[–] dnautics link

Sometimes it's good to give them a repetitive project where you give them one task and have them repeat it. I once trained an intern to do molecular biology from basically nothing, he made 50 mutants and tested 25 in three months. He got a publication out of that.

On the other hand, I have an intern now, who I've taught go (she made a cli and learned tdd) and had her set up a tensorflow deep learning pipeline, which is not repetitive and very exploratory.

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[–] AETackaberry link

I want to be your intern!

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[–] dnautics link

Yep it comes with it's perks - I arranged a one-on-one lunch with a nobel laureate for each of my interns back when I was a scientist!

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[–] toomanybeersies link

I thought this was the whole point of summer interns, the other point of summer interns being that it's a trial run before you decide to hire them full time after graduation.

That's what my old company used to do (who originally hired me as an intern). The interns were tasked with a brand new project, something that wasn't business critical but would be a great new addition to the product.

Then when we came on board full time were were slotted into the regular development flow.

Using interns as grunts seems like a poor allocation of resources.

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[–] pwthornton link

If you're not using interns as a way to develop your future talent pipeline, you are doing it wrong.

Companies that are well run and growing do this. A lot of other companies uses interns (particularly unpaid interns in years past) as ways to save money on menial labor.

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[–] walshemj link

Unfortunately a lot of non tier 1 status companies especially in Europe and the developing world treat "interns" as a way to get cheap workers and abuse the system.

Non high end tech interns where always treated like grunts especially in high status industries and often had to work for free.

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[–] Consultant32452 link

I can't speak for the developing world, but I wish they hadn't outlawed unpaid internships in the US. In a world where millennials are having a hard time breaking into the work force because they "lack experience" we should not have increased the barrier to getting experience.

One of my favorite Youtubers is Curtis Stone whose channel is about micro-farming, basically farming in your yard for income. He is a big proponent on education and used to allow people to come intern with him for a few weeks (unpaid) to learn how to start their own micro-farm and then they'd leave and start their own small businesses. Now he can no longer do that, he instead has to charge them tuition. The students basically have the same experience they would have had as unpaid interns, but now they have to pay for the privilege. This is the height of stupidity.

Even in other industries you will not remain unpaid very long if you are doing valuable work. If you get an unpaid grunt work job doing drywall, after a few weeks you can pretty much do drywall on your own. Quit and start your own drywall business if they won't hire you for decent pay. You'll likely make more as a small business owner anyways.

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[–] walshemj link

You havn't thought this through, unpaid internships massively massively favor kids unpaid internship at an IB or similar high status job- poor BAME kids or kids from a middle class back ground wont get a look in.

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[–] Consultant32452 link

To the extent that employers might prejudice against bame kids, do you think raising the cost for employers to try them out helps that situation?

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[–] walshemj link

It stops rich kids monopolizing the desirable internships which are a pathway to high status/paying jobs - which is a start.

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[–] Consultant32452 link

You mean the rich kids who already have the connections to get the better paid internships to begin with?

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[–] walshemj link

Don't think you read the thread - The really desirable internships are the unpaid ones at high status places where its who you know that counts no what you know.

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[–] Consultant32452 link

I have read the thread. I agree that high status unpaid internships will largely go to already wealthy, connected candidates. I fail to understand how paying a wage to those wealthy already connected candidates will help the BAME kids.

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[–] felipemnoa link

>>often had to work for free.

At least in the USA it is illegal for an intern to work for free if that intern is adding value to the company.

The relevant guideline is this:

"The employer doesn’t benefit from work the intern is doing, “and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded.” [1]

[1] https://www.propublica.org/article/when-interns-should-be-pa...

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[–] true_religion link

If you don't have tier one interns and you're not the kind of employer who knows Nobel laureates like elsewhere in this thread... Then you can probably just throw away your interns work after the summer. They are just "normal" college students after all. Personally, I know none of my student work should have been used in production.

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[–] walshemj link

yeh right and we know that labour law isn't massively flouted

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[–] TrainedMonkey link

Worst case scenario they spend 3 months banging their head against a brick wall making no headway.

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[–] alistairSH link

Only if you don't assign a capable mentor.

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[–] gazarsgo link

Interns are great. It's really the only interview process that doesn't suck right now, and I have a newfound respect for new college grads after working at a company with a solid intern pipeline.

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[–] Thaxll link

Worst case they waste your time which is a big deal.

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[–] newnewpdro link

While I generally agree with your statement, that is nowhere near the worst case scenario.

I've experienced awesome interns who were worth their weight in gold, but I've also experienced interns who were nothing but a massive distraction for the team, a complete waste of time in a startup environment where time is the least available resource, and source of nothing but drama regularly disturbing the entire team.

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[–] cjensen link

Interns are awesome and smart. Never give them garbage work. Give them a challenge and see if they can handle it. Worst case scenario, you throw away their work after they leave, and they have learned some stuff.

