Welcome to the Coiled Employee Spotlight, a new segment on our blog where we’ll be highlighting and getting to know the fantastic members of our team. In these blogs, we’ll interview Coiled team members in order to get to know more about their background and interests and pick their brain on data science, ML, and open source.
For our first feature, we sat down with our Software Engineer, Jasmine Sandhu.
This interview was edited slightly for clarity. Keep reading to get to know Jasmine and learn about her journey to Coiled.
Jasmine was born in India and moved to the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. when she was a teenager. A graduate of the University of Washington, she then spent time in different regions across the United States before settling down in Seattle, where she lives now with her family.
Growing up, Jasmine loved traveling and wanted to have lots of adventures, and thought that “space was pretty cool”. So cool, in fact, that after spending some time as a flight attendant and growing more interested in flying, she decided to study aerospace engineering in college.
“I thought it’d be nice to work for one of the NASA centers. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory was what I was excited about. So right after college, I went and worked there. I worked on the MER project, the Mars Exploration Rovers project, in 2003.”
This means that watching the recent Perseverance landing was probably especially exciting for her, and she said, “It was very cool… I was part of the entry, descent, and landing team, actually. And so it’s great to see how good they’ve gotten at doing this now.”
After her stint at NASA, Jasmine headed to grad school to get her Master’s in aerospace engineering, and then moved to Boston to work at Lincoln Laboratory, which is one of the laboratories that originally developed the radar around WW2.
“I was doing some work on multistatic radars, processing images, and so forth. So that was really neat because I got to learn a lot about digital signal processing. And that’s kind of where I got into Python programming.”
Afterward, Jasmine slowly made the switch from aerospace to software engineering, landing at Anaconda in a consulting role before heading to the product and implementation side of things.
“Before I started implementation, I didn’t even know how I would do in a client-facing role, but it seemed to be a good fit for me, so I kind of stuck with it. And then I got the opportunity to work here, and here I am!”
Now let’s dive into some Q and A
CC: What’s your favorite thing about working at Coiled?
JS: Before I even joined the Coiled team, Dask as a technology was exciting to me. You’ve got the Spark and the Hadoop ecosystem that’s been around for a while, and then you’ve got Dask, which is pure Python. And there’s a lot of people in the open-source and research communities and academia that use it, which is really attractive.
CC: If you could go back in time and give your 20-something self a piece of career advice, what would it be?
JS: Don’t worry too much about things. I bounced around a fair bit. And I still feel like I’m doing that a bit…opportunities come up anywhere. And I think that’s great. That’s what makes it kind of fun.
CC: What most excites you about the data science and ML space?
JS: Opportunities for research and the academic community using these technologies for solving big, difficult problems. Looking at gobs of data and trying to find ways of processing that are more meaningful. And I mean not just in remote sensing and the earth sciences, but in the medical field and biotech. I’m excited to see how the tech enables people to solve these hard problems.
Rapid Fire Questions
CC: What takes up most of your time outside of work?
CC: What’s your perfect Sunday?
JS: Sleeping in, a cup of tea or coffee, going out for a hike or a run. And finishing off by getting out by the water in the evening with pizza and beer.
CC: You mentioned this before but…coffee or tea?
JS: Yes, one cup of tea, and then it’s all coffee after that.
CC: Recent book or show recommendation?
JS: A book I’m reading right now is Stamped from the Beginning, which is about the history from slavery onwards, by Ibram X. Kendi. It’s very, very educational.
That’s a wrap!
Thanks for reading this employee spotlight and learning more about Jasmine. To find out more about life and work at Coiled, you can visit our About page. Plus, we’re hiring! Check out our open positions by clicking below.