Specialization: computers and software. Internship: Amplify Live, USA.
Aray 23, is a graduate of the International IT University. Before she won the competition run by the Shakhmardan Yessenov Foundation, she managed to gain experience at KazNAU as a Junior Full-Stack Developer and at ChocoFood (Back End Developer). Winning the competition brought her a six-month internship, and in fact a serious job in the American startup Amplify.
Were the stages of the competition difficult for you? What happened in them?
A difficult moment for me was when I learned about the experience of other participants. There were guys who had 10 years of experience in development, and masters and doctoral students. It seemed to me that I had no chance. But I firmly decided that I would try and try to get through. I started to prepare, gradually got together my documents and certificates, and gained some experience and basic knowledge. I passed the first qualifying stage. Next you had to go through an interview with representatives of the foundation and start-up managers. It was nerve-wracking, but interesting. I remember how one of the participants told me that with the help of Google View he was “walking” in San Francisco and was preparing himself psychologically to win. And then I realized how important it is to have the desire to achieve a specific goal and visualize it. Mental readiness and the right attitude helped me to get through all the stages of the competition and win.
What did you do during the internship?
Amplify Live created a chat bot in Facebook messenger — Live Event Assistant (LEA). Its purpose is to help people buy tickets to concerts, sports and shows in the United States. My task was to work on the bot interface. For example, I collected information about sports teams, and worked on sending the information to users after buying and paying for tickets. But the real challenge was creating the admin panels for managers and project managers. With its help, they could adjust what the bot has written. And I managed to create it by the fourth month of my internship.
What was the most important and interesting thing for you personally during that time?
I was interested in everything that happened to me there, and I am glad that I entered the competition and won. I have been convinced about how important it is for professionals to communicate closely with each other and constantly engage in self-development in their field. And, you know, I revised my approach to time-management and adjusted my priorities. Previously, I did everything according to my mood or what I wanted, but now I understand that you can only achieve something through daily work and having the right attitude.
So what did you achieve, Arai, in half a year in Silicon Valley?
I read several books on algorithms, on programming languages, on the basics of machine learning and big data. In Japan I published a scientific article on “The University system of checking texts for plagiarism” – I wrote it up during my internship. As well as that, I’m now faster at solving problems by algorithms. And, as strange as it may sound, I can say that now I better understand the very essence of programming.
What are your plans for the next couple of years?
I’m still working with Amplify Live, and I’ve become part of the company. Work in a startup has influenced my goals. I’ve started to think and plan more boldly and ambitiously. Previously, the idea of getting a job at Google was unreal to me, but now I understand that this goal is quite achievable. In fact, it can be done literally in a year. I’ve definitely decided to study for a masters, and to look for other opportunities to study programming from a scientific point of view.
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