Hi. My name is Corentin. I come from Lyon, France. I am at the end of my general Engineering Bachelor’s Degree. Before starting my Masters, I wanted to hit the road in order to discover more about the energy and electronical fields, but also to acquire some company culture. That’s how I landed up at Solvera Lynx d.d. in Ljubljana and how I had one of the best experiences of my life. I learned so much during these 2 months. Let me tell you a bit about it.
May 30th, 2016. My last exam. I’m finally done with these three very theoretical years. I have my mind full of ideas, but unfortunately a lack of work experience. However, this will soon change: in two days, I start my internship at Solvera Lynx.
June 1st, 2016. First day of work! Reaching the destination of the company was my first challenge. I wasn’t familiar with the buses and I got lost several times. My phone, of course, chose this time to bite the dust. Actually, I still don’t know how, but I managed to split the whistle. When I finally got there, my first impression was astonishment. Even though Solvera only has a team of about 50 people, they work in a lovely and modern building.
Martina, the COO, kindly welcomes me. After I fill in some papers,—it makes the world go around, they say—I am introduced to everybody. Even without knowing them, I can feel the pleasant atmosphere that I will get to discover while working at Solvera Lynx. Gregor, my supervisor, shows me my desk, which is in the middle of an open space. It is close to my new hardware team. Simon, the IT guy, provides me with a computer, some papers, a pen, and whatever knick-knacks I might need. Then, instead of educating me on the company policy in a formal way, some of my team invited me for a coffee in their brand new café Čuk. According to Gregor, Jani, Bor, and Klemen, Solvera makes sure to take care of the well-being of every worker and is trying to establish a trust-based relationship with them. They told me I don’t need to dress to kill. I can choose my timetable as long as I’m present between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. There is a self-service fruit-snack area. Plus, I have to send a short, but off-beat introductory email to everybody, an email that will be published on the internal website. There, you can also find funny pictures and facts about employees. With all these measures—and, I won’t lie, the frequent future beer gatherings attended by everybody—it is very easy to get to know all your co-workers and to feel as a part of this company very quickly.
My feelings are confirmed: Solvera will be a great company to work for, because it is young at heart. These measures are a win-win situation: during my stay, I noticed that the policy makes employees more effective. In one word, the first day was awesome. And it was just the beginning.
A day at work, juggling learning and responsibilities
Solvera Lynx d.d. sells devices that send data from their sensors to a proprietary monitoring software called GemaLogic. However, between the end-device and the software, the data has to go through a server. Basically, my job here was to compare several network management services for their devices on LoRaWAN; to study which server we should use and why. That meant that I had to do a lot of internet research, to contact many consumer’s services and above all, to run numerous lab tests to find out with which partner the company should work with.
Seeing beyond my own work enabled me to guide my research to be more useful to the company.
Not my language, not my field of study, but a wonderful training
I thought that most difficulties would come from the language. I don’t speak at all Slovenian, but it wasn’t a problem. Everybody in the company can communicate in English very well and they made serious efforts to integrate me into their talks. I also thought that I would have difficulties with my responsibilities. Indeed, I wanted to be sure to deliver exact and useful information to my manager. The problem was that I didn’t have any knowledge about what I was working on. And the technology Solvera is working on is really new, so I was worried I would have to build something from scratch. However, that wasn’t the case. I didn’t have to beat the clock, my team gave me enough time to adapt myself and to search whatever I required. In particular, Bor, Klemen, Jani, and Staš were very helpful each time I needed something. At first, I had a rough time using the Raspberry Pi and the concentrator as a test gateway, but I moved beyond the first incomprehension very quickly. In the end, the most challenging thing was to adapt myself to their lunch time (very early) and to their specific computer keyboard (they have different letters and I am used to the Azerty French keyboard)!
What I will remember
As I think about this internship after these amazing two months, a lot of keywords come to mind. Skilful training in a new engineering field and with a competent team. Submergence in a healthy company culture. Awesome social experience in a co-working and sharing environment. The IoT: a very interesting and new area of work. The surprising amount of responsibility. And chiefly the really joyful mood, particularly compared to the other companies I had the opportunity to work for.
To conclude, time flies and I would have loved to work for Solvera Lynx longer!
By Corentin Chaillet