Intern Insight: A crash course on feasibility testing with OBASHI

IH Intern and recent MSci Computing Science graduate Tom Wallis is currently interning with OBASHI Technology

“OBASHI — the company I’ve spent my summer with as a software engineer doing feasibility testing — are currently working out the different technologies they’ll require for a new product. Today, the CTO put a diagram on the office wall, with a myriad of different technologies which they’ll need to find new recruits to develop with.

The list came as a surprise: not because there was anything unknown on the list, but because there wasn’t. As a part of the feasibility testing effort at OBASHI this summer, I have had to learn and test every one of the technologies they are considering — and that list was both large and familiar.

Feasibility testing is the process of working out what we can and can’t accomplish. In different industries, this might take different forms: some industries have to focus on what’s possible within certain legal bounds; others might explore financially viable avenues; my work at OBASHI focuses on what’s technologically possible. As a result, I’ve been required to learn about the entirety of the architecture of the product they’re building, and understand how every different technology can work in concert with others to make the best possible whole.

tom Wallis

Developing that understanding requires first knowing what the nuances of the product’s different components are. The website technologies, network architectures, programming languages, communication systems, databases and more are all elements which must be chosen based on which technologies in each category pair well with others. Each category has its own nuances and complications; performing feasibility testing at OBASHI means developing an understanding of this entire collection of technologies, and how they relate.

While the work has proven complex, it is also incredibly rewarding. Every day, the team produce tests for an exciting new technology, and see how far it can be pushed until it finally breaks — pushed in performance, pushed in its relationship with other technologies already tested, and pushed in its capabilities as a web server, database, etcetera. The scope of the work means I rely on knowledge from all sorts of computing science courses, and the practical work helps to understand how the different courses tie together, both in theory and in the real world.

Software development internships often involve building a component of a component of a large product. At OBASHI, the internship has involved constructing and testing many small components of an emerging product. Our ability to research those components, and for that research to have a material influence on the final product, is incredibly rewarding; I’m enjoying my last few weeks, in what has become a crash course on feasibility testing.”

Tom is one of two interns that OBASHI hired via the Internship Hub this year. Here is what CEO Fergus Cloughley had to say about the experience:

“This experience has been of great benefit to OBASHI Technology Ltd. It has brought highly capable and motivated individuals into the work place with fresh thinking and added new perspectives to our project.

They have been keen to learn then latest technologies and push themselves to the limit. The enthusiasm to learn from both interns has been fantastic.”

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