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[–] vonzeppelin link

I was really hoping this was about dogs.

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[–] macavity23 link

Amen. Turn up when you say you will, deliver what you promised, on time, and generally give a minimal damn, and you’re already ahead of 95% of your co-workers. I don’t think it will ever stop amazing me.

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[–] yurishimo link

I think this is a nice motivational story for local kids to get excited about finding their place in the workforce.

When I started working I had no idea that the key to success was as simple as giving a crap and being consistent in your good work. I figured that it would take me decades to work on some secret skills to move up, but now I know that's not true.

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[–] jahaja link

I think this kind of submission shows how favorably some business leaders are treated when they've passed a certain threshold. After that point anything they do or touch is considered newsworthy, no matter how trivial. Furthermore, everything under the sun is attributed to this person's personal and direct influence.

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[–] FullyFunctional link

Did you actually read the fine article? This was not your average intern experience. They had guts, insight, and (probably) luck and got the personal recognition of the CEO. This is obviously different.

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[–] eanzenberg link

Yeah exactly. Compare the self-driving fatalities from Uber and Tesla and see the immense bias.

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[–] ceejayoz link

There are other variables at play in that disparate treatment. Uber has a much longer track record of actively malicious behavior - sabotaging competitors, stalking journalists, building tools that blacklist inspectors and law enforcement, plus the overall toxic culture that got Kalanick pushed out.

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[–] eanzenberg link

Thats the bias though! I dont care about those things, I care about the safety of self driving cars.

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[–] ceejayoz link

I don't really like putting my safety in the hands of malicious actors.

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[–] eloff link

Because this is Canadian news, and you'd be surprised how little happens in a country with gun controls, Police who take protect and serve seriously regardless of your skin color, and a tenth of the population of our neighbors to the south. The bar is pretty low for news in Canada, and that's the way we like it.

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[–] JoeAltmaier link

I have great respect for Canadian law enforcement. But its not all roses. Canadian native women have a shameful unsolved murder rate - the 2nd worst in the developed world. So some room to improve.

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[–] slededit link

Canada's native population has suffered. But it's important to put things in perspective. In 2016 there were 142 female aboriginal homicides total in all of Canada [1].

In comparison it takes Chicago alone only 2 months to hit that number.

http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2017001/article/54879/...

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[–] hackerman12345 link

What a strange comparison - apples to gang war zones.

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[–] slededit link

If Chicago is too violent then it's equivalent to 6 months in NYC which most people consider safe these days.

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[–] gaadd33 link

There seem to only be 718500 Aboriginal females in Canada and there are 8.5 million people in NYC and in 2017 there were 334 murders.

So 1 murder per 5000 Aboriginal females in Canada and 1 murder per 25000 people in NYC.

With those numbers it sounds like Canada's police force needs a lot of help in lowering that murder rate.

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[–] Kluny link

Well there ain't been anything new on that front for quite some time.

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[–] Smoofer link

Ever hear of the Highway of Tears? Canada has its own racial issues.

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[–] refurb link

As a fellow Canadian, you're way overstating things. Canada might not have the same problems as the US, but oh boy, do they have problems.

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[–] 1024core link

As my (Ontarian) friend said just now: "Smart Newfies is always news".

(sorry)

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[–] mig39 link

And this is the reason some of us Newfoundlanders don't like the word "Newfie."

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[–] oh_sigh link

The negative stereotype exists regardless of the word.

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[–] moomin link

It is nonetheless _reinforced_ by it.

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[–] fhood link

Hahahahahahaha! Making fun of people because of where they were born is so funny!

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[–] elhudy link

Getting personally hired by the CEO of a $50B company happens in pretty much every company?

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[–] undefined link
[deleted]

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[–] sschueller link

If that CEO micromanages the company the size of the company doesn't matter.

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[–] rurban link

AFAIK he is known to fire all micromanagers, and let the engineers solve the problems in their style. On the other hand GM is known to be union infected. No certificate to turn that knob? Sorry, not me. Will have to wait.

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[–] undefined link
[deleted]

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[–] aerigniobio link

GM is worth $50 billion. Do you really want to claim that Tesla is as big as GM? Tesla has 1/5 the employees of GM, 10% of the revenue, and has sold about 200,000 cars total compared to the 9.6 million GM shipped last year alone. The story is the same for any other big manufacturer.

Tesla is a pipsqueak. It's just ludicrously overpriced.

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[–] adventured link

Your valuation approach would have suggested that Facebook was ludicrously over priced at its IPO and that it was a pipsqueak compared to Google. Investors were betting the Facebook business would do what it has done: grow dramatically and more than offset the valuation having been pulled forward. Your approach collapses in the face of accounting for high rates of persistent growth.

