Internship at Metalworks – Week 11 [17 August to 20 August 2015]

Instead of talking about technical things for my last post on Metalworks, I’m going to take this time to pen down the things I’m really grateful for.

The people

I came in knowing almost nothing about software development. Previously, I had come in with knowledge of only algorithms, data structures, and basic computer science, but nothing about how to create good functioning software that other people can use. 3 months later, with the patient guidance of my fellow staff members, I learnt more than I could have asked for. Whenever I had a question, nobody grumbled or had any nasty things to say, and they spent time to make sure I understood anything.

That’s what I really appreciated at Metalworks. No office politics. No backstabbing, no gossip. Just really fun conversations about any topics from literature, to cool technology, or the latest happenings around in town. We have this channel in slack called #random where our staff posts really interesting things happening. Lunches are really nice too – we all take lunch away and sit at a wooden table near the pantry. These are a relaxed affair. Very rarely do we continue to talk about work, and it is a great time to recharge.

A huge shoutout to the full time software developers Rollen and Jayden who were such great mentors. They know a lot about software and hardware, are really smart and perceptive, but have no airs about them. They always explained their code really eloquently and allowed me to ask as many questions I can about it. I owe them a lot, and they really made my experience at Metalworks.

And then there are the fellow interns who do a fantastic job and inspire me to work smarter and harder. And then there is the PR manager Daylon whose unwavering focus and zen-like attitude inspires me to get my act together more.

And finally, the heads Tom, Mark and Nico who are really knowledgeable and hands-on about the tech they manage. After asking around considerably, I understand the amount of work they have to do. I see them stay back on weekends to work on the huge amounts of projects that come in, and they keep our job fulfilling by giving us really interesting tasks to handle.

The work

Because of the amount of clients we handle, we are almost always guaranteed an interesting spread of technology to use. From UV Cameras to VR Smell Components, I’ve certainly had to put a lot of quick thinking to the test. Rapid prototyping is a really hard thing to do, because it requires a lot of research. Research usually entails figuring out whether a certain technology can be used, and that means experimenting with the APIs (if any), actually testing them out, and then writing a little report to explain to people how things will work. It’s not easy, as you can run into a roadblock quite quickly.

So, that’s it from me! Next week, I will start work on my computer science research proper and I will be coming up with a proper framework soon 🙂 Stay tuned!

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