You may not be familiar with unicoding, encoding or html, but junior computer sciences major Jeremy Mayeres utilizes his knowledge of these processes at his summer internship every day. Mayeres’ commute takes him through Kennedy Space Center and, with a flash of a badge, Mayeres enters the Cape Canaveral Air Force station and gets to work on developing codes for the Fleet Ballistic Missile program.

The Central Florida Future had the opportunity to interview Mayeres to see what a day in the life of a software developer intern is like.

Central Florida Future: What do you hope to pursue with your computer sciences degree?

Mayeres: I want to be a software developer. The field is always changing, so I hope to be able to be on the leading edge of developing new technologies and software.

CFF: Why computer sciences?

Mayeres: I have always been interested in computers. I started in middle school; programming little things, making websites. I went to a high school that had a computer science track, and I’ve stuck with it through college. It’s fun; it’s my passion. I’ve known for years that I wanted to be a software developer.

CFF: What do you do as a software developer?

Mayeres: I develop code that supports the Fleet Ballistic Missile (FBM) program.

CFF: How/when did you get the job?

Mayeres: I actually had this job last summer as well. I had applied for internships at Lockheed Martin and finally got a phone interview for this job, and they hired me. After that was done, they offered me another position for this year.

CFF: Tell me about a typical day at your job.

Mayeres: It’s more relaxed than it sounds. I come in (after driving 40 miles and getting past the badge check), go to my computer, catch up on emails and start working. Part of the job requires researching what I need to do exactly to get the job done (look at old code, find out who to talk to, write out a plan). It’s not all coding, though; there’s a lot of documentation that gets written, and I also have chats with others about how to do something or what needs to be in that program.

CFF: What do you like most about your job?

Mayeres: It’s hard to say; I really like the people I work with, the location and the job itself. Everyone is really nice and friendly. I get to work at one of the most famous locations and see some amazing things like the NASA Vehicle Assembly Building going to/from work, the Atlas and Delta launch facilities, the shuttle launch pad and the hangar where the solid rocket boosters come back from the recovery ships. And I get amazing experience in my field.

CFF: What is it like to work so closely to the Kennedy Space Center buildings?

Mayeres: It’s exciting for me. I drive past them every day, and I feel humbled to get to go by them every day. I’ve had lunch on several occasions at the NASA cafeteria, and it’s cool to know that the people eating there are all part of the space program. I’ve gotten tours (last year) of the Space Station Processing Facility [where I] walked on the floor, past such things as the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module, the United Launch Alliance facilities, the Atlas V Vertical Integration Facility, control/launch rooms, and the Delta IV launch pad, under a Delta IV Heavy rocket, among other things. It was all really cool.

CFF: Did you enjoy watching the shuttle launch when you were younger?

Mayeres: I loved shuttle launches. I’m from Palm Beach County, and we could see the shuttle launches all the way down there. It’s great to be so close now, but I am truly sad to see the shuttle program end.

CFF: Has there been a shuttle launch when you were working? Describe the experience.

Mayeres: My first day this summer was the launch of STS-134 (Endeavour’s [second-to-last] launch). Everyone walked out of the office a few minutes before launch and walked (a short walk) to the NASA Causeway, where we got to see the launch from up close. It was cloudy, so we saw maybe the first 20 seconds of it, but the sound was intense.

CFF: Have you met anyone well-known in the shuttle/missile community?

Mayeres: Not sure about that, I think I met a payload manager for the shuttle.

CFF: How has your time at UCF prepared you for this job?

Mayeres: I’ve learned some valuable things in my CS classes, but probably the most valuable time was spent with the office of Experiential Learning, where they helped me with my résumé, which I didn’t even know had problems. I credit that help to getting me this position, even though I got my internship directly through Lockheed.

Source: Central Florida Future, Junior works on Fleet Ballistic Missile program, by Brandi Broxson, news editor. Published: Sunday, June 5, 2011; Updated: Sunday, June 5, 2011 21:06