On meeting a fake George Boole, and the other things I did at work

Yesterday marked was my one year anniversary at my first job after university. Today was my last day at that job. In one week I will be leaving for Israel, to spend some time with my family before hopefully embarking on a new adventure in the land of the Rising Sun.

This year has been one of great change for me. After suffering through somewhat disastrous years at university, I can't help but look back at my year at EMC with pride. I've taken control of myself and my future with both hands, and have achieved some great things.

During my year at EMC I:

  • Learnt the programming language R from scratch while developing a complicated data analysis application
  • Saw the insides of a data centre-grade server for the first time. I also walked through one of the largest server manufacturing plants in the world.
  • Managed and developed 5 different projects including the deployment and management of the team's code repositories, internal wiki, and time-logging systems; the development of an expense report-making tool designed to help the finance unit with the team's financial reporting; a data science project aimed at improving ambulance operations in Ireland; the development of a security analytics dashboard for smart electrical grids as part of the EU-funded SPARKS project; and the creation of reporting and analytics tools to help the team understand how time is being spent across projects.
  • Submitted my first patent request, and though it failed for reasons not related to the quality of the work, I'm gonna count that as a success.
  • Created over a dozen slide decks presented to executives, and at large international conferences, and edited many more for colleagues and managers.
  • Populated 8 git repositories, created 7 R packages, used over 15 public R packages, updated R five times, and made the smart grid analytics tool 5 times faster and 738.1% cooler-looking and more interactive.
  • Ate 9 birthday buns, which are tiny cakes/baked goods. Drank approximately 700 cups of espresso, but only enjoyed about 600 of them.
  • Made friends with people from 7 different countries, 9 if you count dual nationalities–which you should–but only made brownies for them twice, and only in the last two weeks.
  • Gave a talk in front of other interns about what I had learned in my time as a PhD. I showed them a picture of me with the PhD doughnut hat. They didn't laugh. I think their soul was broken.
  • Read from a teleprompter for the first time ever. It's a strange experience and I commend news anchors for making it seem easy.
  • Met a George Boole impersonator at the opening gala of the George Boole Business Labs at University College Cork.
  • Forgot my badge to the canteen 3 times. But was never told off for it.
  • Introduced a company VP to the wonder that is the Particle Zoo and the Standard Model lagrangian.
  • Helped write documentation for an EU-funded project, co-wrote 3 papers submitted to international conferences, and edited part of what later became a chapter in a published book about Smart Grid security.
  • Worked with teams from Israel, Austria, Switzerland, and the USA.
  • Volunteered as a mentor teaching kids how to make games in javascript and may have accidentally made them question if Santa was real. Kids are way more creative and capable than we give them credit for.
  • Completed 1151 work-related actions in 135 projects. That's an average of 4.9 actions and 0.6 projects per day, working only 39 hours a week.

And when I look at that list all I can say is that it's been a great year. There was no way in hell I could have done all of this in 2014. Today, I completed all my work projects and left my Someday/Maybes behind. There's a great hole in my projects list and I cannot wait to see what fills it. Onward and upward.

Thanks for reading. Until next time.

-- Jacobo Blanco