Silicon Halton TU20’s Summer Intern: Griffin Yacynuk

Griffin Yacynuk
Silicon Halton TU20’s Summer Intern: Griffin Yacynuk
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About the Author

Denys Linkov

Denys Linkov

Denys is a third year student at the University of Toronto studying computer science and employment relations. He started programming after getting bored of Lego in grade 9 and has worked on number of projects building web and mobile applications. He grew up in Oakville and currently leads Tech Under Twenty.

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We are continuing to share the stories of young people who found summer internships through the Silicon Halton Tech Under 20 (TU20) program. This week will cover Griffin Yacynuk and how he got involved in the TU20 program and landed a job for the summer. You can find the introductory article here.

Griffin Yacynuk tells his story

As a student, the thought of entering the modern work force can be overwhelming – especially if you plan on pursuing a career in the technology sector like myself. Barriers to entry in this industry are high, due to a competitive junior level job market saturated with skilled individuals. Tech Under 20 has given me the opportunity to develop employable skills and gain professional experience, as well as network with experienced developers in the computer science field. All in all, this has enabled me to stand out from the crowd, and gain footing in the industry. I now have a head start on my journey towards becoming a software developer.

I discovered my interest of computer science in the ninth grade. It wasn’t long after, that my “Hello World” programs quickly developed into much more, and my passion for computers was born. A “Hello World” program is exactly what it sounds like, you make the computer print hello world for you! It’s become a standard first program for coders, as it gets you writing code right away and introduces you to the programming world. You quickly realize that your “Hello World” program is just scratching the surface, to continue learning programming you must develop a genuine fascination. As my high school senior year came to a close, I was searching for a summer job where I’d be able to apply my knowledge of computer programming, as well as have the opportunity to learn in a working environment. That’s when I applied for a job posted by TU20, which was mentioned to me by my high school computer science teacher. The posting was looking for students with a flair for computer programming to build a web app for Silicon Halton. I applied and was ecstatic when I got the job.

I applied and was ecstatic when I got the job.

I worked as one of two backend web developers, writing the API (Application Programming Interface) for our project. You can think of an API as a way for programs to communicate with each other. An example is the Uber app using the Google Maps API to help map out where your driver is and where you are going. While working with the TU20 team, I learned so much about web development (a field which was completely foreign to me at the time), as well as project management methodologies such as the Agile methodology. The core take away I had from the Agile methodology was that it’s important to quickly build features in short cycles called sprints, this allows the team to constantly re-evaluate if they are building the right product. Working together with other highly motivated students was incredible, and the connections I made have resulted in lasting friendships. Furthermore, I became more involved in the Silicon Halton community, and began attending networking events which they hosted. It was there that I had the opportunity to socialize with professional software developers, and learn more about what it is like having a career in computer science. Throughout the course of the summer, the learning and the experience I gained was invaluable.

The skills, networking, and experience I gained from being a part of Tech Under 20 has given me a competitive advantage as I prepare to enter the modern job market.

Tech Under 20 has helped me to work towards achieving my personal goal of becoming a software developer. By surrounding me with a community of successful young adults which share my passion for technology, the organization has inspired me to push myself, and always keep learning. The work experience I gained from my employment with Silicon Halton has made me more marketable in the eyes of potential employers. This enabled me to gain a footing in the computer science industry, this year I was able to secure myself a co-op position working at the Royal Bank of Canada as a Technical Systems Analyst. In conclusion, the skills, networking, and experience I gained from being a part of Tech Under 20 has given me a competitive advantage as I prepare to enter the modern job market. Ultimately, it has taken me one step further along on my journey to becoming a software developer.


Silicon Halton TU20s Summer Internships stories:

Thank you for sharing your story Griffin Yacynuk! Look for our upcoming story next Monday!

Mohammed Eseifan – Embedded Systems Engineer Intern at Geotab

Mohammed – Embedded Systems Engineer Intern at Geotab

Griffin Yacynuk – Technical Systems Analyst Intern at RBC

Denys – Software Engineer Intern at Geotab

Ken – Website Designer/ IT support assistant at Halton Industry Education Council (HIEC)

Celine- Media Assistant at Halton Industry Education Council (HIEC)

Vikram – Web developer Intern at View IT

Silicon Halton TU20

Since it’s founding in 2009, Silicon Halton has brought together over 1400+ members, hosting 90+ events. Cofounded by Chris Herbert, Rick Stomphorst and Reema Duggal, Silicon Halton is going strong 8 years later.

In 2015, Silicon Halton had its first TU20 event called: “Developing Talent, Discovering Opportunities”. Since then, TU20 have hosted a number of programs and in school activities, for more information you can visit our website.


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