Team Profile: Meet Yonghyun


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As a yet minuscule startup, each member holds a significant power over the overall atmosphere of the team. And in our ultimate quest to make big waves in the data world, we need to make sure that the people at the helm are at least kind of cool. We think we’ve done a pretty good job so far in assembling a society of unique but equally driven members.

So we bring you this seven-part series, one of each devoted to interviewing each of our members in detail, to give you an in-depth glimpse into the people responsible for bringing you the future of machine learning with Daria. Plus, we peppered the interviews with questions from Dr. Aron’s “The 36 Questions that Lead to Love”*, cherry picked to make work appropriate and concise, but interesting.

(*actually falling in love with our members highly discouraged)

Yonghyun joined the XBrain team in August as a software engineer, and has worked closely with other members in constructing the software that Daria runs on. But his interests run beyond just making sure that Daria become the future star of machine learning and data science — Yonghyun is also an avid soccer player, and an enthusiastic dabbler of virtual and artificial reality. Learn more about him here!

Yonghyun saves a few minutes of his day for some introspection/staring broodily out the window

  • Hi Yonghyun! Start by telling us about your role.
  • YH: I work with JM as a software engineer at XBrain, developing and testing our software infrastructure.
  • How do you usually spend a work day?
  • YH: I usually come to work around lunchtime, and devote my time to whatever needs to be done for the day. Today we worked on tests involving transferring data from MS SQL. I enjoy afternoon walks sometimes, and usually head home after working a little post-dinner.
  • Tell us about the parts of your job that you most enjoy.
  • YH: I enjoy transforming machine learning modules into Spark to fit with the cloud system, and looking at the code Suzin’s written in order to understand the process.
  • What about the aspects that you least enjoy or find challenging?
  • YH: Setting up the environment to test our systems is something I least enjoy. It’s frustrating, because you can follow all the steps and still go the wrong way.
  • Pick one item on your desk that tells us something about you.
  • YH: I don’t have a whole lot on my desk…so I would probably have to say my laptop. The very very big laptop provided to me by the company.

Laptop in photo is larger than it appears

  • What made you want to become a software engineer?
  • YH: I was originally majoring in History in college, but I was struck by how computer science could help you create something tangible. Programming helps turn your ideas into reality on the screen, which is something I was really drawn to.
  • So why XBrain?
  • YH: As an incoming programmer, you don’t really come across the opportunity to participate in the making of a product that’s still under development. It’s a good learning experience for me to watch Daria’s progress. Furthermore, because I started programming at a relatively later stage, I still need help with my mathematical background, which working here allows me to do.
  • As the one of the newest additions to the team, tell us about your vision for XBrain.
  • YH: I think my vision is one of becoming a household name for a machine learning tool that a lot of people use on the daily — Daria doing useful things in every facet of the world, big or small.
  • What is your go-to work playlist?
  • YH: When I’m coding, I usually prefer EDM, so stations like Hardwell On Air, and hip-hop as well.
  • Recommend a movie for our next Cinema Society, please.
  • YH: Watchmen (2009). Its protagonist Rorschach is an anti-hero, and the plot line is complex and interesting to follow.
  • Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
  • YH: Career-wise, honestly I wouldn’t mind what I have right now — working a job that I love without getting too swamped with deadlines, with plenty of time for exercise and socializing, playing soccer with my friends.
  • Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
  • YH: Mark Zuckerberg, maybe? I’d like to hear about his ideas for the future.
  • If you had to have dinner with one XBrain member, who would it be and why?
  • YH: JP, our new machine learning engineer. I’d like to get to know him better, and he seems like an interesting person.
  • Would you like to be famous? In what way?
  • Nope.
  • What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?
  • YH: A day productive enough that I could go to bed without worrying about the next day.
  • If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?
  • YH: The body of a 30 year old… I don’t think that youth isn’t everything when it comes to minds.
  • For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
  • YH: The privilege to have been able to learn and achieve everything I’ve wanted is something I’ll always be thankful for, and also the flexibility to be able to change directions I’m headed in.
  • If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?
  • YH: I’ve always wanted more drive to carry out the projects I’ve devised in my head, the ability to see things through no matter what.
  • Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
  • YH: I’ve always wanted to learn how to cook. I lived in a dorm in college so I didn’t have the opportunity then, but now would be a good time as any.
  • What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
  • YH: I would say my greatest accomplishment is putting my best efforts into learning and improving my mind, inside and outside of school.
  • What is your most memorable XBrain moment?
  • YH: My fondest memories are usually of events we held outside — the hike we went on in September, or the soccer game we had. I like that we got to bond as a team and get some exercise.
  • If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?
  • YH: I haven’t been able to get decent sleep recently, so I’d probably give myself some time to rest.
  • If you were going to become close friends with someone, please share what would be important for him or her to know.
  • YH: I don’t have very strong likes or dislikes, so I usually get along with most people.
  • What, if anything, should never be joked about?
  • YH: You should never joke about the disadvantaged, or others’ insecurities.
  • If you could sum up XBrain in three words or less?
  • YH: Freedom. Consideration. Learning…. Is that too serious?

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