Few parts of society have been left unscathed by the COVID crisis, and the job market is no exception. Whether you are a student, eager to kick start your career with an internship, or an experienced manager, in search of something new, it is more than likely that any job hunt taking place in 2020 will be fraught with uncertainty. It is also quite likely, particularly if you are a Millennial, that you are considering working at a startup—surveys show, 1 out of 2 are.
Much has been written on the topic of startup life—one could spend hours scrolling through pros and cons lists, in an attempt to make such a choice easier—but how can you really get an idea of what it is like and understand if it is the right path for you?
Here at AiSight, we have recently started hiring again (take a look at our vacancies), and thought we might make your choice and your application process easier by answering one of the most common questions that applicants ask during their interviews: what does a typical day at AiSight look like?
AiSight is made up of four main teams: Hardware, Software, Sales and Marketing, and Administration, and regardless of which one you belong to, your day will always start with the Daily Meeting. In these short sessions, everyone updates their teammates on what they worked on the day before and synchronizes around the plan for the next 24 hours.
While collaboration is a priority at AiSight, the Daily Meeting is a very quick overview involving all team members. If you are working more closely with someone and need to have a more detailed discussion, then you will likely have to schedule a separate session. From a medium-term perspective, we work with SCRUM. Our Sprints are bi-weekly and help everybody prioritize their tasks. Because it can be difficult to really engage with a task and commit deeply to it, if you don’t know where it’s taking you, we also follow the OKRs methodology, which helps plan each quarter in a way that allows each team to align their priorities with those of the company and each team member to align their aims with those of the team. Everybody can question objectives and bring new ideas to the table. This puts everyone on the same page and ensures maximum transparency, allowing us to then go our separate ways to work on our individual tasks.
If you happen to pass by the office right now on a normal day, you will find a very busy (but corona-compliant) lab, with our engineers working hard on the next version of our product. The hardware team comes to the office everyday with new ideas of how to improve the functionality and efficiency of the product, so that the data gathered is as accurate as possible.
The Software team is responsible for translating the data gathered from the tests we conduct on-sight into valuable insights. The team also makes sure that customers can understand that value, through a seamlessly functional dashboard.
Finally, what would be the point of creating such a great product that provides so many insights, if nobody knew it existed or how easy it is to implement? The marketing team is there to ensure that our customers are always up to date on our latest improvements and that they know they can rely on a great team.
Although tasks are very well-defined across teams and each person has their own objectives, everyone works toward the same common goal: delivering value to our customers. Our workflow helps the team get there in several ways.
The first of these is research. Our teammates, with their impressive backgrounds, know how to find out what industrial machines need and know how to make our product reflect that. During our “Article Discussion” sessions (you could expect to encounter one of these on a Wednesday), the Software, Hardware and Mechanical teams read and discuss an industry-relevant article to up-to-date with the latest trends in machine learning and the industry as a whole. The same thing happens with the Marketing team: we work hard to deliver value to our customers and inform them of it, in ways that best fit their needs. That means keeping them informed of new insights (through our blog), our product development (through our newsletter) and, of course, all the fun we have in the office.
The second way our workflow helps the team is through collaboration. Collaboration through teams allow people to move in the same direction. However, it’s necessary to stop along the way and make sure that everybody is on the same page. If a major result was achieved, or someone has finished working on a big chunk of their work, it might be necessary for that person to update their team. All of our meetings are open, so that everybody has a chance to learn where other teams stand on their projects or just to attend a meeting about a topic that interests them. Fridays are excellent opportunities for this. Every other Friday at the end of the day, we hold a Sprint Review, in which every team member sums up the main tasks they have worked on over the past fourteen days.
The third way our workflow helps the team is through flexibility. We keep closely in touch with our customers and stakeholders, and, as we mentioned above, do a lot of research. This means we are constantly improving our product, processes and the ways in which we communicate. Our lab is there to make sure the results we achieve are of the highest possible quality. You ask, we listen. We are building a sensor that is even easier to install and are developing its width, rather than height, to make sure that the sensor is closer to where the data originates. The sensor has the largest possible bandwidth and resolution, so that it can detect even the smallest deviations in your machine’s behavior. Our software team makes sure that our algorithms can match the behavior of your machine to that of similar machines, so that we do not need to train our sensors from scratch to deliver valuable insights. We have also added thermal and geomagnetic sensors to optimize your production processes through more than just vibration.
The final way our workflow helps the team is the culture. Perhaps, by now, you understand that days at AiSight are very dynamic and that everybody works hard to do their job as best as possible. Everything moves incredibly fast—one year ago at this time, our team was only made of 4 people and our product was very different from what you know today. This means productivity and morale have to be well-maintained. This can only be achieved through a great office atmosphere and AiSight truly has that. There is always a funny conversation unfolding on Slack and daily opportunities to join our colleagues for lunch outside of the office. Staying in for lunch, however, can also have its perks: our team counts 7 different nationalities, meaning ample opportunities to experience different cuisines. At the end of the day, we often unwind with a few games of foosball. Building a great team culture is as important as building a great product, which is why we also have many team events outside of the office.
Part of keeping a great office atmosphere is also spending time away from the office. Smart working has always been a part of AiSight’s work culture and has allowed us to easily adapt to the challenges presented by the COVID crisis. From the start, we managed to make our smart working setup as similar to working in the office as possible (read about how we did it). Now we ensure that working on site is safe, but that smart working is still an option.
In the end, we cannot really guarantee that you will have a typical day here at AiSight; every day is rather different and that is what makes it special. However, you can be sure that you will find a great office environment, with a great balance of productivity and fun, and people who are genuinely passionate about the work that they do. Want to join the team? Contact us or apply directly on our website.