A day in the life of Wellframe’s engineering co-ops
By Angelina Shalupova, Danny Tran, and Brian Yang
Wellframe has continually expanded its co-op program since it began in 2018. The Fall 2021 cycle welcomed 12 engineering co-ops—the most that the company had to date! But what exactly is a co-op and how does the program work?
Rather than taking another semester of classes, students can learn more about jobs related to their majors by getting hands-on experience. Here at Wellframe, co-ops are treated just like full-time employees and gain skills they wouldn’t necessarily get from traditional classes. Nine engineering co-ops shared their experiences with us:
Get to know our engineering co-ops
Major: Computer science major and math minor
Graduation year: 5th year, graduating spring 2022
Co-op at Wellframe: Wellframe is my 3rd and last co-op
What drew me to Wellframe: I got a sense of how the engineering team values collaboration and teamwork, which was what I was looking for. I also wanted to try out a full stack engineering role and work for a company that impacts the healthcare industry.
First thing I do on a workday: I usually make an avocado toast with a sunny side up egg, if I work from home. If I’m in the office, I usually grab breakfast from the kitchen.
Hobbies: When I’m not working, I really enjoy reading. My friends and I started a book club which has been very fun. I also like watching bad reality TV shows.
Major: Computer science major
Graduation year: 4th year, graduating Spring 2022
Co-op at Wellframe: Wellframe is my 2nd co-op. I was previously a software engineer co-op working on an embedded device.
What drew me to Wellframe: The job description caught my eye because it was very inviting. As opposed to listing various technical requirements, Wellframe emphasized more what the company stands for and that they’re looking for someone who wants to embody that culture. It really showed that they prioritized compassion and a sense of community when looking for a candidate, which is very in line with the product.
First thing I do on a workday: Listen to an album or playlist while commuting or while working from home. A favorite to listen to before work is Waking Up by Kero Kero Bonito.
Hobbies: I like picking up different hobbies. In the past year, I got into digital art and music production, and I’ve always been into video games. I’m on the league team at school. I’ve been learning to cook recently as well. I’m in Sandbox at Northeastern which is a student-led software consulting club. We’re currently working on the office hours app for Khoury College of Computer Science.
Major: Computer science with concentration in human-centered computing and minor in Human Communication
Graduation year: 5th year, graduating spring 2022
Co-op at Wellframe: Wellframe is my 3rd co-op. I did an IT co-op at a finance company in Boston and a software engineering global co-op at a tech manufacturing company in Singapore.
What drew me to Wellframe: I saw Wellframe was a tech company operating in the healthcare industry and I liked that the product helps connect patients with care managers, which is very meaningful. Interviewing with team members and my manager gave me a really good feeling about the people and culture of the company. When I was offered the co-op position, it was a no-brainer for me to accept it.
First thing I do on a workday: I put my lunch in the fridge, get a full cup of cold brew with a packet of Stevia, and go back to my desk to check my emails and Slack messages.
Hobbies: I enjoy cooking a lot so every night after work I try to make something, even if it’s as small as a Korean rice cake soup or as complex as a traditional Vietnamese meal with three different dishes. It’s a way for me to destress and spend time with my roommates. I also dabble a little bit in music production.
Major: Computer science and math combined major
Graduation year: 3rd year, graduating in 2023
Co-op at Wellframe: Wellframe is my 1st co-op
What drew me to Wellframe: I found out about Wellframe through a friend who did a co-op on the cycle before mine. We were excited for her when she got her co-op here. When it came to my cycle, I knew that I would want to apply here just because I knew it was a good environment. I was unsure about what Wellframe really did, until I got the interview. I just knew it was healthcare-related and my friend had a great co-op experience.
First thing I do on a workday: I come into the office basically everyday so I fix up a small breakfast of the cereal they have in the kitchen. So I grab something to eat and then look at the scrum board, where all of our current tasks are recorded for the Automation team.
Hobbies: I’ve taken up bouldering outside of work. I can climb most V3 difficulty problems. That’s where I’m comfortable. It’s been about a year to get up to this point.
Major: Computer science major
Graduation year: Third year, graduating in 2024
Co-op at Wellframe: Wellframe is my 1st co-op
What drew me to Wellframe: I was trying to be kind of picky with what type of companies I was applying to because I’ve heard horror stories in the past about co-ops not being treated well at other companies. When I started looking into Wellframe, I saw that it’s a really renowned company that’s known for its culture and seemed like a really healthy place to be. I wanted a place to work that I would actually enjoy.
First thing I do on a workday: Put on music and make a cup of tea.
Hobbies: I really enjoy cooking. I’m the designated chef for my roommates and everything ’cause I just like cooking. This evening, I’m making hand pulled noodles, which is going to be fun. But yeah, cooking and baking. I like playing with my dog too, but she’s back at home with my family.
