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Thankful for my time at Samsung

November 26, 2017

Friday the 17th was my last day at Samsung Research, and in the spirit of giving thanks I thought I’d mention a few things I’m thankful for from my time there.

First, I’m thankful for the opportunity for more direct hands-on work. I joined Samsung from IBM Research because I wanted to get closer to the product side: despite calling itself “Samsung Research”, most of the organization is focused on advanced product development rather than the publication-focused academic research that typically springs to mind for a research organization. During my time there, first with the UX Innovations Lab and then with the Think Tank Team, I got the chance to design and build multiple new user experiences, products, and services (although sadly I can’t talk about many of them).

Second, I’m thankful for the great people I got to work with. In academic research you typically work with just other researchers and the occasional developer, but at Samsung I got to work with people from all sorts of backgrounds: designers (visual, interaction, industrial), developers, engineers (electrical and mechanical), an architect, a physicist, and more. It was a lot of fun having all of those different perspectives and skills to bring to bear on projects.

Third, I’m thankful for the opportunity to learn new skills. I got a lot of experience building prototypes in Android, and I even had the chance to work more on web services (both the front-end interface and the back-end server). I had the opportunity to take Berkeley’s Engineering Leadership Professional Program (although to be honest I liked IBM’s Micro MBA course better). I improved as a project lead and manager as well, particularly how to lead a multidisciplinary team.

Fourth, I’m thankful for the opportunity to experience a different culture. While we always joked that IBM’s Almaden Research Center felt like an isolated outpost of IBM, that’s nothing compared to working in a small US subsidiary of a large Korean company. It was interesting to see the different approaches to and attitudes about work.

I wish my former colleagues all the best, and I look forward to seeing TTT’s hand in future Samsung offerings. As for me, I joined Google this past week, where I’ll start finding new things to be thankful for.

From → Musings

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