Weekly Wrap Up - The Nom Factor
24 May 2016
Feeling hungry? Our answer would be "always". Regardless of breakfast, mid-morning snacks, lunch, afternoon snacks, and pre-dinner snacks, our appetites appear to be pretty insatiable (What exactly is ’full’ anyway?). Food is kind of a big deal here at Sphero and our options are never in short supply.
Every Friday the masses flock to the kitchen to receive their appetite’s worth of their daily bread, followed by a company-wide state of the union. After snagging the last and much-sought-after chocolate chip cookie (Wait, is that oatmeal raisin? Nah, I’m good then.), Sphero-ites with full bellies will gather for the "presidential address".
This weekly meeting is one of the few moments where all of Sphero’s teams are in the same place at the same time, utilising this precious hour to give big deal updates. We introduce any fresh-faced noobs to the company, present nominees on both the Board of Thanks and Chicken Foot (we’ll get into this another time) and lastly, have a quick game of trivia.
This however, is accompanied by the ravenous thoughts of second helpings, conducting an inner monologue that goes a little something like:
“Are there any cookies left? Oooo…there’s one half left of that apple brie sandwich…doesn’t look like anyone else is eyeing it. Are second lunches a thing? ‘Cause they should be. Maybe I can casually saunter over during the next round of clapping. Oh wait, the product team is next to present their update…ahhhhh….ok, I’ll wait until after I hear about [super-secret product name].”
So alas…we wait. And maybe we miss that last cookie (it was oatmeal raisin anyway), but we’d like to think our physical hunger transfers over to a mental one; to producing better products and continuing to innovate. There’s a popular saying at Sphero, which is to “stay hungry”. We like big appetites of both the stomach and mind, and for good reason, too. How else are cool products like BB-8, Sphero, SPRK and Ollie made? With some hard work, ingenious minds and reasonable chocolate chip cookie rations.
So at the risk of sounding eerily similar to, yet maybe not as well-bearded as the Most Interesting Man In The World, we advise you to “stay hungry”, my friends.
To hold you over until dinner (or your next snack, let’s be honest), here's something to chew on: A Day In the Life and ICYMI Top 5.
A Day In The Life: Anne Gatchell
Q. Hi there. To start things off, let’s get a few formalities out of the way: Who are you and what’s your title here?
A. My name is Anne Gatchell and I am a Software Engineer at Sphero.
Q. Can you explain what exactly you do at Sphero?
A. I work on our Platform Team, so I deal in infrastructure that is used across our whole company. In any given day, I may be writing code around how best to store data or move it around, aggregating data for other departments, analyzing metrics, or working on infrastructure that allows our apps to have web components.
Q. For those that have some idea of what you’re talking about—unlike myself—what advice can you impart for someone who’s looking to get into the same thing?
A. For a software development role, I recommend working on your own software projects and deploying them. Try grabbing data from some api, like Twitter, and performing some analysis on it and making use of some new data store that you haven’t used before, and get it out there on AWS. I also value what I learned in my Computer Science degree, but so much of what we do on a daily basis has to do with the intricacies of running software in a production environment and all the nuances involved.
Q. I see you, science. Can you share what you’re currently working on?
A. One thing we are doing is rewriting a system that worked well when we were a little tiny startup selling a few spheros, but is now way too big for its britches. Scalability, FTW!
Q. I’m a fan of a bigger britches. So what is your favourite aspect of working at Sphero? Ice cream day is pretty sweet (see what I did there?) so if it’s that, I get it.
A. My favorite part about working is Sphero is working alongside so many different disciplines. We have amazing artists, marketers, electrical engineers, software engineers, mechanical engineers, educators, packaging specialists, and many more talented people. It’s neat to have all these smarties under one roof.
Q. So which of our smarty bots is your fave and why?
A. Hard to say. I love that BB-8 has personality, but I am also pretty partial to the Ollie I have on my desk. What a cutie!
Q. I know Ollie’s blushing right now. Ok, let’s dig a bit deeper—what do you like to do outside of Sphero?
A. I love to paint and draw. Art is my passion, and I draw or paint every single day. I love to work with oils, and I’ve been having fun with digital art and ink recently as well. I also love to mountain bike all over the place!
Q. You’re in the perfect place. What do you love about living in Colorado (besides basically everything)?
A. I love that I can hop in the car and in about 6-8 hours I can be mountain biking (or snowboarding, depending on the season) in places like Crested Butte, Moab, Taos, Fruita, Wolf Creek, etc. The scenery here is so beautiful, it’s not even fair.
Q. Probably why everyone’s moving here. For those that are new, can you recommend a place I gotta check out?
A. In Colorado? I’d go bike the Teocalli Ridge loop outside Crested Butte. Big uphill climb, but the downhill and views are worth it.
Q. I’ll definitely check that out. Alright, back to you—tell me something about yourself that will blow my mind. Or at least that I will find unexpected.
A. I sometimes take breakdancing classes.
Catch you next week. Bring some snacks.