Creating a Pipeline for PBUCC’s Back-End Systems

By Jason Vail

As a returning software development intern in the IT department, I embarked on my summer internship at the Pension Boards-United Church of Christ (PBUCC) with high expectations for the projects and activities planned ahead for me. 

Last summer, I developed a web application for the Member Services’ team that enabled staff to quickly perform complex searches and maintenance for client information in a database of over 22,000 records. Additionally, I worked on several other technological projects that, altogether, provided for an amazing learning experience. This summer complimented that experience by challenging me even further.

By the second week of the internship, I was immersed in a back-end development project that affected almost every facet of the firm. I developed a pipeline that fed data from the online billing portal on the PBUCC website directly to our third-party data vendor, and from the vendor back to the portal. This project was not only critical to optimizing operations at the firm but also to the development of the online billing portal for PBUCC members, which depended upon the functionality provided by this back-end pipeline. I was grateful and honored to be assigned such an impactful project.

After starting this project, I quickly came to realize the amount of learning and exploration required. While I was fluent in the programming languages and tools that were ideal for the job, I had to spend several days reviewing legacy code and learning the database schema. My experience working on this project taught me that coding is easy, and learning unique system architectures and analyzing system designs to extract information, is challenging.

My experience at the Pension Boards this summer enabled me to harness my analytical and programming skills, and connect with talented developers, making this summer unforgettable.