This blog post is by Robie Gonzales, who has interned with us for the last 8 months. Thank you for your awesome work, Robie!
When I started my internship eight months ago, I had minimal knowledge about machine learning and artificial intelligence. Over the course of these months, my experience as a Full Stack Developer has allowed me to encounter many interesting and challenging opportunities. I’m thankful that H2O.ai was my first exposure to the AI industry as I was able to witness firsthand the influence of AI around the world.
One of the things I admired during my time at H2O.ai was even as an intern; I was not treated like an intern. Very early on in my internship, I was given large-scale projects. These projects took into account my previous experience and knowledge but they also challenged me, allowing me to develop as an individual. I was asked for my thoughts and opinions while simultaneously never being discouraged from asking “stupid” questions. This allowed me to see how important the projects I was working on were. However small my contributions may have been, I know they were valued and important towards the growth of the company.
Another thing I admired was the passion and drive within the company. H2O.ai fully embraces the startup culture, and this was apparent, even virtually. I could tell with the employees I met that this was what they loved. Whenever there was a problem, everyone would band together to solve it. In addition to the pure passion, the support and encouragement was amazing. Despite the various time zones, I could easily reach out to anyone worldwide to get the help I needed. Even simple questions in a Slack channel would be bombarded with replies giving background knowledge, context, and suggestions. I quickly learned that at H2O.ai, they truly want to foster an understanding of machine learning and artificial intelligence.
As I reflect back on these past 8 months, I’m grateful for the experiences I’ve been through. I’ve met some outstanding people who’ve inspired me to become a better version of myself. I’ve improved not only my technical skills but soft skills such as professionalism, communication, and teamwork as well. I’ve had experiences and challenges I never would have had in an academic setting, and all of these have contributed to my development. Whether it was building applications, testing critical software, leading teams, or building custom customer solutions, I’m glad to have walked away with these experiences.
Before my internship, I knew machine learning and artificial intelligence were changing the world, but I had no idea their true impact. Witnessing firsthand the influence H2O.ai has made with AI around the world was amazing, and I’m excited to see what they continue to do. As H2O.ai continues to democratize AI, I’m glad to say that I was a part of it.