Major: Computer engineering and computer science combined major
Graduation year: 3rd year, graduating in 2024
Co-op at Wellframe: Wellframe is my very first co-op!
What drew me to Wellframe: I was really impressed with the culture of the company from the description and reviews. My impression was confirmed when I talked to my now-teammates during my interviews. Coming in with very limited coding experience, I’m really happy that I can come up to anyone and say “this is what I don’t understand” and be comfortable doing so. Although this is my first co-op, I’d gladly say this is one of the best places to work!
First thing I do on a workday: The first thing I do when I get to the office is to check my email and Slack, then grab an apple from the kitchen. Yes, an apple a day keeps the doctor away!
Hobbies: Outside of work, I’m a big soccer fan. I enjoy meeting up with some friends on the weekends to play a few games. I have never traveled outside of the country, but if I have a chance to, I’d love to go to England to watch Manchester United at Old Trafford one day. That’s my dream!
Major: Computer science and cognitive psychology combined major
Graduation year: 5th year, Graduating in spring 2022
Co-op at Wellframe: I did one other DevOps co-op before this, so this is my 2nd co-op.
What drew me to Wellframe: There aren’t that many DevOps positions, so I just applied to all of them. After several interviews with Wellframe and other companies, I felt like Wellframe was the best in terms of team size, the work environment, how they could help me learn, and what I’d be working on.
First thing I do on a workday: If I’m in the office, I’ll go and grab breakfast from the kitchen. When I’m working from home, the first thing I do is check Slack. Checking Slack is the second thing I do when I’m in the office, though. I have Cheerios and then I always drink tea. I either never finish one cup of tea or I drink like 5 mugs. My favorite tea is chamomile; it’s very calming.
Hobbies: I like to go longboarding. I started picking it up during COVID in my hometown. There’s a lot of really nice hills. I mostly take a longboard out to go get groceries or go to the park.
Major: Computer Science major with a concentration in Artificial Intelligence
Graduation year: 4th year, graduating Spring 2023
Co-op at Wellframe: Wellframe is my 2nd co-op and I’m graduating Spring 2023.
What drew me to Wellframe: One of my good friends from freshman year was a co-op at Wellframe. He enthusiastically recommended me to apply because of his positive experience.
First thing I do on a workday: I check my Slack messages first thing, then go straight into Looker to see if there are any test failures. It kinda determines how my day would look like!
Hobbies: When I’m not working, I’m pretty involved with my fraternity. It’s a big-time commitment, but I have a lot of fun attending frat events with my brothers. Otherwise, I enjoy playing video games.
Major: Computer science major
Graduation year: 4th year, graduating spring 2022
Co-op at Wellframe: Wellframe is my very 1st co-op!
What drew me to Wellframe: I actually found Wellframe through a friend. She said it was a really fun, friendly environment and they were looking for help with an amazing product, and I wanted to help.
First thing I do on a workday: I usually come into the office and check if a pipeline that I ran last night passed. Then I check my calendar and email.
Hobbies: For fun, I like watching shows and hanging with friends. I also like to write scripts.
What team are you on? What does the team do?
Angelina, Brian, Danny: We’re software engineers on the Care Management team. Our team mostly works on adding features and fixing bugs on the dashboard!
David: I’m on QA mobile automation team. I mostly deal with the automated tests for the mobile app.
Sahil: I am a QA engineer on the QA and tools team. We have automated testing for the dashboard UI and the mobile UI. We have internal tools that help the demo teams load data so they can demo our product.
Chris: I’m on the Authentication team, which ensures that only allowed personnel are able to access our apps and assign appropriate permissions.
Belle: I’m on the mobile team, specifically as an iOS co-op. I do a lot of iOS development and improvements.
Anne: I’m on the DevOps team. DevOps is really broad in terms of responsibility. Most of the stuff that I’ve worked on has been monitoring services with DataDog, automation, and writing CI/CD pipelines.Noah: I’m on the QA automation dashboard team. We write automated tests to make sure our products are working properly.
What have you learned on the engineering co-ops that you haven’t learned in classes?
Danny: With Wellframe, I was able to learn about software development processes and tools. Teamwork and collaboration through working with my team is another great learning experience.
Brian: I’ve learned a lot about full-stack development and the overall cycle of product development. Working on a large project with multiple repositories that need to connect to each other has been a great learning experience.
Sahil: I’ve become a much stronger programmer because I am able to apply my computer science knowledge in a production setting, not an academic setting.
Belle: I’ve learned more about administrative work outside of just pure app development. I wasn’t really aware of that workflow of creating an epic for a feature, creating tickets ahead of time and starting developing issue by issue.
What have you used from classes/activities from school at your co-op?
