server computing machine learning algorithms

First Weeks at Nousot

First Impressions

I've been interning at Nousot since early January and so far I've been loving every minute of it. Nousot is a smaller company in downtown Chicago that focuses on utilizing the strengths of machine learning to identify the driving factors of a company's success, making predictions, and forecasting possible future data points. They've accumulated a massive dataset that helps the algorithms make the most informed predictions. It's only been a few weeks and I've already had the opportunity to work on a number of their systems, like frontend web development, database creation, and machine learning algorithm implementation. I've been working closely with some very bright people and learning so much from them, and I feel like if I had worked at a larger company I wouldn't have had that opportunity.

From what I've seen so far, in larger companies that have dedicated teams and project managers, you rarely work with someone in a different field since it's mostly other programmers with a similar background in that team. At Nousot, things are structured a little different because there are usually only around 10 people working on-site on a given day. This means that there are almost no boundaries between teams and that's something I think I really important but I understand it's not always possible the larger the scale. In my case, it meant that I'm able to work with those with different backgrounds and learn so much from them since I have less experience in their expertise. I've gotten to learn from someone with a PhD in Mathematics, the founders of the company, database specialist, machine learning specialists, and more. I love that I'm not only improving my software development skills, but also learning fields that I never would have been able to before. I think that's one of the many great things about working at a startup like Nousot but I wonder if that opinion will change as I gain more experience and eventually work in different setting.

Refreshed Love for Learning

While I've really enjoyed the classes I've been taking at Northwestern and learned a lot during them, I feel like in the past few weeks I've been learning in a different way and really loving it. After years and years of the kind of thing, learning and growing professionally has been really refreshing. I've known for a while that I was ready to be done with school and start working, and now that I finally am, it's exactly what I was hoping it would be like. I know not everyone will share the same experience, but so far mine has been incredible, and for that I'm very grateful.

My view on undergrad is that I really only serves as a foundation and platform for one to prepare for working in the real world, or at least that's what it strives to be. I think it's about teaching one how to learn and provide the skills needed to keep learning new skills that will be used on the job. As I've talked about in previous posts, I don't always feel that the CS curriculum accomplishes that to the fullest extent but I think it comes close enough. Now that I'm working, and getting dropped right into the middle of their codebase, it requires a good understanding of what technologies are used and how they work. I wasn't familiar with with a few of the libraries and technologies used at Nousot there's really no better way to start learning them than working with them hands on.

I'm always here to answer questions and I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

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