Meeting Appear: Bendik Standal, R&D Engineer

Portrett av Bendik Standal

Where and what did you study at university and what is your role at the company?

I studied Cybernetics and Robotics (MSc) at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, based in Trondheim. I’d argue it’s one of the best cities to be a student in in Norway. My degree was focused on complex systems and how they can be observed and controlled through computer technology and mathematics. I specialized in real time adapted computer systems.

My learnings from university suit my current role perfectly, where I’m now an R&D engineer at Appear. Here, I get to practice everything I learned as well as acquire new skills and experiences in the domain of software development.

Why did you decide to choose Appear for your Summer internship?

Appear gave a company presentation at my university in 2017. Immediately, I was intrigued by the products and systems they develop and the market they operated in fascinated me. Moreover, they made a compelling case for a nurturing work environment with inspiring people to learn from. It became obvious that I should try my hand and apply for an internship program. That resulted in me interning at Appear for two years in a row, which clearly shows I enjoyed my time there thoroughly!

What kind of projects did you work on during your internship?

Both years, I was challenged with creating web-based applications specific to customer requests in addition to being useful for the company in house.

During my first internship, the project specifically revolved around simplifying the use of equipment in specific usage scenarios, such as on-site during sporting events. For the team of summer interns, the project mostly involved front end development communicating with Appear equipment in the backend. Overall, the project was a success both for Appear and for me as a developer, where I learned a great deal in regards to central aspects of software development as well as team communication skills.

Another highlight was being invited to the International Broadcasting Convention in Amsterdam to see Appear showcasing the projects we made alongside its other products and applications. It was very enjoyable seeing the company and its products in relation to the huge broadcasting market out there!

What does a typical day look like for you?

I usually bike to work and start the workday with a cup of coffee from Appear which is key for me as I’m a caffeine addict. Every day begins with a stand-up meeting, where my team coordinates our resources and updates on the status of the tasks we’re working on. It gives a good overview of where we’re all at.

Following that, my days are quite varied, but generally involves problem solving and coding to complete the tasks assigned to me. Depending on the task, I’m trusted to either work individually or collaborate with my co-workers on larger task projects. In between, I indulge on Appear’s lunch which they subsidize – it’s great for keeping me motivated and happy at work.

What’s been the most exciting project you’ve work on while at Appear and why?

I appreciate the variety of projects and challenges I’ve worked on so far, so it’s difficult to pinpoint one. But if I had to choose, it would likely be the projects connected to customers that produce international large sporting events. It’s such a satisfying feeling watching these major sport events and knowing that you were part of the chain making process to make the whole viewing experience possible.

A more specific example would be where we recently did a big feature relating to our products being used in redundancy system. I found that interesting due to the size and complexity of the task as well as being part of both the design and implementation process.

What’s been a highlight or new learning for you during your time at Appear?

My whole experience and time here have been a highlight. I learn a lot every day from the colleagues I work with, and that makes it exciting to come into work. I love seeing the projects and products I work on being used at large scale sporting events. It gives me a sense I’m contributing to people’s lives in a way. I also just generally enjoy honing my skills as a developer.

What kind of colleague are you?

Sociable, flexible, focused, and helpful.

What would you like to say to other graduate students who are considering joining Appear?

Appear has been a great place for me to continue to learn after finishing my education. The work environment is very supportive and right now the company is going through a lot of exciting changes. Appear is expanding and transitioning into using more efficient frameworks to scale itself. It’s really cool to be a part of this growth phase and I thoroughly recommend for all those interested to come and be a part of this journey!