Fellow Subby lovers, we hope you’ve been having just as wonderful a summer as we are. With the end of the season comes the farewell of one of our Engineering interns, Jyotirmoy Sundi. He’s been a great addition to the team and wonderful to have around the office. Big ups to Sundi for all his hard work this summer!
And now a word from Sundi himself:
“I remember my first day at Sonar and it seemed like just last week. I had walked into the room and was everyone was so nice! The people I worked with this summer were interesting, motivated, and productive. Everyone encouraged one another and had an entrepreneurial spirit that was contagious! As an intern at Sonar, I worked on drawing insights from the data that Sonar has by using various types of technologies and frameworks such as Hadoop, Scala, Cascading, Mahout, Cassandra and some crawling aspects. The most interesting thing I learned here was the power of Scala and how natural and efficient it is in comparison to the power of Java.
Other things I worked on this summer at Sonar:
I also got to attend a ton of startup events, which was one of the best parts of my internship. My favorite ones were the FourSquare meetup and the Bing Event for Humankind. At the Bing Event, I was able to network with a lot of different people and got to see some awesome product demos, like the one for a product that can detect your mood based on your facial expressions. There was another one that showed you how clothes looked on you in a store based on your body shape, without having to try them on! My favorite part about the Bing Event though, wasn’t the product demos or meeting new people, but was having the opportunity to represent Sonar and explain what Sonar is to others. The audience response to my answers reaffirmed that I had made the right choice by choosing to work at Sonar.
Overall it was a great summer for me, and I thank Sonar for the super awesome exposure to the world of data analysis. I especially want to thank Ben and Paul for all of their help. They were always there to help me solve issues when I got stuck, and helped teach me how to achieve better code quality in scala. They always knew the right direction to point me in when I needed guidance.”
Aw, gush! What a guy! If you’re interested in joining Sundi in Sonar’s intern hall of fame, get in touch. Email us at email@example.com!
Dearest Sonar users, how is it mid August already? This summer has flown by us, and what a summer it’s been! Today is the last day of two of our illustrious engineering interns, Shyam and Jack. We’ve so enjoyed their company and will be so sad to see them go! These kids killed it this summer and really impressed us with their smarts, hard work, and good humor. Here’s a quick note from the boys themselves on what they worked on this summer, and how they’ve made it to the Sonar Intern Hall of Fame.
My name is Shyam and I’m an Electrical and Computer Engineer at Carnegie Mellon University. Academically, I focused on a lot of hardware related topics, such as nano-device fabrication, and coming into this summer internship I didn’t really have that much software engineering experience, so I was a little anxious before I got here. Since then, I’ve gotten the opportunity to work on some pretty awesome projects and learn a ton along the way. The work environment at Sonar really encourages you to learn by just jumping right into things and personally, I love that about this internship. The projects that I got involved with are all related to analyzing big data to better understand, and thus better serve, Sonar’s user base. For example, one of the analyses that I got involved in looked into determining who from a user’s social graph was one of their coworkers. Maybe a user wants to send out a Sonar status to all of their coworkers in the area to find someone to eat lunch with - we can help with that. This was a topic that I was really interested in because I could immediately see how the analysis that I was doing was shaping Sonar’s interaction with its users. While working on these projects, I had to learn a few new technologies along the way, which was an intimidating task at first, but a great experience that was made much easier by all the Senior Engineers that helped me out. For me, the hardest technology to get a good understanding of was Scalding, as it combined the concept of Hadoop/Cascading and Scala, both of which were completely new to me as well. We used Scalding as way of running complex data analysis workflows on Hadoop based clusters without having to worry about all the small complexities that are normally associated with writing MapReduce jobs in Hadoop. When I wasn’t at Sonar Intergalactic HQ, I was off exploring NYC as much as possible, or hanging at home being a basketball/soccer junkie.
