Glossika: A Perfect Match for Lovers of Tech and Language-Learning
“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” — Nelson Mandela
This saying pretty much sums up what has driven me to learn languages for years. It is the desire to get connected with others, no matter where and who they are. Following this passion, I discovered Glossika by chance two years ago at the Yourator 2020 Digit Talent Job Fair. The concept of using computational linguistics (leveraging computer science technology to research linguistics) to help language learners learn better clicked with me. At that time, I was still struggling to find a sweet spot of my varied interests in programming and language learning. I still remembered walking up to Sheena, the HR manager of Glossika, asking her if there were any coding intern positions. Sadly, there were none. Little did I know that two years later, I would have the chance to work in Glosska, building its future internal system — Metagraph.
Tips on Interview Prep
A cover letter and resume will do for the application. Ensure that you can prove your passion in languages by including, but not limited to, showing that you have taken language/linguistics courses, passed language certifications, or writing mediums about any related topics. I guess it will be a plus if you also have learned a second foreign language.
At Work: Learn from the Great Minds
I have learned a lot from Michael, the CEO of Glossika, and Freddy, my project teammate, regarding workplace capabilities and programming skills.
During my internship at Glossika, the company was planning to build Metagraph. This powerful internal system supports all kinds of linguistic work, such as transcription, translation, correction, auto-tagging, etc. Luckily enough, I was assigned to this project and was responsible for frontend development. It was a team of 2 people who directly reported to Michael.
There were tons of communication that took place when we worked on the project, from which I learned how to synthesize requirements quickly from discussions and prioritize them. I still remembered the back-and-forths that Freddy and I had with Michael in the several talks about the functionalities of Metagraph. In the beginning, I was overwhelmed by the uncertainties of the system requirements, because neither of us had a crystal-clear idea about how it should be. Michael knew this, so he gave me some time and space to figure them out and even spent extra time with me, clarifying and prioritizing things. Gradually, I started to grasp the purpose behind these functionalities. In the end, I could quickly identify requirements in a discussion and prioritize them by degree of urgency.
Another thing I learned is frontend development. At that time, frontend development was just a buzzword for me. I did not know about it and still remembered texting Freddy, asking him if I should give up on the task because I could not hand in the work. I would never forget his words of encouragement. He told me, “Don’t worry. I can handle the work this time. You should have no problem learning this. You just need some time.” Sure enough, I soon picked up the necessary skills, thanks to his help, in scaffolding the program. Later on, he also taught me a lot about GitFlow development, DevOps, and cloud services. Eventually, I worked on frontend development independently and even filled in his position after he left.
A Dreamlike Experience
I am truly grateful for the opportunity to intern at Glossika this Spring. It is like a dream came true to me, and indeed, the internship was a dreamlike experience. Thank you, Glossika, for giving me this chance! Finally, I would also like to thank all the other interns in the company at the time for the unforgettable smiles and tears we had. It was these memories that filled my days at Glossika with joy and happiness. :)