It Just Happened

By Josh Bazil

Josh Bazil

I never would have thought that I would be a part of something as unique as Create Caribbean. I initially enrolled in college with the hopes of getting a job somewhere in the I.T. sector after pursuing a degree in Computer Science. And for the first year I stuck to that plan, giving it my all in each of my classes, especially programming, and then eventually enrolling in the Center of Excellence program when it debuted. Somehow along the way, Create became a part of my college journey and later developed into an experience of its own.

The story of how I became an intern at Create is an interesting one, to me at least. My fellow Create intern and high-school upperclassman Alisha suggested that I should apply for the task of working on the school website. I was hesitant at first, however after a quick boost to my ego and a reminder of all the projects I’ve worked on before, she lead me to the office of the Registrar. This would be my first interaction with Dr. Esprit. We seemed to hit it off after I suggested a solution for a minor error on her website. The interview was more of a haphazard conversation, with rapid exchanging of ideas and technical terms. I tried to market myself as a valuable asset, listing every programming language that I knew and every technical skill that I possessed. Dr. Esprit then asked me if I would like to join Create, to which I replied “I have a proposition for you”, not understanding that I was being asked to become one of her interns. The feeling was akin to a small startup being acquired by a huge conglomerate, similar to when Android was acquired by Google, except on a way smaller scale and millions of dollars were not on the table. I was then told to report to the next Create Caribbean meeting the following Thursday.

Although my time at Create Caribbean has been short, I’ve enjoyed every moment of it. I started off only doing small tasks like logos and a WordPress website. Gradually I was given greater tasks to do such as learning new programming languages to discuss with Dr. Esprit and being assigned to weekend sessions that we hold for prospective Create Caribbean interns. I was also very reserved when around the other interns and used to be lost during meetings, however I’m growing to be more interactive with them and getting more in tune with our goals. Our supervisor Dr. Esprit is a lady that I hold in high regards and I’m thankful to her for allowing me to join her group. Under her guidance I’ve been able to learn many new things, interact with the other interns whom I maybe would not have met otherwise and exchange ideas and knowledge. I’ve also somewhat been given a label of the guy who breaks things, although that is yet to be proven. I believe it stems from my curious nature when it comes to computers. An example of my most recent action which may have contributed to this includes when I dual booted some computers in the lab with Windows and various distributions of Linux for fun and out of curiosity for the platform. I was soon found out.

The project that I’ve currently been assigned is to create a dynamic map system as an alternative to the current system of Neatline and Omeka as a part of the Carisealand Project. Its progressing well thus far as I have a small prototype that runs on PHP and JavaScript and utilizes the Google Maps API. My idea is to use PHP and MySQL to create a database of markers, areas and custom location based data that will be reflected on the map visually. The database will be made editable through an administrator dashboard that is accessible to the other interns and also has a PHP backend. The style is based off of Google Material Design principles and the layout supposed to be responsive on both desktop and mobile platforms. The web application builds upon the Google Maps API by adding animation, custom navigation tools and support for relevant data inserted by the other interns. It’s far from done and a suitable name is yet to be determined.

I plan to make the most of my time as a Create Caribbean intern and to continue learning from my peers and supervisor. I’ve acknowledged that I still have a long way to go and much to learn, and that Create is the place to aid in that growth. In the words of the late Stephen Hawking; “However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.” I hope that my contributions as a Create Caribbean intern, despite how small, will help make difference and further our cause.

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