Remote Student Spotlight: Lenora Batcher

Lenora Batcher is a second-year Computer Science and Innovation student at Champlain College and an employee on the Leahy Center’s programmer team. As Champlain has gone remote for the semester, Lenora shares with us the perks of having a job that allows you to work from home.

My Life As A Remote Student

Like many Americans right now, I spend most of the day at home. I wake up, get dressed, and do my morning routine. After this, I sit on my bed to do homework and attend classes and meetings through Google Hangouts or Zoom. Luckily, it’s about 10 degrees warmer on average in Ohio, so I can skate around the neighborhood for exercise.

Lenora sitting at her laptop with her dog.

There are a lot of pros and cons to working from home. Since I’m a programmer, all the tools I use are free online, and are accessible to anyone. For example, we are using Laravel, a PHP framework that is totally open-source. This means that anyone can see the source code that makes it work. Other tools, like XAMPP and MySQL, can be downloaded free from the internet. Documentation varies, however, and the education we receive from Champlain is what allows us to turn this motley collection of software into a working application.

The work I do is the same. I clock in and out at the same time, but the biggest piece missing is the presence of other programmers. It’s hard not having that group of people to depend upon for the second set of eyes and vice versa. That said, it makes for much quieter work environment.

Programming Remote From Home

The project I’m working on is called Case Management. We designed this software to help digital forensics, cybersecurity, and law enforcement personnel store and manage cases, employees, evidence files, and more. This project has been around for at least five semesters and is goes through constant feature implementation and bug fixes.

The biggest aspect of our teamwork is coming to others when we have a bug we can’t figure out. After staring at the same set of files for an hour, it can get frustrating, but having a group of people around you increases the probability that someone will see something that you’ve missed. As Linus’ Law, named after Linux creator Linus Torvalds, states, “with enough eyes, all bugs are shallow.”

Lenora sitting net to a window with her laptop.

From home, the information I get about a subject has to come from either the internet or a Slack message. As a programmer, our research is mostly focused on looking up how to use different aspects of a programming language or how to work inside a particular framework. The internet can be helpful for that, but sometimes other programmers will have an answer that could save a lot of time and Google searches. Having a combination of both is best, but working from home limits me to the internet and whatever I already know.

I Am Thankful For The Leahy Center And My Team

Lenora with her team of programmers at the Leahy Center.

Overall, I enjoy working on the programming team. It combines a lot of what I learn in my classes applied instances of programming and database design. Each of those things builds onto the other, allowing me to advance in both areas.

Just because we’re apart physically doesn’t mean my team doesn’t still work together. A number of the programmers on my team joined up in a Google Hangout and programmed during our shared work shift for a while, re-creating the workplace environment that we all love right at home, meaning I got to code with both my dog and my friends. What’s better than that?

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