Interning at Ignitarium: A whole new experience amidst the pandemic!

Having years of experience as an engineering student, writing a blog about my first work experience can be both tricky and rejoicing at the same time. To begin with, during my first year of MTech in BMS College of Engineering in January 2020 I was interviewed for the internship at Ignitarium Technology Solutions, Bangalore . 

All geared up to encounter the fresh feel of working in a standard workspace, the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 a pandemic during the first quarter of 2020!

I had my own doubts about the internship, but fortunately, nothing changed.

On 1st September, 2020, I joined as an intern at the machine learning department, alongside my post graduation. 

I was expecting my very new job to be in a live office environment, but then ‘working from home’ became the new normal. In spite of the fact that working from our homes would persistently demand for maintaining a balance between our personal and professional lives, Ignitarium made remarkable efforts towards helping the employees deal with such challenges.

First day at work, all the interns joining the organisation had a virtual welcome gesture by Sanjay Jayakumar, founder and managing director of Ignitarium. During the meeting, all of us were told about our roles as well as the policies and practices followed within the organisation.The meeting itself was an eye-opener and I was taken aback of the fact that I am able to rely on help and advice of my colleagues at all times.

During the first week of September, 2020, I had a one-on-one discussion with my mentor, Mohit Bangale, over a phone call, about the tasks and responsibilities I would be handling during my internship.  At the initial stage of internship, some of us found it difficult to converse or convey everything online. However, every member inside the organisation managed to help each other get through it. Eventually, I felt more confident as I found Ignitarium indeed a very cordial and reliable organisation. 

The first few months of the internship involved generic training that helped in induction to revise basics such as hands-on python, c/c++, operating systems, x86 and arm architecture,image processing concepts including image filters, morphological operations, etc. Following few months involved specialised training where I was taught deep learning techniques such as image classification, detection and segmentation, and deep neural networks such as AlexNet, YOLO, SSD mobilenet, RetinaNet and many more. 

Once I got familiar with the basics of  machine learning and deep learning concepts, I was assigned an interesting project. The project mainly aims at creating an object detection model to detect objects lying on or around railway tracks. Through experience and observation, another valuable lesson I have learnt while working at Ignitarium is that in projects, especially when working in the primary stages of a certain project, things can change very quickly and dramatically as per the client’s requirements. I am fortunate enough to experience different sides of a project, the general process of  initial project planning, development ,completion and testing. Moreover, I am relieved by the assurance that I can seek help from my lead at any stage, in case of any difficulties. 

Reflecting on the work I have done so far, I have been loving the overall experience. I have been able to learn a lot more than I ever expected. Not only have I improved my technical skills, but been able to participate in all the cultural and non-technical events. 

 Ignitarium’s vision is ‘Good People, Great Engineering, Impactful Products’. I have personally experienced it firsthand. This experience of the professional workplace will always be memorable to me in my future career journey. 

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