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What’s it like being an intern at Nikira Labs?

A Day In The Life Of One Of Nikira’s Technical Interns.

By Richard Xu

Sam, the intern, pictured above while engrossed in his coding quest at Nikira Labs.

At Nikira Labs, we pride ourselves on inviting passionate students to develop their skills in real lab settings and for real life applications!

Meet Sam, one of our lab interns. He’s behind a portion of the mechanical tinkering, programming, and testing in our labs this summer.

Sam recalls his first time coding around 3 years ago, telling me that his dad handed him a laptop with an open application on the screen and asked him to “work the problem out.” This was “THE defining moment” when Sam got hooked on coding, considering it his hobby and passion. He states that “coding is fun as it’s like writing out a linear thought process”, and that “debugging is super satisfying.” He also describes the nature of software as a “choose-your-own-adventure” of sorts, as he never knows which direction he might take.

Though he’s currently a high-schooler, Sam has developed deep Python proficiency working with Nikira Labs’ technology, and still has an insatiable drive to grow his coding skills. Although I can only speak for myself, I can surely say that observing Sam actively adapting to find answers through his code, contagiously motivates me to seek the best in my own work.

During lunchtime, the Nikira interns typically hang out together in the break area and chat. During yesterday’s lunchtime, I decided to ask Sam about what his daily routine was like. He quickly lays out his work with web sockets, a wireless communication system, and tells me about the processes he’s undertaken to make it work. For my fellow non-STEM readers, Sam essentially used Python code to aggregate the data and load it to a central terminal computer to localize all the data information in one repository.

In the lab, Sam also gets to experience other aspects of the instrumentation development process, such as learning basic wiring to ensure the analyzers we develop and test are operational according to their target specifications. Sam chuckles, describing wiring to me as a “challenge”, adding that it’s a “where the heck does this wire go” feeling. Despite this “puzzle”, he still perseveres at it, stating that it’s relaxing to take a break from coding to try other things.

For the future, Sam hopes to grow the depth and breadth of his coding skills and find approaches to solve real-world problems. When asked if there was a specific subject that he wanted to try next, he tells me that though he’s currently developing code to gather data, he hasn’t learned yet how to analyze it. Guess data analytics is up next on Sam’s plate at Nikira Labs!

If you’re interested in an internship position here at Nikira Labs, check out the “Careers” tab on our website and apply today!


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