Tesla is growing radically faster than GM, which hasn't increased its sales or global market share meaningfully in 15 years.

Tesla, 2016 -> 2017 sales growth: 67%

GM, 2016 -> 2017 sales growth: Negative

That kind of growth by Tesla universally gets you a huge valuation adjustment vs a company with zero or negative growth.

Investors are betting that GM's future is not particularly bright, that there is no growth in the business. It is discounted accordingly, which is why it has such a hilariously low PE ratio (six times earnings in real terms).

When Amazon passed Walmart in market value, it had minimal profit profit and 1/6th the retail sales of Walmart.

The market isn't primarily valuing Tesla based on what it's doing today. It's a bet that Tesla will continue to produce considerable growth for many years to come.

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[–] moolcool link

>Tesla, 2016 -> 2017 sales growth: 67%

>GM, 2016 -> 2017 sales growth: Negative

If I sold my car on craigslist today, I'd have an ∞% sales growth rate.

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[–] notyourwork link

Worth doesn't always correlate against size. Worth is what someone is willing to pay for something. Tesla may be overpriced but to disregard Tesla's value based on a size comparison is ill-conceived.

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[–] aerigniobio link

We're talking about size here. Supposedly the CEO of a $50 billion company is too busy to concern himself with a lowly intern. But that $50 billion company is actually pretty small, just with a disproportionately high market cap.

But also, hell yes does worth correlate with size. It's only in postmodern Silicon Valley economics that a company with twenty employees and no revenue can be worth a billion dollars. All the standard ways of pricing a stock I know of take size into account, either directly or indirectly.

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[–] greglindahl link

You are talking about size. The person you're replying to was obviously talking about market capitalization. It'd be nice if people talked to each other instead of talking past each other.

BTW, the standard ways of pricing a stock includes growth potential, which is why Tesla has that crazy valuation. It's totally fine if that's not the valuation technique you prefer, but it exists.

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[–] ggg9990 link

Tesla has 10% of GM’s employees? That’s nuts. Does GM have a lot more contractors?

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[–] bearcobra link

This is based on the wikipedia stats, but GM built ~9,600,000 vehicles with ~180,000 employees in 2017. Telsa built ~100,000 vehicles with ~35,000 employees in 2017

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[–] greglindahl link

Tesla is weird as a car company. They build more stuff in-house than usual, and they have a huge luxury car division.

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[–] undefined link
[deleted]

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[–] maxxxxx link

I doubt he personally supervised and hired them. He probably never met them but someone else recommended them being hired. This is just PR.

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[–] collinf link

As an intern, no less.

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[–] rmason link

I've got plenty of friends who works at the Big 3. Doubt that any of their interns solve production problems in their car factories. Then turn around and solve problems in an entirely different type of factory that is as far away from cars as you can get. Usually the interns get coffee and deliver paperwork from one floor to another.

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[–] ajkjk link

Which Big 3? No one delivers coffee in tech.

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[–] robotnixon link

The "Big 3" in the US usually refers to Ford, GM, and Fiat Chrysler

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[–] slededit link

I assume he meant GM, Ford, and Chrysler/Fiat

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[–] jguimont link

Ford - GM - Chrysler.

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[–] mathinpens link

because they are canadians and this is a canadian newspaper

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[–] slac link

And not many people live in Newfoundland.

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[–] jgforbes link

Hey there are tens of us.

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[–] fhood link

I spent a summer in Newfoundland a while back. Really wonderful place. I would not want to be there during the winter though.

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[–] deminature link

Tesla/Musk has incredibly good PR.

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[–] RivieraKid link

Reality is catching up though.

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[–] undefined link
[deleted]

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[–] dguaraglia link

Seriously.

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[–] gcbw2 link

this is paid advertising at most.

i can count 100s of companies that hire interns. that is the point of companies offering internships.

flag this to oblivion.

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[–] RivieraKid link

This story is just Elon trying to attract employees who're willing to work 60 hours for a shit salary.

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[–] misja111 link

Why is this news? This happens in pretty much every company.

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[–] jannes link

Well, according to the article they solved two different problems.

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[–] blackbagboys link

They were good problem-solvers and Tesla needed a PR win. Let's not mysticize Musk more than has already been done.

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[–] davebryand link

I'm curious in what characteristics Elon saw in these individuals. Solving a problem once is great, but Elon clearly saw something deeper in them. I wonder if he sees what Nikola Tesla called the "finer fibers"...

“But instinct is something which transcends knowledge. We have, undoubtedly, certain finer fibers that enable us to perceive truths when logical deduction, or any other willful effort of the brain, is futile.” Nikola Tesla

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[–] swagasaurus-rex link

The hype could pull a 787

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[–] aphextron link

"Startup hires 2 interns." is A1 news.

Can we say this is peak Tesla hype yet?

