Talveen Gadhri, BC Ambassador
On July 8th, I had the honour of attending a coding workshop hosted by SAP, a multinational corporation that is proud to make leading enterprise software. Thanks to Vivek, the chair of Science Expo BC and an intern at SAP Vancouver, as well as the Science Expo team, the “Intro to Web Apps” workshop was made available for all the BC ambassadors. The “Intro to Web Apps” workshop was truly AMAZING and an AWESOME learning experience. As an avid programmer, I was able to leave the workshop with not one, but a number of new skills, as well as new knowledge.
What did we (the ambassadors) do at the workshop? To start off, the staff and volunteers were extremely helpful and kind throughout the entire workshop. The day started off with a basic and brief overview of HTML coding, including the main tags present in a HTML document, presented by a SAP volunteer. Next up, we were all introduced to databases, and learned to use SQL (completely new to me) to talk to the database. This was my favourite part because I learned something new that I could take from the workshop with me!
Using the acronym “CRUD” (Create, Update, Read, and Delete), all of the ambassadors inserted their first name, last name, age, and favourite colour into their own database, to have it stored for later (Create). Once that was done, we were instructed to add other ambassadors into our databases as well (Update). Once we had around 5 people in each of our own databases, we were able to use SQL to read our data (Read). In other words, we were able to search up the number of people who are younger than 16 or like the colour red, or have the last name out of the ones that we had in our database. We then learned how to remove people from our databases (Delete)
We were later introduced to data visualization and the star of the show, Lumira, SAP’s own data visualization software! After the tour of Lumira’s features and ability of creating astounding data visualization graphs and maps, the volunteers at SAP took the BC ambassadors team for a truly exclusive tour of SAP’s Vancouver office. We started off by entering the lobby and moved our way into the basement. We were introduced to a large number (no way I could count them all) servers situated in their own secured cabinets. One of our tour guides told us that each box/server was worth $250 000. $250 000 for one box! With all these servers, there are wires going here and there. The wires had been strategically bound up and placed along other bundles across the ceiling and walls which kept the place much more organized and neat. Our tour guides told us that there was also air-conditioning in the basement to prevent the servers from becoming overheated.
After the basement portion of our tour, we got to know a bit about the facilities available to employees at the office. For one, they had a “bike room”, where employees could safely lock up their bikes that they came to work on, or even rent a bike during the time they were on their break for a quick ride down the street. SAP Vancouver also had a mini gym in their office, where employees could take a break to break a sweat. In addition, SAP Vancouver also has a garden team! When employees aren’t behind a computer screen or drinking coffee, they might just be in the garden. They grow everything from herbs to potatoes. When it’s harvest time, all the employees have the privilege of taking home their dream tomato, carrot, radish, or some other vegetable!
We were moved into the cubicles of the office. The walls on the floor had writable and erasable walls! We were also told that the floors were given a theme, which is part of the renovation of the office. The top most floor is known as the “sky” (made up of names of trees and leaves), the second/middle floor is the “sea” or “ocean” (made up of names of sea creatures), and the bottom floor is the “land”. Therefore, the whole building was organized by names like “otter” and names of leaves which correspond to the rooms on a floor. For example, “otter” is a name that would be on a door on the second floor. That concluded our tour, which I found to be the most exciting part of the workshop. The tour allowed the ambassadors and me to see the office through the eyes of a new employee. If I worked at SAP, I would definitely love all the amenities available, as well as the friendly atmosphere of the magnificent office!
All in all, sadly, the time wrapped up our tour and workshop. But on the bright side (hey, I’m a positive person), I surely had a great time, and I’m more than a gazillion percent sure that all the other BC ambassadors had an awesome time as well. After this workshop, I can’t wait for the next workshops which I’m sure will be just as impressive and enjoyable, if not more, as SAP Vancouver’s “Intro to Web Apps” workshop!