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Introducing our award-winning intern, Reuben Puketapu

We caught up with Reuben after he won the Te Tini a Rēhua scholarship Award for best Māori undergraduate at Victoria University.

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Posted by Matt McGregor
December 21st, 2016

Reuben Puketapu

For the last seven weeks, we’ve been lucky enough to work with Reuben Puketapu, an intern who came to us through Summer of Tech. Going into his fourth year of engineering at Victoria University of Wellington, Reuben’s been working with our Dev/Ops Colin Coghill at the Auckland office.

We caught up after Reuben won the Te Tini a Rēhua scholarship Award for best Māori undergraduate in Victoria University’s Faculty of Engineering (congratulations, Reuben!)

Hi! How’s everything going with your internship?

Great! Very busy, though not long to Christmas. Currently working with the team here in Auckland in the Bizdojo Grid AKL. It’s a super cool space to be working in with all the startup companies and entrepreneurs right next to us.

So you came to Koordinates through Summer of Tech?

Yeah, that’s right. I originally applied last year—though the internship that year went to Matthieu Bonnefoy (who worked on enabling exports of geospatial PDFs, and is now a Developer at Koordinates). I applied again this year with Hamish, and was excited to get the internship. I’m working with the Dev/Ops Colin Coghill. 

What sort of work are you doing here at Koordinates?

For the most part, I've been working to make it easier to understand what’s happening behind the scenes of the servers that host all of the Koordinates apps. This is so that when something is going wrong, the cause can be identified far easier. Having the ability to find patterns in the web traffic makes it super easy to find irregularities—which means that problems can be identified before they cause any harm.

This matters because we want to keep the Koordinates platform up at all times with minimal disruption. This means that when users are visiting the sites we can ensure that the web applications work all the time, and if something does happen, we can find the exact location of the problem straight away.

Why did you choose Koordinates? 

I really wanted to work with a smaller team doing something exciting and new. I enjoy working with a more tight-knit group, and it also gives me a broader range of experience. Plus I was interested to starting learning about geospatial data and all the interesting work you guys are doing at Koordinates. 

You’re finishing up at university soon? 

I’m going into my final year at Victoria University in Wellington. I’ll be doing my fourth year of a Bachelor of Engineering, with a particular focus on networking. I’ll be looking to gain more of an understanding in cloud infrastructure and distributed systems which is the area of technology that excites me the most! Also looking to doing an honours project either in Software Defined Networking or something based around AWS cloud computing.

After uni, I’ll be looking to do something in the Dev/Ops side of things, definitely in the area of cloud computing like I’m doing here at Koordinates. But I’m just really open to anything that comes up when I finish my degree! 

I heard you were in Wellington in early December for an award? Congratulations!

Yes, I won the Te Tini a Rēhua scholarship Award for best Māori undergraduate in the Faculty of Engineering. It was part of the thirtieth anniversary of Te Herenga Waka Marae at Victoria University. They’ve partnered with a range of organisations to deliver scholarships to Maori students. It was a great ceremony, and an honour to get the award with my family.

So what do have lined up for the rest of the internship?

I’m hoping to get the rest of this project done before Christmas, but the team have a couple other little projects for me to work on I believe!