Hi, my name is Annie and I'm in the machine learning software group. We work with tiny computers – microcontrollers – and enable machine learning to run fast an energy efficient, by optimized and well-functioning software. In my team we are involved in Tensorflow – an open-source framework for ML – to make sure it is up to date with Arm's smallest chips and the needs of our partners.
When I decided to join Arm, a lot of it was out of pure curiosity. I had heard really nice things about the culture. Despite the limited experience I had in the embedded space, I could tell the company did some impactful things – even on some of the devices in my own home. Coming from a background of a quite high level of abstraction in ML, I wanted to understand more of what happened under the hood. Working directly with mathematical operators for Arm IP, my understanding of neural networks has deepened. Getting to use that math from university to solve real issues in public code, with a network of supportive colleagues, is a recipe for growth and development!
My colleagues have a deep understanding of the things we create, and the willingness to share that knowledge makes it easy to reach out to practically anyone. I have been able to build meaningful connections across the company, which has made an impact on understanding myself as an engineer. I know I sometimes feel overwhelmed to navigate the many aspects of a new job. But knowing that you will be accepted and seen, talking to people becomes easy. Suddenly, you find yourself growing into your new role much faster.
This brings me to my final point: I have realized the importance of having a mentor. Having someone to turn to has been crucial for me. By getting to know someone in your professional sphere that you can relate to, or that inspires you, opens a world of knowledge that you would otherwise have to learn the hard way. Therefore, I would like to offer a piece of advice: to anyone that does not yet have that connection, start looking around! It doesn't have to be someone with 20 years of experience (and heads up – even if they do, they will still not have all the answers). If they inspire you, and you feel like you can trust them, it will do so much for your development. A third-party that is not in your direct team can bring new perspectives and insights. And sometimes, you just need someone to listen.
Does someone come to mind? Do reach out and schedule an unconditional coffee! You may have to go through a few people, but once you find your person, it'll be worth it. Me and my mentor meet for half an hour every other week. Sometimes, we discuss my concerns. Sometimes, we just say hello, talk about the weekend and hang up after ten minutes. It doesn’t have to be more complicated than that. But having someone that knows me professionally to discuss my career with, has really helped (thanks, Surabhi 😊🌷)
With those words, I hope you learned a thing or two about life at Arm! Thanks for reading and have a good day ahead.
All the best,