a little too chilled out. I thought I could handle more pressure than my boss and teammates were offering. So, I decided to look for a faster paced environment for my next internship.

Cool stuff I did at Copperleaf:

  • Traversed the software stack and touched a little of everything: working with a SQL database, web backend in C#, front end in TypeScript and Angular, even a tiny bit of SASS.
  • Got to attend a fancy awards ceremony with the CEO.
  • Implemented single-sign on using SAML and gave a presentation about it at one of the weekly developer all-hands meetings.

I would (and have!) wholeheartedly recommend Copperleaf to budding software developers, especially for a first internship. I had great coworkers, learned a lot about practical software development, and had fun.