The Rivers School
Amanda Freeman '23 & Stephen Mortarelli '23: Bullhorn
This summer, we were given the opportunity to intern at Bullhorn, based in Boston, MA, as software developers. Bullhorn provides software for many aspects of staffing such as recruitment, job placement, managing pay, etc. Their two main products are their customer relationship management (CRM) software and their applicant tracking system (ATS) software. Bullhorn’s products help streamline and automate these processes for companies, saving them money and time.
During our time at Bullhorn, we worked on the Builders team which was made up of all new, entry-level, developers in addition to our manager Charles Thompson, our product owner Michael Amaya, and our scrum master Adam Crowe. The three of them were integral in guiding us through all our tasks and jobs. Although we worked remotely, we worked with our team everyday, built relationships, and learned from each other. We also are going to meet the whole Builders team later in the summer as Bullhorn is flying them into the Boston office!
In terms of daily life, we had lots of independence. Every morning, we had a zoom called Standup where our team talked about their specific tasks and how their progress was coming along. The specific tasks we had were posted on a Jira board. A Jira board is a way of keeping track of everyone's progress. The board consists of tickets, which are little post-it-notes that have a specific coding task. An individual can see these tasks and assign them to themselves. Then you move the ticket to the in-progress column to let everyone know you are taking ownership of it. This way, nobody is working on the same exact task, preventing conflicts in the code.
After standup, we had a zoom called "Charles’ Fireside Chat", where we discussed everything from coding techniques and configurations to troubleshooting and bugs. These meetings were great to ask an experienced person about any problems we might be having. We also had an end-of-day check-in with the rest of our team. This was a relaxed environment to ask a peer about how they are approaching a project, how their day was, etc.
Those were our three daily zooms, but we also had many other meetings scheduled as needed. We often had check-in meetings with Michael and Adam. Their jobs focus on the overall vision of the project. Adam, the Scrum Master, helped us plan and problem-solve, and Michael, the Product Owner, created the tickets and handed out work to the developers.
We were assigned the Translation Automation project. The project’s goal was to automate a set of tasks to translate text that appears in Bullhorn’s software, which previously had to be completed manually by developers, taking up precious time and money. Since Bullhorn’s applications are used by many companies all over the world, there are also many languages that the software must support. For example, if a developer adds a button or an error message in English, someone else is going to need it in Dutch, French, Spanish, etc.
We had to create a program that would gather all of the additions and changes to code files across different areas of Bullhorn, format these changes into separate files, zip them up, and send them to a third-party company. The company would then have one of their human translators accurately translate our text into a multitude of languages. Before our project, a developer would have to manually check thirteen different repositories of code, compare two different versions of each repository, and then would send off the entire file if there were any changes, leaving a lot of room for human error and taking a lot of unnecessary time.
The second part of the project was creating a program that would take the language files they sent back to us, figure out where all the code went, and create a merge request to merge the lines back into production code. Although we were able to explain how the program worked in just a few sentences, it took us weeks of research, coding, and bug fixing in order to create the program we have now. In our final product, a product owner is able to click a single button that will then provide them with the zip file with all the text that needs to be translated. They will then be able to click another button that will facilitate putting the code back into production code once we get the files back. Our project is a great example of the power of automation because the Translation Automation project has the ability to save Bullhorn time and money and make the lives of multiple employees easier.
Another great opportunity we had, in addition to our project, was the ability to meet with people one-on-one in different positions in the company. We learned about the many roles in the organization and the different career paths taken by different people. The meetings allowed us to see the different types of jobs we could go into if we studied computer science in college such as software developer, a quality assurance role, or a project manager. It also allowed us to ask any questions we had about our work, Bullhorn, jobs, etc, and we left the career conversations with a lot of helpful advice. After having a few of these calls, it was apparent that Bullhorn has a great atmosphere that encourages people to work together and help others while also prioritizing happiness and what matters most.
Thank you so much to everyone at Bullhorn, Charles Thompson, Mr. Schlenker, and everyone who allowed us to have this amazing experience at Bullhorn this summer.