By Bashar Ghanem
I have applied as an intern at Siren with ambition in my mind and enthusiasm in my heart, and the expectations I had for the experience I will attain were exceeded by miles. Siren offered us a Significant Internship Reinforcing Eager Nationals in their journey for self-fulfillment and public engagement, and the person I am today, only after one month at this company, is looking behind, stunned, and wondering how he has achieved so much in so little time.
At Siren, it’s your personality and work ethics that matter, skills can be taught. I was assigned a project about database encryption which requires back-end knowledge utilizing technologies like Java, Spring Boot, and PostgreSQL databases. I was overwhelmed initially as I had no prior experience in any of the required technologies; however, with the unwavering support from my team leader, Mr. Roy Bou Hadir, and the collaborative environment that encourages teamwork and share of knowledge, I was able to finish half of my project requirements during the first month of my internship. Here at Siren, we are provided with facilities that harness innovation and creativity, an atmosphere that drives you to provide your fullest potentials. It incorporates the latest technologies in its operations and is in a continuous search to explore new emerging ones.
Siren considers every new technology a chance to embark on new adventures, and it sure doesn’t shy away from such chances; on the contrary, its team is among the firsts who try to utilize, efficiently deploy, and improve such technologies. In addition to that, Siren provided us with workshops in different areas; technical ones where we developed our knowledge in object-oriented design and blockchain for example, and non-technical ones where we learned about the public sector, its operations and different entities, and how we can help it develop, which has significantly changed my perspective about what’s happening in governmental organizations. I want to add that Siren ensures hosting a diverse workplace. We are different people, from different backgrounds and abilities, and from different geographical areas. It’s always exciting to meet new people within this company.
Regarding my duties throughout this internship, as I mentioned earlier, I was assigned a project regarding database encryption. This project will allow us to encrypt the data in the databases, and decrypt it only when we want to view the data, search through it, or extract some insights. Let’s take a small example to present the problem. When registering for the Covid vaccine, you have supplied some information when filling the form. These may have included your full name, phone number, email address, etc. Our database encryption project would encrypt the data before it reaches the database and transform it into gibberish text. Therefore, even if a corrupted database administrator wanted to exploit this data or even if someone stole the hardware on which the data is stored, only the gibberish form of the data would appear, which is useless and prevents exploitation of the data. Right now, I have successfully reached this milestone, and the only functionality left to be created and added is the ability to implement functions, like sorting the data for example, even if it’s stored in its encrypted form, and this will be my goal for the remainder of this internship. Moreover, regular meetings were held between me and the team leader and other experienced developers, to assist me in implementing this project, and I’m so proud of the outcome I was able to reach in such a short time.
My internship at Siren has been a very rewarding journey so far, through which I have learned a lot of new skills, met many innovative and remarkable people, and expanded my view of the corporate workplace and the public sector. I have never thought that I can change so much in just one month, and I’m highly excited about what’s coming next at Siren.