Hello world. My name is Benaja Sandrain (Ben) and I worked as an intern on the Innovation & Performance team. I started my internship while I was at North Seattle College and am now at Seattle University. I enjoy exploring ways to improve the system and helping people in getting the services they need as smoothly as possible; which is why I was so excited to work on Affordable Seattle with Expedia.
Technology is a passion of mine and I was first in line when I heard our team needed support to carry on the development of the Affordable Seattle website. Expedia developed a prototype that was a website with thousands of lines of code, multiple files, a ready structure waiting for content. Our job was to get all the department content into the website and make additional refinements to get the prototype into a working state. Alongside my co-intern Lindsey Wallace I oversaw the technical aspects of the portal. Studying Computer Science, I told myself that this was an important learning opportunity and challenge I should make most of.
I ran into many walls spending hours and hours attempting to make changes that didn’t always work. However, my efforts paid off, and one by one I was able to conquer these challenges and move forward.
Slowly getting the hang of it, I became faster and more comfortable changing the content of the site. Relying on my knowledge and my understanding of programming in general, I figured out how most of the pieces held together. By playing around with the tools, I became very confident with each of my actions.
More than a software tool, working on the portal knowing the why I was doing what I was doing and the range of people that the portal will be helping really kept me going. I am thankful for the learning experience and feel proud of being part of a project that will have such a great impact on the daily life of many people. I look forward to having people take advantage of the portal (combined with other city services) as it will be seen helpful at many levels.
Now that the portal is officially launched and transitioned into the City fabric, I am confident the new holder of this tool will do great things in continuing to nourish the portal. I am excited about the future vision of the portal and for myself, am looking forward to working on similarly impactful projects.