As an intern at Sonar, I come prepared each day to learn something new, even from the first day. My first day I installed a lot of software, and spent much of the day grappling with Scala, a functional programming language. I was already familiar with several computer languages, such as Java and C, but Scala was very different. The idea that I was not supposed to modify my variables, that they were immutable values, how would I do any sort of programming like that? On top of that, since Sonar has a lot of data, we had to use Hadoop and Scalding, two popular ways to analyze data. Hadoop is open source software developed to help many people run jobs that analyze large amounts of data. Scalding was developed by Twitter, and they use it to analyze their own data. These methods use map-reduce to divide one big task into many small tasks, and distributes them to many computers in a cluster, and thus parallelize the program using multiple computers to run large jobs that would otherwise take way too much time or memory to run. These are all things I had never done before. It took a while, but I gradually became more familiar with new technologies, enough to write my own code to do analyses. One analysis I enjoyed working on was one we called “real social graph”, in which we tried to figure out who in your social graph you really hang out with. Currently, we figure your social graph to be all your friends on Facebook, your friends in Foursquare, people you follow on Twitter, and your connections on Linkedin. Though you’re connected to all of them, we figure that you only hang out with a couple, those to be in your “real social graph”. We can prioritize friends in your “real social graph” by analyzing which friends check in at nearby locations at similar times, and including these as your top friends and people which may be most interesting to you. At Sonar, by doing all these analyses, I’ve learned some of the technologies we use here and have made really useful contributions to the team, even as an intern. Not to mention the fact that I’m surrounded by wonderful teammates that support each other, which makes this internship one of the most worthwhile experiences I’ve had. =]
We’re so proud of these two! And yes, we’re blushing now. Thanks to Shyam and Jack for all their hard work this summer. These guys are fierce and will be sorely missed. Group hug!
We hope you’ve been enjoying summer. July was a busy month here at the Sonar Intergalactic HQ - check out what we’ve been up to!
- The Sonar team had some fun sharing random facts with each other and with you guys! This month, we learned how much coffee the team drinks, how many countries we’ve been to, everyone’s favorite Olympics events, and which celebrities we look like.
Whew! And can you believe it’s August already? We’ll have more exciting updates for you this month, so stay tuned!
We’ve spotted a some celebs at Sonar Intergalactic HQ! A few of our team members bear uncanny resemblances to celebrities. Check out the photos we’ve rounded up!
Our fo-founder/ CEO, Brett Martin, looks a lot like Matthew McConaughey, an American actor who’s well known for his roles in Dazed and Confused, The Wedding Planner, and Failure to Launch. And we weren’t the only ones to notice this resemblance.
Any Game of Thrones fans out there? Ben, one of our engineers, resembles Richard Madden, the actor who plays Robb Stark in the popular HBO series. (Also, a shout-out to Ben for coming up with the idea for this blog entry!)
What do you think? Pretty cool, huh? Let’s hope the paparazzi doesn’t get wind of this!
Excited for the Olympics? We are too! In honor of tonight’s Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, we did a quick survey of the events we’re looking forward to the most:
Ximena: Women’s gymnastics, and track and field. I used to do both, so am a little nostalgic!
Shyam: The basketball finals. The USA has the best men’s basketball team it has had in a long time, and bringing home anything but the gold is going to be a disappointment, so I’m looking forward to all the tension and drama associated with the finals game.
Roger: I’m looking forward to the opening ceremony, 100m and 200m sprinting, and the Michael Phelps vs. Ryan Lochte rivalry. Last time’s opening ceremony will be hard to top so it will be interesting to see how London tries to bring it to another level.
Jack: Soccer. My interest in soccer is mostly due to FIFA ‘04, a video game I played with a neighbor.
Brett: Basketball is a no brainer but tumbling (gymnastics) is my dark horse second! I’ve always wanted to be able to do flips.
Mark: Tennis, because I used to play tennis in high school and it’s fun to watch.
Sundi: Volleyball and badminton. I’m looking forward to volleyball because it’s the game I play the most, after cricket. For badminton, I’m a big fan of Sania Nehwal.
Katie: I love the mens rings in gymnastics. How do they do that?? And all the women’s gymnastics.
Seems like gymnastics is a popular sport here on the Sub! That’s all we’ve got for you for this week. Now let the countdown begin!
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