Internship @Blackout

Internship @Blackout

Blackout Technologies’ first intern!

In every life of a company comes the time for their first intern! For us it was 587 days after founding Blackout Technologies. And it happened in form of a phone call made by a 15 year old, brave, high school student named Rebecca.

Having our first intern at Blackout Technologies is the most exciting event, in terms of building our team, in 2018 – Marc Fiedler

One of these days, that often seam to blur in one big pile of days, full with calls, video conferences, emails, coding and other life-or-death tasks rang our office landline. On the other end was Rebecca. She’s in the 9th class (out of 12 here in Germany) and looking for a place to make a 2 week internship for her school. She tells us, she saw an article in the local newspaper about Blackout Technologies and herself loves to play around with hardware like Arduinos or Raspberries, building weather stations with her friends or building small robots. What do you say to someone who is just really curious about technology and has enough knowledge to actually understand what you’re saying? Well, there is just one possible answer to that: Yes, of course you can come and make your internship with us!

So it happened that, after a first meeting in our office and getting the logistics on the way, Rebecca started her internship at Blackout on the 11.6.2018, planned for 2 weeks. Part of that 2-week-internship was that Rebecca joined us for 2 days on the CEBIT, where we were exhibiting on the SoftBank Robotics booth and helped model part of the personality of our Nao Robot that we like to call “Pluto”.

I got to admit, taking Rebecca to the CEBIT, might have been throwing her in the cold water, since she really just arrived at Blackout at didn’t got a lot of background infos on the company, technology or products. But nonetheless, she and Salma (who was helping me with the booth), did an exceptionally good job. I hope, as a lessons-learned part, we were able to show Rebecca a little, teeny, tiny bit of the business world surrounding the technologies she loves so much. Also I’d very much like if we were able to introduce to Rebecca the special atmosphere that one is only able to experience when working on a fair, the scurrying around and last-minute-patching-things-up or putting glitter over it to distract from the cables on the floor, etc.

From what I saw, I believe we were able to show her all these things and also give her an idea of the toll people working on fairs or events have to pay. I myself do believe that working on a fair is one of the hardest jobs I experienced to far. On the one hand because of the long days, it’s easy to spend 10 hours a day on the booth, that you spend most of the time standing around. On the other hand because of the repetitive talks you have. For each person coming to the booth, it’s something new and they have all these “clever” questions, but really, everybody is asking the same, you spend smiling and have to act like this is the first time that day that you are actually allowed to tell your story and you are really grateful that this person is gifting you his 5 minutes and listens to you. It’s hard on the body and mind!

From what Rebecca told us, she was completely exhausted each night and just fell into bed. Goal achieved 😉

Back in the office Rebecca spent a great deal of her time with our robotic engineers. Since she has an affinity to hardware and sensors she dabbled into BB8 and Nao by SoftBank Robotics.

Here is now the story from Rebecca’s perspective, written in German:

Ich interessiere mich auch in meiner Freizeit sehr fĂŒrs Programmieren, fĂŒr Roboter und allgemein fĂŒr Technik. Deswegen wollte ich auch in meinem Praktikum etwas in diese Richtung machen. Als ich dann in der Zeitung einen Artikel ĂŒber Blackout gesehen habe, fand ich das Startup so cool, dass ich dachte: „warum nicht mal Bewerben?“Auf meine Email an den GeschĂ€ftsfĂŒhrer von Blackout folgte ein Telefonat mit ihm und ein VorstellungsgesprĂ€ch. Bei dem GesprĂ€ch habe ich von meinen Interessen und meinen Vorkenntnissen erzĂ€hlt. Und so habe ich mein Praktikum bei Blackout Technologies bekommen.

Am ersten Tag habe ich erstmal alle aus dem Team kennengelernt und wurde danach von Marc Fiedler schon in meine erste Aufgabe eingewiesen. Ich sollte ein paar Dialogfragen und Antworten fĂŒr die Persönlichkeit eines ihrer Roboter schreiben. Diese Dialoge waren zu bestimmten Themen, da am nĂ€chsten Tag die CeBit (eine Technikmesse) stattfand wo Blackout auch vertreten war.  An den nĂ€chsten beiden Tagen durfte ich mit auf die CeBit. Lisa Fischer hat mich erstmal eingefĂŒhrt in die Themenschwerpunkte von Blackout Technologies. Mit einer Kollegin zusammen habe ich dann den Stand betreut, bin aber auch so herumgelaufen und durfte mir alles angucken. Wieder im BĂŒro durfte ich mein nĂ€chstes Projekt anfangen. Einen kleinen Roboter (Sphero) zu programmieren. Marc Fiedler hatte ein paar coole Ideen, die ich umsetzten konnte. Beim Programmieren habe ich immer super Hilfe bekommen, wenn ich sie brauchte. Zwischendurch haben mir Mitarbeiter von ihren Projekten erzĂ€hlt und sie mir vorgestellt. Das war schon echt spannend. Am letzten Tag habe ich sogar noch einen Nao programmiert. Das ganze Praktikum hat sehr viel Spaß gemacht und ich habe sehr viel gelernt und erlebt. Das Team ist echt super und ich blicke echt gerne auf das Praktikum zurĂŒck!

Danke an das ganze Blackout Technologies Team! Ich kann ein Praktikum hier sehr empfehlen. – Rebecca

Well, thank you, Rebecca, we’d have you anytime!