Monday, January 30, 2017

Prograde burn; I quit my day job to work at NASA

Yes you read that right, as of January 30th I am working at NASA Goddard as a student researcher in the earth sciences wing, specifically on the 4U Laser Hetrodyne Radiometer cubesat as a hardware/software engineering intern.

First official day on the job!

As for how on earth I landed here the story is convoluted but to make a long story short; An internet friend who works at NASA thought I'd be a good fit for his intern army and after 6 months of limbo where it was uncertain if they'd be able to get me, I finally interviewed and was in. Some of the key points of consideration were that I had a multifaceted skill set of hardware and software, in-depth documentation of my work on the blog, familiar with GitHub and lastly, open to learning new roles and skills.
Regardless of this change, my projects are moving along at a good clip and I'm still aiming to get around a post a month out, next one coming up is going to be on the MAGFest panel postmortem followed by an update on the positional motor control for the fin drive system.

This is one of the many reasons I keep telling people to start a blog and post project logs. Not only does it get your name out there but also provides and insight into your thought processes and practical application of skills. These elements are absolutely key points that employers will look for in candidates as book knowledge is great but is trumped most of the time by practical applied knowledge. I taped this blog together over a weekend as an experiment to do more technical writing and so others could learn from my mistakes made along the way.

Write not just to hopefully inspire others but also for yourself, later in life you can look back and see marked improvement in your craft, whatever it may be. Don't pressure yourself to post frequently, do it when it feels ready to go. The hardest part is the first step, so get out there and get typing!

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