Xian Loong: Learning Starts with a Hello World
This is my first week working at AESTE. I am very excited to learn and to produce results within twelve weeks of my internship time-frame.
I am a final year electrical and electronics engineering undergraduate student from the National University Of Malaysia (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, UKM). I am always interested in how hardware works and the theory behind it. AESTE is perfect for me to explore more of this.
I first met my supervisor at a talk he gave at UKM. His talk was an eye-opener for me. Not only does he talk about how things work, but he also gave an insight on how to push hardware and software beyond their limits. The company’s philosophy of engineering elegance attracted me a lot. Before this, I have heard of many bad internship experiences from my peers and I knew that AESTE will provide me a very rare intense learning experience. I emailed him that very day and also answered his very difficult screening questions. He then gave me a phone interview in which I could not answer his technical question on measuring FPGA power consumption. However, to my surprise, he accepted me.
The first day of work widened my horizon in perceiving technical knowledge. I realized that learning is not merely memorizing or just by knowing what sets of inputs will give the desired outputs. Quoting Feynman, “the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something”. In order to do good work, we need to know every aspect and operation of the software and hardware. Strings of perspiration make me feel a little uncomfortable. I am beginning to worry about my performance in the company.
However, my colleague Sam, from Yemen, is very helpful in teaching me GIT, a project management tool. Even the first look at a list of projects that my supervisor asked me to do stunned me. They were alien to me. These projects are not kids stuff, at least not for me. I am just a regular Malaysian student, but I am good enough to tell that the projects that I have done at university are not enough for me to work on the AESTE projects. I wish that my university could provide something unimaginable like this, to me.
However this is what I had craved for since my first year at university. Although there is an uneasy feeling dealing with things that I have not understood, but with all my heart I will run towards it nonetheless. Learning starts from “abc” or in programming terms, learning starts with a “hello world”. I believe that I have a strong learning desire to take on this challenge of facing the unknown, just like how all of us learn “abc”. Just that I need to do it faster than before when I first learned “hello world”.