Angelina: In the first Computer Science class I took at Northeastern, I was taught test-driven development, which was very helpful at my co-op. Applying our knowledge about writing tests before implementation, we were able to go through some edge cases that really helped with our implementation.
Danny: I feel like on my 1st and 2nd co-ops, I didn’t know how to ask good questions. It helps create productive interactions with my coworkers!
Belle: I participated in an accelerator through this club on campus, Oasis, where we spent time developing an app. It was definitely good exposure to different parts of app development. That’s kind of what piqued my interest in iOS development, I think.
Tell us about a project you did at Wellframe.
David: I’ve been doing work for automating manual tests. Through writing these tests, I’ve been able to find and report several bugs in our product before they affect our users.
Belle: One UI change that took really long was the progress bar in the ‘me’ tab that tracks a member’s steps or how many medications they’ve taken for the day. It’s available now in the release version 7.7 of our mobile app.
Chris: My first project is probably the most remarkable for me. I had to Google everything. When I finished with the project and mentioned to my manager that it was my very first front-end work and exposure to front-end tech stacks, he was very impressed. I felt not only successful in accomplishing something and contributing to the company’s products but it was also rewarding to learn so much during the process.
Noah: I worked on adding automated testing to a page for internal admins. This page allows internal admins to add, remove, or modify accounts of our clients. This project will give the engineers and product managers peace of mind that our product is working as it is supposed to.
How has this co-op helped you navigate your career?
Angelina: I wanted to try out being a full-stack engineer, which I got the opportunity to do at Wellframe. I have only had this role for a couple months but I already really enjoy the responsibilities that come with it. I feel that my work has a greater impact, not only on our product but also on our clients.
Brian : After my last co-op, I wasn’t sure about staying in this field because the job was more firmware engineering. Wellframe has solidified that I want to be a software engineer. I also feel good about working on a product with impact.
Anne: My first co-op was also DevOps, and I really enjoyed it. It was very introductory almost, whereas this co-op I’m getting more into the nitty-gritty.
Chris: This co-op helped me realize how I enjoy coding so much that I don’t know if I’m going to consider doing a hardware co-op. I want to explore different paths for sure, but I really feel like I’m in the right field and would love to continue doing something similar to the experience I got here at Wellframe!
How did the co-op help your understanding of the healthcare industry?
Angelina: I definitely enjoy learning about the intersection between software engineering and healthcare. Wellframe’s product is one of many ways that technology can improve not only the healthcare industry but also public health in general. Technology suddenly becomes a crucial component in the delivery of healthcare.
Danny: I think this co-op helps me further understand how technology can enhance the quality of healthcare. A simple app to facilitate communication between users and care managers can provide tremendous value to the user’s life.
Anne: Before working here, I had no idea that health apps were anything more than fitness. So to see an app that actively tracks all these things, depending on what illness you have and how it’s tied with insurance and health plans is completely new to me.Chris: My diagnosis with epilepsy right before this co-op opens up my mind about the impact that products from companies like Wellframe can have on everyone, now including me. A simple app on your phone to connect with a care manager can arguably change someone’s life!
Tip for future co-ops:
Angelina: Come prepared, eager to learn, and not afraid to ask questions!
Danny: Do your homework and be proactive when you ask questions. You will have more productive interactions with your colleagues, and at the same time, you don’t waste anyone’s time and look more professional!
Brian: Try not to get stressed if you’re confused or blocked. It’s not worth losing sleep over. Software development is inherently confusing, so don’t feel like you are doing something wrong if you run into a wall trying to come up with a solution or understanding a design. That being said, don’t simply accept confusing things even if they are correct. Try to gain that understanding through asking questions, reading documentation, and looking at examples. Other engineers will gladly guide you through that process if you ask!
Belle: Be really eager to ask any questions at all. People are really invested in teaching co-ops.
Anne: I know it’s weird, asking people that you just met, like “are they gonna think I’m dumb?” No, you’re learning and they’re more than happy to help and they’re more than happy to answer the same question multiple times if you need. Honestly, my mentor asks more questions than I do. Everyone’s asking questions, even the more senior people.
Sahil: I would say that you should use the co-op as a chance to push yourself. Ask for work you may not be ready for, but try anyway. Now, I’m a much stronger programmer because of all the work I’ve asked for that I had no idea how to do at the start. You will never learn if you don’t take that leap at some point. Co-op is a great time to take that leap.
Chris: On my first day, I had a question about how often my team does standup. I started the question with “This is a stupid question but I was wondering …” I got told immediately that, and this is an important fact, there is no stupid question. To help with asking questions, introduce yourself to everyone. Be eager to learn about the work, but also eager to learn about who you’re working with!
Noah: Definitely don’t be afraid to ask questions. Everyone that I have asked a question or for help has been more than happy and willing to provide guidance.