One of the integral capabilities of Viam is fleet management, which allows engineers to configure, control, debug, and manage groups of robots from the cloud. Configuring a single robot manually in a lab is one thing, but managing a fleet of thousands of robots in the wild is why fleet management is so important.
I was lucky enough to interview some of the excellent engineers on our Fleet Management team to learn what makes their roles at Viam so impactful. If you're interested in what it's like to be an engineer who works in robotics, read on to learn about their experiences!
Thanks for meeting with me! To kick things off, tell us a little about yourself and how long you have worked in engineering.
Jason: I’m a Senior Engineer with 20+ years of experience, but I’d never worked with robots before joining Viam!
Roxy: Hi there! I’ve been an engineer for about 2 years and this is my first job in the robotics industry.
Emily: I’ve been an engineer for less than a year! I basically have no robotics experience, besides one exciting year on my middle school robotics team in 8th grade.
Michael: I’m a Senior Engineer with 10 years of experience. While I’ve never worked in robotics professionally before Viam, I am a robotics hobbyist as well as a mentor for a FIRST Robotics Competition team.
Anjali: I’m a Software Engineer on Team Fleet! I’ve been an engineer for 1-2 years and I had no prior experience in robotics before joining the company. Joining Viam has allowed me to learn and grow in ways that I never thought possible, and I am excited to see what the future holds.
What do you enjoy most about working on the Fleet Management team?
Roxy: I like having the opportunity to be an active member in simplifying the accessibility to robots via a UI.
Emily: Everyone is so friendly, collaborative, open, and helpful. It's a fast-paced yet casual working environment. There's so much room for growth and opportunity and it's really cool to build a very new product alongside really competent people.
Michael: I enjoy working on a web app for robotics. I think making software that communicates with hardware is really cool. I believe that robotics is the future and enjoy working on something that has impact.
Anjali: One of the things I most enjoy about my work is the opportunity to develop and improve the application that our clients see and interact with on a regular basis.
How does your team collaborate with other teams or departments within the company?
Jason: We have open engineering channels to discuss items across departments, and we invite others to join specific channels such as Front-end Friends when they need help. We also have shared learning sessions weekly.
Roxy: We integrate a lot of different parts of the platform together. We are constantly collaborating with other teams.
Emily: Because the company as a whole is close-knit, it's really natural to reach out to anyone to collaborate. It's often as easy as sending a direct message or popping by someone's desk.
Michael: We collaborate often, and how we do so depends on the project. With Viam’s small company size, I tend to talk with other teams as often as I can to share knowledge. I'm always pleased by how welcoming and nice everyone is at our company.
Anjali: We collaborate closely with other teams such as product management, engineering, and marketing. We hold regular meetings and use collaboration tools to integrate the thoughts and perspectives of all teams into the application.
What do you do to unwind after a long day of coding?
Jason: It could be anything from taking a long walk to reading to playing guitar.
Roxy: I love to hang out with my friends!
Emily: I like to get away from a screen and do something with my hands. I enjoy a walk around NYC, cooking, reading, drawing, crafting, etc.
Michael: I do a lot of mentoring tasks for my robotics team, work out at the gym, or check out a cool bar.
Anjali: I like to engage in activities that help me clear my mind and relax. One of my favorite ways to unwind is practicing yoga. It really helps me release any tension from sitting at my desk for long periods of time.
Can you share a piece of advice for someone interested in joining Viam?
Emily: Reach out and ask the question! You never know where your interests and experience might fit in.
Michael: Take a look at the platform online, use Try Viam, and run Viam on your Mac or Raspberry Pi. Do something fun with it! The RDK is also open source on GitHub, so you can see what it's like to be an engineer at Viam.
Anjali: Join the Viam Community on Discord! Joining our community is a great way to learn more about our culture and our values. Additionally, it can provide valuable networking opportunities and help you build relationships with others in the robotics industry.
Join our growing team!
Our team is growing, and we are looking for candidates from various backgrounds to join us! If Viam sounds like a fun place to work, please apply to our open roles here. And if our Fleet Management team in particular sparks your interest, check out our open Lead Engineer role for the team.
We hope our engineers' stories gave you some insights for your own engineering or robotics journey!