Friday, July 18, 2008

Co-Op term at Amazon

This semester I'm at Amazon, its quite a lot of fun. Seattle is a really nice city, especially in the summer. At Microsoft some people referred to the summer as "demo weather" because thats when they brought down the interns to try and recruit them :)

Most of my summer is being spent working on the problem of detecting miss-classified items (so for example if a fridge was listed as a shoe that would be bad news). Its the kind of work which I really enjoy because its fairly open-ended in terms of the solution and hard. A lot of traditional stock solutions proved to be unworkable since we have such a large data set. Oddly enough searching for information about scaling the approaches I dumped into some posts by a third-party trying to accomplish something similar with a subset of the Amazon data :).

Since the general rule of software projects seem to be if you create it you get to name it, I decided on naming my project "BrowseEpicFail" (I later renamed it to be more descriptive after I was informed that our team name isn't actually browse :P). Apparently one of my co-workers though this was pretty funny because I now have a faux-certificate, in the same style as the training certificates, in "Selection of Appropriate Names for Software at Amazon" :).

The only downside of all this is that I find my self having to ensure I don't spend all of my coding time on work code.

On that note, I'm hoping to have some exciting news about an application I'll be working on for the OpenMoko platform sometime next week :)

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