15 energetic high school interns led by two college interns and working with Autodesk Portland employees worked on a real product that is open source and added new features for FIRST Robotics FRC teams to simulate their competition robot designs. Synthesis an Autodesk technology that was solely developed by these amazing students. It is inspiring to see them work just like any other high performing product team within Autodesk except they are a bit younger and can eat snacks all the time and not gain a pound. They had not worked together until coming in as an interns in June. Imagine having high school students develop a complex physics-engine-based robotics simulator, write an emulator to run Linux based code on Windows, design the architecture to provide APIs, and have a working product that is delivered as open source and going to be in all FIRST Robotics FRC kits this next season. I was impressed at how hard they worked and always at their desks working or in conference rooms avoiding just hanging out in our game room at the ping pong table and drinking free kombucha and eating snacks all day.
This year among their many major accomplishments:
- They revised and simplified the user interface (Thanks Amber!)
- Added Fusion 360 support
- Added as a Microsoft App store app allowing students to install without admin permissions and
- <drumroll> added network multi-player support and much more.
High School Interns:
A sincere thank you to the gracious professional interns and the Autodesk employees Pam Kilpatrick and Andy Sears that made this happen.
I can’t wait to see what these interns do in the future. I hope they come back again as high school, college interns, and then someday as Autodesk employees. Anna Nixon is heading to UPenn and will no doubt be a shining star there inspiring many people just as she has done to many ion the Pacific Northwest. These internships are the how we make great future employees, and also invest in the future.
Imagine Design, and Make awesome interns and employees. I like the sound of that..
Hard to see them leave, hope they return.