• The Rivers School

Cole Pierson '23: Jackpine Technologies

This summer I was granted the opportunity to work at Jackpine Technologies in Maynard, a computer science company that specializes in simplifying the connection between a user’s software and the cloud. It sounds complicated, and I don’t fully understand it myself, but with the help of all the developers on the team and my classmate Andrew Young, I learned way more than I thought I could have in a summer.

The first project Andrew and I were assigned was to create these little things called “Zaps” that automate a notification system. The company uses hundreds of other companies’ products to execute their own product (called cons3rt) with maximum efficiency, so Andrew and I created these Zaps that search through the web looking for new updates in any of these products. When our code or our Zap finds a new update, the Zap will instantly send a message to the company’s “third party-integrations” channel on Slack, an app very similar to Discord. We made 55 Zaps in total, each searching for their own company. These are some of those Zaps:

I also became familiar with something that every computer scientist needs to know about: the Terminal. The Terminal is an intimidating part of the computer that everyone owns and only a few people use. My Terminal looks like this:

In the Terminal, you can only use specific commands to get your computer to do what you want it to do, otherwise it won’t understand. I needed to become familiar with navigating the terminal to comfortably work on the next project I was assigned: GitLab. GitLab is an app that Jackpine uses frequently to write code and communicate with the rest of the team members what updates they’re making to the code and why those updates were needed. This is an example of one of the Zap’s code:

The next couple weeks were spent on a new project: creating a GitLab project to store the Slack bot, Dr. Hibbert, that Andrew created. Andrew and I needed to find a way to schedule this bot to trigger once every day only on the weekdays, so I had to use something called Crontab and code up a scheduled trigger in python and my Terminal. Dr. Hibbert was created in order to search through the code that the company produces and find errors, then when the errors are found, it ranks the errors from highest to lowest priority, then sends a message to the company about which errors they need to fix, where to find them, and the severity of the error.

I am extremely grateful for Jackpine and Peter Walsh for opening up this opportunity for me, and Mr. Schlenker for letting me give it a try. I’ve really enjoyed Computer Science so far, and can’t wait to explore it further this year and in college as well.