Amtrak Employee Stories: Sammy

Sammy Mohamed is a 2018 graduate of George Mason University, former Amtrak intern, and current web developer in our IT department. He was hired full time after doing an internship where he learned how to use Adobe AEM, which powers many of Amtrak’s websites.

Amtrak Employee Stories: Sammy

Sammy Mohamed is a 2018 graduate of George Mason University, former Amtrak intern, and current web developer in our IT department. He was hired full time after doing an internship where he learned how to use Adobe AEM, which powers many of Amtrak’s websites.

What made you want to apply for an internship at Amtrak?

“I was primarily interested in the position that was being offered at the time, Mobile App Development Intern, which was definitely something that interested me and at the time I was applying, I didn't see many other intern positions related to mobile development in the area.

What did you do for your internship?

“During my internship I primarily did web development, specifically developing websites on a platform called Adobe Experience Manager or AEM for short. I initially did a lot of microsites for Amtrak either completely from scratch or migrated some sites off of their old platforms into AEM. My role usually was not only development, I often worked with stakeholders to make sure what they needed and wanted out of the site was coming to fruition. I was also involved in the refresh of amtrak.com.

How did you feel about getting a different internship that you were initially looking for?

“I found myself both excited, but a little disappointed. My initial disappointment in not doing what I had expected really changed to excitement once I heard what I would actually be working on. I wasn't familiar with Adobe AEM, and after hearing what it was for and what it was capable of doing, I became excited to learn it, and felt it would be a great opportunity for me.

What made you want to work full time for Amtrak?

“I spent almost 2 years as an intern at Amtrak, and honestly the thing that interested me most about working here is that Amtrak has several legacy systems and processes in place that it's trying to modernize, and the work involved in modernizing its IT infrastructure and the software that's used here often has some very complex challenges. The challenges are what makes this work interesting for me. It's gratifying to see the work that we do here really is making a difference at Amtrak. As a result, I feel like I’m often at the forefront for laying the ground work for a lot of these new implementations and solutions being used here at Amtrak.

What is your job now, and what are your job responsibilities?

“My job interestingly did not change much in terms of responsibility. I still do much of the same work I did as an Intern. Which I thinks speaks to the internship quite a bit. I was not given work that didn't matter. The work and experience I gained through the internship really prepared me for what I would do as an entry to mid-level developer. My responsibilities primarily include designing, coding, testing and maintaining our code. Ensuring that what we build ultimately meets all the requirements and acceptance criteria from the business. I also troubleshoot, debug and implement fixes for issues as well as write technical documentation for implementations.

What does a typical day look like for you?

“My typical day involves going to a scrum meeting in the morning. Coding and testing code, reading requirements and updating tickets in our issue tracker. Reviewing Pull Requests from other developers in our code repositories. Joining meetings to discuss requirements with stakeholders or going over approaches/solutions with the development team to solve a particular problem. Diagraming and creating other technical documentation around our implementation is also another big part of my day.

What are some of the more noteworthy projects you've worked on? Is there any project that you are most proud of?

“Some of the noteworthy projects I worked on has been Amtrak.com, primarily involved in some of the integrations and features on the site as well as being involved in the refresh that was done about a year or so back. I’ve also done some work around Amtrak WIFI and learned a lot about how that setup works both at the station and on-board Amtrak trains.

Amtrak IT

Do you think that you have some of the great ideas we need? As a member of Amtrak IT you'll have the opportunity to constantly learn and innovate, while helping us move forward. Join #TeamAmtrak today!

Amtrak IT

Do you think that you have some of the great ideas we need? As a member of Amtrak IT you'll have the opportunity to constantly learn and innovate, while helping us move forward. Join #TeamAmtrak today!

What is your favorite part about working for Amtrak?

“I believe my favorite part about working at Amtrak is solving some of the complex challenges that popup with modernizing the software and processes used at Amtrak. Even as challenging as it is sometimes, the work done here often has a very meaningful and noticeable impact not only to Amtrak's customers, but the people that work here as well.

What advice would you give someone looking for a job at Amtrak?

“I would say be prepared to be involved in a variety of things. I always surprised by the amount of digital properties Amtrak has and some of the integrations it maintains with partners and other vendors. There is no lack of work here and there's tons to do around involving Analytics, DevOps, Mobile and Web Development and much more.

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