Humans of Nymble
Nov 17, 2021

Hear It From The OGs!: Going from 0 to 1 at Nymble (#1)

A SERIES OF TEAM MEMBER JOURNEYS

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“It takes genius and courage to invent transformative new technology that creates abundance and prosperity.”

This has famously been defined by the famous entrepreneur, Peter Thiel, as the journey of building something from 0 to 1. It takes no less than this, to be building a product from scratch, or more so, to be making the bold claim of building the future.

We at Nymble have been on quite a journey ourselves, in building this moonshot of a product. Some team members have also been with us for quite some time on this journey and while we're going from 0 to 1 - they themselves have been experiencing unique journeys of their own.

A journey leaden with uncertainties - where they have taken up a lot of responsibilities, where the scope of their work has expanded in unimaginable ways. These stories & journeys demand to be captured and brought to everyone!

First in line is Shubham Sharma, who can effortlessly read between the lines of software and firmware at Nymble. His middle name is troubleshooting and can be best described as a box of mystery - the same box that we are ready to unravel in this blog!

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When did you join Nymble?

I joined Nymble in January of 2019 as an intern in the firmware team.

What were your responsibilities when you joined Nymble?

Most of my initial responsibilities were around building firmware at the time. Much of this involved writing software for controlling the mechanisms, the hardware and the motors etc.

How have these changed over the course of time?

Well, these responsibilities have seen quite a flip-&-turn. I slowly started dabbling into the software side of things. One thing led to another, and my role evolved into writing application software that is now responsible for running the recipe on Julia, which is not really a departure from what I was doing earlier, but builds on it. Basically, now I also handle the designing and writing of softwares, in addition to overlooking the development of firmware.

How have you grown to handle these newer responsibilities?

I think just moving from being an individual contributor to working with a team or across teams changed the way I dealt with these responsibilities. The notion of planning things has helped me the most, I would say. In maintaining cross communication and interaction with other teams, taking up new roles and also understanding contingencies has automatically led the storm. 

This also overlapped with the expansion of the software side of things at Nymble. Overall, all these factors have all enabled me to track my personal growth.

What are some hard truths you've learned which you didn't know before Nymble?

As an intern, I expected to work a maximum of 8 hours a day. Haha! I moved to the new city of Bangalore and had quite a many plans on the side that were meant to be juggled. But mind you, all of this was very new to me. It was only after coming to the office that I realised the gravitas of the product that was in the works. Building a unique and intense product like Julia from scratch required HARD WORK- that’s when I knew that this was a product that was going to lurk on my mind more often than I expected it to. The whole experience is quite immersive and now I don’t really count the hours haha!

What's been your most challenging time at Nymble?

The most challenging time? Definitely January of 2020. It was the first time the software could actually handle the entire cooking process and prepare the desired recipes. This same software was enabled on the first few prototypes that were shipped out for trials in the US. 

The real challenge for me was to bridge the gap between the application software and firmware software. Application software falls under the purview of my fellow colleague, Abarajithan. So it was just the both of us trying to navigate our way through multiple system breakdowns and hours of troubleshooting, while also learning as much from each other’s technical expertise.  Many hours were spent in debugging issues remotely for the protos in the US. Now I can safely say that there is seamless synchronisation between both the horizons of application and firmware!

How do you think Nymble has impacted you? 

Nymble has certainly impacted me in a big way! I got the chance to take up many roles deviating well away from my home turf.  One such instance is when I got to write the code for temperature control system for Computer Vision capabilities enabled in Julia. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, the flexibility and scope of exploration really came about for me, and I embraced it as much as I could.

How have you impacted Nymble?

Building a product from scratch, seeing the product interact and deliver to users for the first time during the Alpha trials was truly a magical moment. I don’t like to toot my own horn but this was when I felt that I had created some impact.

During the demos in January 2020, we took up many recipes and kitchen experiments. The whole software team had a gala time picking up kitchen skills, chopping vegetables in the office and trying recipes until Julia’s automation took over. It was unlike anything I had imagined myself doing.

In December 2019 during a Julia experiment, a whole spice pod fell in the dish while dispensing salt. All I can say is we have definitely come a long way since then. 

What's next for you, what's next for Julia?

I’m currently occupied in solving the problem of scaling up. It’s an intense product with a lot of applications running as I mentioned earlier. So the idea is to ensure access to more users, but also to the development teams. 

To be more specific - the code base doesn’t only cater directly to the product (and indirectly to the users), but also to the ever - expanding software team who can continue to contribute to the code base. 

With more hands on deck, I hope to bring focus towards coding the minute details and intricacies of the mechanisms that bring Julia together and basically give ample time to every feature deeply. So the aim is to make the code base more streamlined and accessible, but also comprehensive. I look forward to it!

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Watch this space for more such stories we have to share!

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