Vertica Interns Develop Real-World Business Solutions

Posted July 19, 2016 by Nkritikos

Rear view of two partially unrecognizable men sitting in front of a computer. One of them is pointing at a screen where are several lines of computer code.

by Nick Kritikos, Carolin Hansch, and Ben Sangbin Lim

It is a rare opportunity for interns at Vertica to be assigned to the same project. This summer, three interns have been working closely with the Partner Engineering team to build a data generator. There are many potential applications of this tool. The primary use case for the project thus far has involved generating geospatial data. The interns have been using this data to simulate how a retailer might identify patterns in how their customers shop. The following are some words the interns have shared regarding their experience working together:

Nick Kritikos (University of Massachusetts-Amherst)

As a documentation intern, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a variety of teams and people. I have been working very closely with the Partner Engineering team, however, and more specifically with two of my fellow interns, Ben and Carolin. Together we have been working on a project to make a Data Generator. While we always have the wisdom of our mentors to guide us, we have been largely responsible for the success of the project. The three of us have held several meetings to discuss how we can best coordinate our efforts to deliver a successful tool. It’s been a lot of fun getting to know them and working as a team.

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From left to right: Carolin, Nick, Ben

Of course, we have had many opportunities to have some fun as well. The interns have had the chance to go on several outings, including hiking at Blue Hills, kayaking on the Charles River, and going to Kimball Farms. The intern experience is a lot like summer camp, but with more Big Data.

Carolin Hansch (Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University)

I am very happy to have had the opportunity to go on an internship abroad. I am studying at Microfocus Germany in the “DualStudy Program”, so I’ve already had three internships – only this time it’s different. Many challenges had to be mastered. Not only our Data Generator project, we are literally creating data out of nowhere, but also remaining fit and healthy, despite the air conditioning everywhere in the US. Thanks to weekly team meetings and daily follow ups, we interns were quickly integrated into the Partner Engineering Team. The whole team has supported me in improving my time management by making good progress in the project and watching soccer games at the same time. Despite their support, Germany unfortunately dropped out of the European Championship during the semi-finals.

The intern outings have been quite helpful in getting to know the other interns and experiencing new things. We do things I usually would not have done on my own and that is fantastic. Now I can prove to my family that I have not just been sitting in my room practicing medicine (by which I mean watching six episodes Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix every day). Above all, I had lots of fun attending the intern activities. I will miss my unique time here in Cambridge, especially with the Partner Engineering team.

Ben Sangbin Lim (Brandeis University)

I didn’t initially know what to expect from my internship at Vertica. The only prior experience I had with Vertica were two quick Skype sessions and the logo on my printer, which I later found out came from a completely different company. Now that I’ve been here for almost two months, I feel about as comfortable at the office as I do at home. This can be attributed to the relatively poor quality of the hole in the ground house that I’m living at right now, but more importantly to the wonderful people I’ve been working with. The project that I am working on is great, but it is relatively easy to find a project that is time consuming, challenging, and fun. What impressed me the most was the amount of enthusiasm, humor, and activity that goes on even in the small microcosm of Partner Engineering. Perhaps even more than the product, the ecosystem that is cultivated at Vertica makes it such an exciting place to work.

Needless to say, I’ve been having a great time. Not knowing what to expect doesn’t mean I didn’t have expectations, and interning at Vertica has well exceeded those.

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A diagram of the Data Generator Prototype