It is essential that MCIT Online students showcase their technical abilities to future employers as well as transferable skills from past academic and professional experiences. Side projects are a reliable way for employers to assess technical abilities, time management, enthusiasm, and creativity.
This year, Penn Engineering Online partnered with Amazon Web Services (AWS) once again to engage students in the SPARC competition. Students gained exposure to a top-tier tech company through a summer-long program supported by industry software development managers from AWS.
With SPARC 2023, MCIT Online students worked collaboratively in teams to solve a real-world AWS engineering problem over the course of the summer. Final projects were judged by volunteers from the Executives in Residence Program. The winning team members received $500 each, provided by AWS.
“My most cherished aspect of the competition was the invaluable opportunity to work on a full-stack project from scratch. It involved an enriching journey of discovering and harnessing various resources, tutorials, and documentation crucial for project development. Additionally, I deeply enjoyed delving into the trending realm of cloud-based, server-less services and actively participating in the implementation.”
“The main challenge was that none of us had experience with AWS before, so we all needed to research and learn from zero about how each building block works, how they connect with each other, and how we could efficiently work with them.”
“SPARC is a full set of software engineering experiences … from familiarizing with existing tools, brainstorming ideas, drawing flowcharts to programming/implementations, QA testings and demonstrations. This enabled me to know behind the scenes [of software engineering].”
Each student passed and completed at least four core classes by the end of the Spring 2023 semester:
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1. Participants completed the Real World Cloud Product Management Specialization
2. Participants passed the AWS Cloud Certification exam
Final projects included a technical design doc and video demo no longer than 15 minutes.
The Executives in Residence judged all final student submissions and collaborated to choose a winner.
The members of the winning team won $500 each.