Job title: Computer Vision & Machine Learning Engineer
Employer: Include d.o.o.
Year of graduation: 2013
Mentor: Professor Damir Seršić, Ph.D.
Study profile: Electronic and Computer Engineering
Hello everybody, my name is Nina and I must admit that, as I’m writing this, I’m feeling nostalgic for my student days – though not the exams 😊, even if every day after graduation has been a new exam, which I have been successfully passing so far. For the past six years I have mostly been working on projects which use machine learning algorithms and computer vision. During the said period I’ve had the opportunity to try remote working, but I must admit that I feel better working with company. I try to dedicate my free time to my daughter, and we spend it in playgrounds, libraries or on the beach.
What are your responsibilities at your current job, what do you do?
Since Include d.o.o. has a vision of developing into the area of artificial intelligence, my job is to organise the entire development environment: choosing the embedded computer, programming language, technology, application structure, training/testing data and, of course, system implementation. At the moment, my job is very dynamic and responsible, I must constantly learn a lot of new things and follow the latest trends, which fits well with my inquisitive nature.
What was your career path like after graduation? How did you change workplaces and find new jobs?
Immediately after graduation, I got a job in the company Telegra d.o.o. at the recommendation from a FER professor. Initially, my job was related to software development, but very soon I became a part of the computer vision team. At the time, there was an intense development of a system for an automatic detection of road incidents using machine learning. I participated in the entire development of the system, implementation of various algorithms and adaptation and verification of the system. I must say that it was an invaluable experience that formed a solid foundation upon which I could continue to build my professional development – which demanded new challenges, my own projects and creation in a new environment. That is when Include d.o.o. happened to me, giving me the opportunity to realise my ambitions.
What is the most useful thing you learned during your career?
The thing I learned so far is that it is always possible to do better. Even when you think you have a perfect product, there is always a way to improve or optimise it, or to simply make it prettier 😊. That being said, we must also be aware of deadlines for implementation of our solutions and always strive to make our solution the best it can be in the given timeframe. Focus is equally important. Even the slightest shift of focus from the goal irreversibly takes precious time. Because of that, it is always necessary to think about the next step which will bring us closer to the desired goal.
On the other hand, I try to live by a wise saying: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second-best time is now!”. In other words, it is never too late to start learning/doing something new in order to increase our chances of success.
Which experiences helped you understand that you are on the right track and that you are doing what you like?
The need for architects of the systems based on machine learning is constantly increasing, and it is one of the most in-demand professions worldwide. There are very few individuals who are not interested in artificial intelligence and how far its possibilities go, which is why AI is attracting a large number of investors. What gives me the greatest pleasure is being a part of a large online community which is sharing data and solutions, thus facilitating development and application of AI in industry.
What advice would give to students who are thinking about a career in your field?
Artificial intelligence and machine learning have the greatest rate of expansion and wide areas of application and I believe they are among the most popular courses at FER. For everyone interested in working with the AI, the future is more than bright. Machine learning is currently in use (or there is a need for its development) in every segment of industry and science you can imagine. From medicine, autonomous vehicles, aircrafts, agriculture, banks and monitoring industrial processes to marketing, which is currently the subject of my interest. Do not limit yourselves to narrow areas of application – explore. This is a fertile ground for innovation. Get involved in student or online competitions in machine learning and explore online courses such as Coursera. And trust me, you don’t have to leave Croatia to develop your career in the field of AI. Then again, with the knowledge in this field, you can go anywhere in the world and be productive. The world has become a global village where soon everybody will understand the language they use – the language of artificial intelligence.