Student blog: Benjamin Parment

As part of our talent and product development programme we’ve been running a series of events and work placements over the summer. Benjamin took part in our Code Sprint last month and is now working with us on a placement for his MSc in Computing at Edinburgh Napier University… here’s his blog on his time at Wallscope so far!

During my studies I have mainly focused on object-oriented programming and this work placement has allowed me to further my skills using different APIs which I had never looked at before (Apache Spark and Google Drive RESTful API). 

After meeting Ian, David and Antero at CodeBase, they told me about an interesting project that I could take on. The whole point of the dissertation is to develop your current skills and this project was an opportunity to do exactly that. 

At Wallscope I was asked to create a data connector between Wallscope’s Data Foundry (a software application that reads electronic documents) and a Google Drive data source. This would allow us to plug the Data Foundry into the Wallscope drive and discover and read documents.

I did this using the Drive RESTful API in combination with the Java library. Since Wallscope already had a connector to a local file system, my main task was to create a class extending the original datasource abstract class and override each method within it.

During my time here, I’ve enjoyed going to the office since the atmosphere is very relaxed. The most challenging part of the project was to understand initially how the data connector was supposed to work as I had no prior knowledge of this. 

Working at Wallscope has shown me how Big Data is a subject that is becoming more and more important for companies, therefore learning more about Spark and how it works will be my first go-to subject after this placement. 

Once my MSc is over, I am hoping to get a graduate job in software engineering! Working for a company is definitely a good idea for a dissertation project, it will teach you a lot in a very short amount of time. The employees around you have a lot of knowledge they are willing to share (that is if they are not busy!).
 

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Wallscope's Data Foundry reads electronic documents, such as Word, PDF, CSV, XLS, and streaming data sources. It represents this knowledge in a machine-readable way, creating an Enterprise Knowledge Graph. 

Benjamin Parment