Summer in Nepal Part 2

So this summer in Nepal I was an intern at this company called Open Learning Exchange Nepal (OLE). It is a non-profit focused on open, free access to quality education and innovative learning environments to children all over Nepal. I worked within the development team for their “E-Pustakalaya,” a free digital library, dedicated to closing the education accessibility gap by providing a collection of thousands of books, educational resources, course content, and reference materials directly to students and educators.

The development team included Manoj Gautam a systems engineer, Navin Rana a software developer, and me a development intern. We were charge of building the new iteration of this online library on a completely different architecture called DSpace. This library would be available online and would also be provided to schools throughout Nepal by distributing local server instances of the library to the schools directly. This would bypass the need for internet access and would provide schools with educational books, lessons, and videos. For the most part, my role within the development team was to code in the document streaming options for videos, audio, and books. My task was to ensure that all of the content within the library could be viewed without needing to be downloaded or require the user to have to download any external software to view the content. I also worked on other database configuration tasks like auto thumb-nailing items, running media filters through the website directly, and email setup.

This was my first time working within a development team environment and working on a project of such a large scale. I am incredibly thankful to my teammates as they really took me in under their wing and were extremely patient when I initially joined. It was a great learning atmosphere as we were all learning to code within the DSpace architecture and we were all unfamiliar with XSLT, the language used for the front-end web interface.

OLE is also a very small company filled with wonderful people that were very friendly to new incoming interns and genuinely cared about us feeling like a part of the company from day one. Most of the coworkers became my friends outside of work and we played futsal at least once a week.

If you’re interested in getting more details about the online library we were developing, I wrote a technical blog post about it here.

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