We do data science.
Jul 7, 2017 • Jenny Huynh
First day. So thrilled by this opportunity to immerse myself in the world of technology!
SilverPond is located on Little Collins Street, a quiet location away from the hustle and bustle of the city. This is the home to a family who do functional programming, after climbing several flights of stairs, I was greeted by friendly staff members who I soon became very well acquainted with.
The office had a pleasant atmosphere with warm lighting and the sound of people typing away on their computers. It quickly became evident that everybody here worked as a team and were willing to help each other out.
A massive white board was stuck onto the wall where ideas, explanations, plans and mind maps could be written on. Each desk was mounted with huge monitors that allowed for laptop screens to be viewed larger.
SilverPond has a flexible working environment with no fixed hours with employees even being able to work from home! I was quite fascinated by this system and can see it has had a greatly positive effect on everybody’s mindset about how they go about doing their work.
All tasks and plans for my work experience week had been documented on Trello. This served to be a very effective and efficient way to communicate with each other and I fully understood what tasks were required to be completed by when.
During breaktime, many colleagues got together and headed down to a nearby cafe for lunch. We got to chat about our hobbies and interests which was fun and relaxing, a nice change from the office. It was great to hear stories and adventures others had experienced, it made me feel more connected with everyone! Heading back from lunch I continued on with learning programming online then the day came to a close with me creating a quiz to test people’s Python knowledge.
After a refreshing bike ride into the city, my morning had been occupied by following online tutorials and practising python on the command line, Atom (text editor) and Jupyter (interactive code editor).
Noon introduced me to TensorFlow and provided some background knowledge on Deep Learning which was quite intriguing. He came up with a real life example to give me some context on how Deep Learning can be applied to everyday situations and made me realise that this tool can be quite powerful in saving people from doing vexatious work.
At the end of the day, Lyndon prepared for a SilverBrane meeting, this included artistically drawing up a ‘roadmap’. This interesting roadmap included the stops: ‘past’, ‘present’, ‘future’ and ‘heat death of universe’. Upon completion everyone was invited to come join in on the meeting to discuss the future of SilverBrane and brainstorm cool ideas that could possibly be created using Deep Learning.
The day started off with learning matrices online, watching videos and occasionally receiving explanations from Noon. This helped me further understand how Deep Learning and TensorFlow works.
I was introduced to another programming library called Numpy. Numpy is a popular Python module that is both fast and convenient, most heavily used in scientific computing. With Noon’s assistance as well as online tutorials, I gained new skills such as importing files and defining functions.
I spent the afternoon reflecting on my experience at SilverPond so far and got to touch base with Lyndon who had spent the majority of the day in meetings. I got a chance to ask questions about the hiring process here at SilverPond as well as how meetings are usually conducted.
This morning I got to check in with Noon and Lyndon about how my last two days will look like. We discussed the available options and they were open for pursuing what peaked my curiosity. As they headed off to a meeting, I set up a work space next to Josh who was more than happy to assist me if need be. We got to chat with colleagues about life as a software developer and what courses they undertook in university. I asked questions about the structure of SilverPond such as how they log working hours, this helped me further understand how things work around here. Kirill showed me Raspberry Pi which was cool to observe.
During the afternoon I participated in a meeting with Noon and Lyndon to discuss the agenda for “Deep Learning for Managers” which is a workshop they are running. We generated ideas and plans that can be implemented in future workshops, during this time they also explained real life examples of businesses they have worked with and how past workshops had gone down. Noon explained more about the concept of Deep Learning which helped to clear up some confusion. I was shown the “Internet High 5 Machine” created by Noon which was hilarious and really cool.
Started off the last day with more programming using Numpy on Jupyter whilst following an online tutorial. Occasionally Josh would help explain concepts I didn’t quite grasp which was incredibly helpful. We got round to having a look at a ‘differential drive robot’ which he had built in Uni using Labview (National Instruments) which was really awesome to observe.
For lunch some of the crew headed down to a Korean restaurant which was very lovely, everyone ordered bimbambaps which I’d never had before! We chatted about programming conferences, cute pets, veganism, famous programmers, social enterprises and business.
In the afternoon I spent a little more time programming and got to see Josh’s robot (named Tay Tay) drive across the office floor. Finally I got down to writing this blog post, thanks for allowing me to share my amazing week of work experience! I hope you enjoyed the journey as much as I did :)