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Tiana Warner
Technical content marketing at Safe Software
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About FME    |   January 10, 2017   |   By Tiana Warner

A Culture Built on Fun: My Co-Op Term at Safe Software

Blog by Marinah Zhao, Safe Software co-op

Co-op students have been an integral part of Safe Software for over 20 years, contributing to core FME technology and often returning as full-time software developers. Today we welcome Marinah Zhao to the blog, a fourth year engineering student at UBC. Marinah was a valuable member of our FME Server team in Fall 2016.


I had heard from some classmates that working at Safe Software was a great experience, and my time at Safe has been that and more. When we first arrived, Safe Software took the time to give us a week-long training of Safe products and development tools. The co-op students were able to bond through the training and I made lasting friendships throughout the term and beyond.

At Safe Software, the co-ops are treated like the full-time employees with all the benefits, responsibilities and importance to the company. My team lead taught me to research best practices before diving into development, and all the developers were friendly and approachable with any problems I had. By the end of my term, I learned how to solve problems on my own. I learned Javascript which has helped me in my personal projects and my future career as a developer. I also learned software development workflows between the front-end and back-end team, how to create well written code, and more importantly, sharing knowledge within a company. The projects at Safe are all varied and there is tons to learn at this company, from databases to C++, Java, Javascript, and Python.

Safe Software really cares about its employees and how to make our experience the best it can be. They wanted to nurture our personal development and technical skills. We were given the opportunity to create a Lunch and Learn for the company and develop our public speaking skills. I really enjoyed giving my presentation on Cryptography and Lunch & Learns often became a discussion to learn new things. Attending Lunch & Learns such as Using Types Effectively in C++ gave me insight on the latest best practices that would make us into better developers. There is also a budget to attend Technical Workshops of our choice to improve our technical skills. There is continuous improvement at Safe Software in our development process and you are encouraged to provide input in many aspects of the company.

Safe Software has created a company culture built on fun and allows its employees to create our own company bonding experiences. One of my favourite things at Safe Software is lunchtime soccer. We played two to three times a week. I also took yoga classes at Safe’s own in-house gym. In addition, we often played foosball and the co-ops organized to go laser-tagging and skiing! Not to mention, Safe is big on holiday celebrations.

I developed new programming skills that will further my development as a software engineer, and in addition, I had a lot of fun at Safe Software. I would recommend an internship at Safe Software to any co-op.


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