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Our blog now has a slightly different look and feel. That’s because we are writing about more topics! In addition to our product, HaystackCRM, Xtern Software has developed a content management system (CMS) called HarmonyB2B. It is powered by a database called CruxDB.

We are looking forward to writing more about Xtern Software, our products, our team, our culture, and life in Greensboro, North Carolina! Thanks for reading 🙂

[Xtern Software] Computer Literacy for Job Readiness

We recently kicked off our first semester teaching Computer Literacy for Job Readiness to members of the United Way Family Success Center. The center bundles services in one location to  remove barriers by offering childcare and transportation. 

At each center location, the United Way brings together partners across nonprofit, business and government sectors. Together, these partners offer services that focus on access to public support, education and career development, financial skills, health and wellness, and basic needs. 

The class we are offering is taught by different Xtern team members each semester. It aims to prepare Family Success Center members for a world that is increasingly reliant on technology. It also aims to teach concepts through the lens of job readiness so that students leave with an understanding of technology that is helpful for both  current and future jobs. 

This spring semester’s class is taught by Jay Stadler. Jay has experience with non-traditional education both as a student and teacher. He received his associate’s degree in culinary arts and worked as a chef for about a decade. When he eventually decided to switch careers, he attended GTCC for computer science, before transferring to UNCG to finish out his degree. He worked as a tutor at GTCC for 3 years, and is pleased to be able to find opportunities to teach again. 

Jay has been a member of the Xtern team for about a year, working as a Junior Developer. In this role, he is able to continue to develop his skills by working with more senior developers on the team. Kudos to Jay for taking the time to do this volunteer work as part of his role at Xtern! 

[Xtern Software] Our commitment to our craft

Building custom software is a craft. It requires vision, strategy, and creative solutions. Software developers take an amorphous problem and architect a solution.

Xtern’s eight software developers are interested in the evolution of software development. And they want to help the broader developer community advance the craft of software development. 

Evolution of PHP Governance

Recently, one of the foundational programming languages announced a change in its governance. PHP is a programming language “used by thousands of companies and millions of developers. In fact, it is Xtern’s main programming language. PHP powers more than 78% of all websites, including wikipedia.org and wordpress.com.”

Recently, the main PHP developer announced a change. He was leaving the project to focus on other endeavors. A collective of people and organizations stepped up to form the PHP Foundation. “The PHP Foundation will be a non-profit organization whose mission is to ensure the long life and prosperity of the PHP language.” And its priority in 2022 is to fund developers to work on the PHP core.  

PHP Foundation Donors

The foundation is supported by the following companies, as well as others:

Xtern joins the effort as a Supporter. We believe providing financial resources to advance the development of PHP enables our developers to continue to advance their work. This results in better product development for our customers. And it underscores the importance of continuous growth in both our work and in programming languages alike. 

[Meet the Team] CJ Woodberry

Xtern is delighted to host an intern this winter. CJ Woodberry is a junior at Dartmouth College, majoring in Computer Science. Because of Dartmouth’s unique quarter system, students are able to take a term off from classes during their sophomore or junior year. For his off term, he wanted to find an internship that would give him experience as a software developer. He wanted an internship where he would be able to write code. He also wanted to better understand what it is like to develop software in a professional environment.

CJ heard about Xtern Software from his aunt, Deb Zehner, who is the Director of Applied Research at Connected Commons, a client of Xtern’s. He had a few conversations over Zoom with the Xtern team. To CJ, Xtern seemed to have a friendly team, a great environment, and a diverse range of projects. Because of our company size and high level of collaboration, it also seemed like he would have more learning opportunities in his internship than elsewhere.

Projects for Xtern

CJ’s current project involves PHP. He is working on a PHP script that transfers data between databases. The scripts are already written, but he will be incorporating them into a Laravel framework. This will involve making some modifications to them, and creating commands to execute them. Then, he will eventually add some new functionality to the scripts. One example is making it so that every time the scripts are run, they will log whether or not any errors occurred.

Although CJ has enjoyed studying computer science in school and working on projects in classes, he had relatively limited experience coding outside of school. Through his internship with Xtern, he is working with a lot of technologies that are new to him, becoming more comfortable with them, and  enjoying learning these things.

We’re so glad that CJ has the chance to learn and grow with us this winter and we can’t wait to see where his education and training take him!