Working on Amazing Technology - and Bringing Your Whole Self to Work
Adam Herrmann, a deep learning R&D engineer at Intel, shares how his internship with Intel helped him chart his career and help make a difference in the world.
In 2016, I started as an intern in our Internet of Things and Wearables group working as a design automation engineer. It was a great role. It allowed me to gain familiarity and understanding of the many different hardware and software teams, technical tools, and support roles. This was great for my career development as I got to interact with many different teams. I was able to see what I liked, and what interested me. The experience really motivated me for my final year in university.
My current role is very, very technical. It involves a lot of coding and requires a lot of teamwork. We’re working on models for the upcoming architecture for the next generation of Intel® Movidius™ Visual Processing Unit (VPU). I joined this project with absolutely no experience of Neural Networks or Deep Learning. What allowed me to ramp quickly was the fantastic learning environment we have here at Intel. You feel this kind of psychological safety that you can say anything and know you're not going to be ridiculed for it. If I get stuck on something, there's no issue asking for help. Even if one of my team members is halfway across the world, they are there for me.
The ability to work together is critical to our success. There are people with a lot of different knowledge backgrounds, experiences, and skill sets coming together, and good collaboration is the cornerstone of everything. That's one of the things I really like about working at Intel. Being able to participate in that collaboration, work on problems together, and use your technical and soft skills to solve the problem, feels good.
I also like that the work we do impacts the real world. For example, Intel® Movidius™ technology is being used in anti-poaching cameras in Africa. The VPU is able to do image processing and AI inference, all at remarkably low power, which is very important in an application where battery life is precious. The previous system required its batteries to be changed roughly every six weeks, but the new system, using the Intel® Movidius™ VPU, is so efficient, the batteries last over a year. Now, since poachers don’t see the batteries being changed all the time, they have no idea where these cameras are—which makes these cameras more effective in monitoring for potential illegal activity. It’s incredible; I would recommend reading this article for more information on how it all works.
And Intel truly is a very inclusive place. Everyone has a voice and is treated equally, not matter if you’ve been here two hours, or 20 years. I feel like I can be exactly who I am, and I’m proud to be one of the site leaders for the Intel Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or Transgender Employees (IGLOBE) network. In general, I think everyone can identify with IGLOBE, even if they aren’t LGBT. It supports wider inclusivity and the benefits of being free to bring your whole self to work.
Innovation really does start with inclusion at Intel. And even though the work itself is fascinating, it’s working on it in a great environment with great people that motivates me and makes me excited to come to work.
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