Co-ops Making an Impact

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coopArticleThe IBM jStart team’s unique mission within IBM is to leverage emerging technologies to address real and current business needs of our clients. Arguably, many of us feel that we have some of best jobs within the company.  Rod Smith, our fearless leader, likes to say that we are the headlights into the next set of technology solutions for IBM’s clients.

Co-ops Join in the Fun

Every year, the jStart team hires co-ops to join our team.   We give them opportunities to learn what it’s like to be a professional software engineer and expose them to new technologies that are not often taught as part of their undergraduate college course offerings. For example, this year’s co-ops have used technologies such as Bluemix, Docker, Spark and iPython Notebooks.   A key differentiator of our program from other internship programs is that we provide co-ops opportunities to create real-world solutions for internal or external customers.   Instead of just reading tutorials or executing tests, our co-ops get a chance to create novel applications or services that have a direct impact to our clients.


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Startup mode

Our jStart team is run like a startup–we make decisions that can significantly impact the way we approach technology every day. Because many of our projects have short duration, interns get to participate and contribute throughout the iterative software development cycle: idea, concept, design, development, test, deployment, and customer feedback.


Technology Shepherds

Our jStart team constantly looks to discover opportunity gaps in which we identify the right technologies to address that gap, execute on creating a solution, and then shepherding that technology through an adoption process. Basically my team is the R&D arm of jStart, supplementing our customer engagements. Our team participates in both pre and post engagement meetings with the customer, which gives us the ability to look for functional gaps where there are innovation opportunities…especially if those opportunities are cross functional.

Knowledge Sharing

Another point of emphasis is that we share the information we learn with others both inside the team and externally.   For example, each co-op that is currently working on our team this summer has written one or more blog articles on a technology.

Take a look at the some of blog articles written by our co-ops:

Join Us

If you are interested in becoming an intern with the jStart team and want more information about our internship program, please visit our Internship Page.


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John Feller

John Feller

Senior Software Engineer Manager at IBM
John Feller is the manager of the IBM jStart Emerging Technologies development team. He manages a creative and energetic team of developers that architect, design, and develop innovative solutions focused on emerging internet software technologies and creating solutions with tangible benefit to jStart's clients. John and his team also validates these technologies in the real world with customer use cases, technology evaluations with customers, and works with IBM product teams for integration of those technologies into the IBM portfolio.
John Feller
John Feller

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