September 19, 2017

Meet Michael Mendelsohn, UCLA. Michael 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?

I’m most proud of my work with figuring out how to access data through an API, transfer that data into our database, pull it back out from the database using some handy functions made by my fellow interns, and then do some cool data science on it. I had to figure out every part of this process on my own, so  it also became  my job to create  clear instructions for coworkers and clients on how the API worked, and what needed to be done to use it.  This is where I have left my most important mark on conDati.

What was the biggest technical lesson learned this summer?

Coming into this internship, I had no experience working as a developer outside of very small projects in the handful  of C++ classes I had taken at UCLA. Over the past 13 weeks, I learned more about using git, version control, and linux commands than I ever wanted to know. I also coded in Python, Julia, and slightly dabbled with basic SQL. Compared to my fellow interns, who all have Computer Science backgrounds compared to my future degree in math, -  I felt like I came in with minimal  relevant knowledge to help me as a Data Science Intern. So  that makes the lesson: There’s nothing you can’t learn with some hard work and many, many Google searches.

What's your favorite memory?

My favorite memory from this summer is spending time with my fellow  interns and our one full-time employee, huddled together in a small windowless room“fondly”  referred to as “The Box.” For the first three months of conDati’s existence, our window to the outside world was a TV mounted to the wall. And while we couldn’t see sunlight, every Wednesday we would gather around at lunch time, eat Ike’s sandwiches delivered by DoorDash, and listen to the weekly EDM remix from that week’s Rick and Morty. It was a time to laugh and relax, and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of guys to have around me.