September 1, 2017

Meet Josh Papermaster, University of Texas, Austin. Josh sat down with us to talk about his experiences interning for conDati. He discusses what he learned and his favorite memories. 

What was the technical highlight or accomplishment you're most proud of from this internship?

The accomplishment I’m most proud of is the logic that went into the function to format DataFrames. There were many tricky conversions between strings and integers. When numbers are a certain size, Julia Language automatically turns it into scientific notation. I had to reverse this by converting it to a string, manipulating it; and then from there, do all of the rounding calculations. It became a lengthy process that required many confusing string concatenations. Additionally, there were continuous requests to add more features to allow the tables to be designed in any way the user pleases.

What was the biggest technical lesson learned this summer?

This was more of a general lesson than a technical one, but my biggest lesson was to get a working version of my task done quickly. This allowed for others to make comments on it and give me feedback early in the process. One of the sayings that was reiterated to us throughout this summer was that “if your first version is perfect, you waited too long to show it,” which I found to certainly be true. When working with visualizations, all inputs and advice are helpful.

What's your favorite memory?

My favorite memory is all the running jokes we had while messaging on Slack. We made small emojis of each other’s faces and used them where we felt appropriate. This led to our faces appearing in many random chats as responses to whatever we were talking about.