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MultiPlan Internship

Role: Software Engineering Intern
Team: Application & System Development
Location: New York, NY (HQ)
Tools: Angular, React, HTML/CSS

Premise

Developed internal Business Process Management application to improve network operational workflows.

Problem

MultiPlan is a tech company in the healthcare space, providing customized healthcare cost management solutions to improve payment accuracy to reduce the cost of care.

The firm is very open to adopting new technology and believes in first starting out on a small scale to test the feasibility and then plan out how in the future the same could be beneficial. An example of such an adoption is with blockchain. The firm is heavily invested in trying how and where the power of blockchain can be leveraged across the organization to help them share data in a secure manner to make the data quality better. Even in terms of languages and frameworks, there is a lot of migration of old legacy applications to what is new in the industry. There is also a huge focus on trying to move from using enterprise wide software packages offered in the market to proprietary tools in order to customize as much as possible to meet the business needs of the stakeholders.

My intern project is a perfect example of this move. The original software being used for Business Process Management (BPM) was one offered by Oracle. I used Angular to build an in-house front end for the BPM web application to be able to add new functionalities to meet business requirements. In terms of Software Development Life Cycle methodologies, there was a huge shift the firm was undergoing to move from the Waterfall method to Agile.

Frontend SWE

As a Frontend SWE Intern, I worked at the cross section of design and technology.

A Frontend Engineer works on a hybrid of UX Design and technology. They act as a bridge between UX Designers and Software Developers, thinking about design decisions as well as implementation details. Within the Frontend Engineering realm, there are two focuses: a developer focus and a designer focus. I sat at the developer focus and much of my work was prototyping the Business Process Management application.

I partnered with backend engineers to define and deliver new features, translate concepts into living, breathing prototypes, and iterate on details to deliver the perfect experience. I built the user interface elements of a web application and focused on the look and feel of the site, along with its functionality. Frontend engineering allows me to operate in this intersection of creative and technical skills.

Understand

I was fortunate to have a lot of self direction with my intern project, so I began my work by really understanding the firm's needs and team vision.

My intern project involved migrating its Business Process Management application which was originally built on an Oracle purchased product which does not offer customization of the user interface.

The purpose of the BPM project is to manage and monitor the status of various projects and create a virtual space where project managers and scrum masters can assign tasks and deadlines to engineers on their team. However, the business requirements for this application have grown beyond the capabilities of the Oracle BPM suite and since the software is not customizable, it was essential to develop an application that better suits the company's needs.

After scraping through documentation of different proposals, I gained a better understanding of the task at hand and a game plan for my project.

Research

I spent a lot of time analyzing the current BPM system, evaluating the platform's shortcomings and drawbacks.

In order to begin redesigning and developing the application, I spent time analyzing the current system built with the Oracle Business Process Management suite. Through my analysis, I realized that when MultiPlan made the shift from FileBase to OnBase systems over fifteen years ago, the Oracle BPM suite would have felt like the best solution as it could be used organization-wide.

I also conducted usability tests to determine unintuitive flows and formulate a more efficient and well-designed user interface and experience.

Develop

I took full ownership of developing the user interface and experience of the application, and I produced multiple different iterations.

Developing the front-end of the BPM application was a process. Prior to my internship, I did not have much experience with web-development and my project was a great opportunity to build my skillset and learn about designing user interfaces. On the technical front, I learned Angular and JavaScript while developing the new system and gained exposure to using RESTful APIs.

I was also exposed to various Software Development methodologies as I was working at MultiPlan when they were making this huge shift from the Waterfall model to Agile. I learned about the benefits of following the Agile methodology over the traditional Waterfall approach. Waterfall is a linear approach to software development that follows a sequence of events including gathering and discovering information, planning and setting up requirements, building, and testing. Each of these represents a distinct stage of software development and each stage generally finishes before the next one can begin. Meanwhile, Agile is an iterative, team-based approach to development which operates in sprints with a running a list of deliverables.

My team followed the Agile model with each sprint lasting 2-3 weeks. This approach helped drive development to be more user-focused and allowed me to more quickly produce a basic version of working software which could be built upon in successive iterations. This approach, in comparision to the Waterfall methodology, allowed my team to be more efficient and productive, overall saving the company much cost and time.

Secondary Project

I also worked on a secondary project, where I evaluated four JavaScript frameworks and provided recommendations on which to use for future applications.

In addition to my primary intern project, I worked with 8 software engineers to determine which JavaScript framework would be most suitable for future projects. MultiPlan was undergoing a migration of old legacy applications to more modern and current technologies and one area they were specifically looking to update was a framework for front-end development.

The goal of my project was to evaluate 4 JavaScript frameworks (Angular, React, VueJS, and Inferno) and give recommendations to the Director of Application Development and the VP and SVP of Information Technology on the primary framework that MultiPlan should use to build and maintain the front-end of applications. We wanted to pick a framework that allowed developers to perform rapid development and would solve conventional JavaScript, HTML, and CSS issues.

I worked with another software engineer to build a prototype in React. Every week, I attended team meetings where each team shared their status and the benefits and drawbacks to their framework. After all concepts were completed by the deadline, we presented our final demos and collectively decided that Angular was the best fit for MultiPlan's needs. Angular is great for big projects that are shared over multiple teams and, in my opinion, is more organized and structured.

Reflection

I am beyond grateful for this internship experience. It was incredibly humbling to get to learn from and work with such supportive individuals.

I was initially intimidated to be working as a Software Engineering Intern in New York City. Given my lack of prior work experience, I was unsure of what the summer would hold.

My sole goal for summer 2018 was to learn as much as I possible could. I found great support in my mentors who guided me through the summer and showed me that I could achieve any and all goals I set out. While I have always been certain about my interest in computer science, this summer really sparked my passion for tech and my quest to expand my technology stack and continue my journey of learning.

My summer at MultiPlan was the perfect freshman summer internship experience. The culture and vibe was professional, but also social and supportive. At least once a week, I had the opportunity to catch up with the director of my vertical, where I not only got to interact with him about the progress with my intern project, but also get advice and support on my college education and future career plans.

During the final week of my internship, I presented all my work from the summer, including my Business Process Management application and Proof of Concept, to the senior management. That presentation allowed me to realize and acknowledge that I had truly made the most out of my internship experience and grown so much as an individual. I am humbled and extremely grateful for my summer at MultiPlan.

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