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[–] grecy link

Elon did say they were having a hackathon to fix problems on the two major bottleneck robots the other day...

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[–] ct0 link

I wish we learned about what problem they solved.

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[–] KSS42 link

Woah, there! Don't use the N word. It's Newfoundlander.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-newfoundlande...

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[–] patrickg_zill link

It has an undertone of humor, because in Canada people from Newfoundland are often the butt of jokes, sort of like in America we have jokes about rednecks or Fark-style "oh, Florida again!" observations.

So to have 2 "Newfies" fix problems at a high tech enterprise like Tesla is both a bit of pride and a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor.

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[–] filoleg link

The rule you mentioned is for unpaid interns only. Paid interns can do any work that full time employees do, and that's exactly what all big tech internships are about.

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[–] Endama link

Ah, thank you for the clarification!

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[–] Endama link

Honest question here, it's my understanding that a bunch of states have laws that state something along the lines of:

Interns can only be interns if they do work that A. Primarily benefit their learning and growth and B. Their labor would not normally be done by a full time employee.

Is this understanding correct? If it is, wouldn't these two interns constitute a breach of said policy?

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[–] zerr link

I guess they never got a chance to negotiate offers...

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[–] freyir link

> There just shouldn't exist problems that relatively untrained eyes can spot and fix in short order

Many companies have big glaring inefficiencies that employees become blind to over time. Often times, new hires will be acutely aware of them, but won't speak up because they're new. Within a few weeks or months, they just become acclimated to the situation and work around it.

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[–] zafka link

I second this. I work in a rather large company, and believe me, there are "opportunities" everywhere. The trouble is there is usually such a level of bureaucracy, that it takes real effort to push a change.

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[–] hcnews link

> There just shouldn't exist problems that relatively untrained eyes can spot and fix in short order.

There exists no such thing, at least in the current workplace. We give importance to speed and agility (which makes sense) and this always leads for rooms for improvement even to a bystander. A direct corollary of this is that you will also have some problems/optimizations to be done and it helps to fix your biggest problem always.

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[–] toss1 link

>There just shouldn't exist problems that relatively untrained eyes can spot and fix in short order.

Where is your history that you find these uncommon?

I can't think of a place I've been where there one isn't surrounded by opportunities to improve (although I've definitely been in large organizations where they just become part of the everyday cruft that never gets addressed).

I'd of course expect more in an organization like Tesla that is massively scaling at the fastest possible rate.

So yes, it's an example of a problem they've got probably 1000s of, but also a great example that the fixes were online so fast...

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[–] ballenf link

Great for these guys.

But it really makes me think that Tesla has big problems. There just shouldn't exist problems that relatively untrained eyes can spot and fix in short order. Maybe this is related to production difficulties overall?

And don't get me wrong, the fact that the solution was accepted, implemented and rewarded so quickly is a testament to Musk (and his managers). My point is just that either this was lightning striking or the production line has inexcusable issues -- that is low-hanging opportunities for improvement.

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[–] graeham link

For Tesla or Newfies?

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[–] NVRM link

What a pile load of propaganda.

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[–] r-s link

I was traveling in Newfoundland last summer (Deer Lake) and someone phoned into the radio station reporting that they saw an overly large moose. This may be the biggest story of the year.

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[–] maxxxxx link

Having to listen to CNN during lunch breaks this is refreshing. The world needs less exciting news.

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[–] Apocryphon link

Amazing that they used to be their own country.

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[–] dzdt link

"Local boy makes good" is still an article that sells local papers.

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[–] walshemj link

In the tradition of The Press & Journal and Aberdeen paper "Titanic latest; NE man dead".

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[–] sparrish link

TLDR; Two engineers with marketable skills get jobs. Slow news day in Newfoundland?

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[–] tytytytytytytyt link

What actual problems did they solve?

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[–] DubiousPusher link

Speaking from the software side, it pretty much always seems better to take the job and leave school if you have to. Once a person has a couple years work experience I don't really even care if they went to school at all.

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[–] walshemj link

Not all employers are as broadminded I suspect I didn't get past a screen for one of the FANGS. I suspect the Spanish recruiter saw I had not got a degree. But ignored the fact my fist Job was on the campus of Cranfield at a world leading RnD organisation - Cranfield being a Masters and Phd only University at the time :-)

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[–] vzaliva link

This may be true if you assuming that a degree is only important as a way to get a job. However, if you put a value on stuff they actually teach, getting a good foundation education in your field will make you a better specialist in a long term.

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[–] vzaliva link

As somebody who has been in a similar situation, I must warn that accepting Elon's offer could be perilous to them in long term. It looks like at least one of them will be dropping out of school before graduating to start working for Tesla. Later in his career, he might regret that. It is cool to impress big company and get a job, but if he is as smart as it sounds, he will have no problem finding a job after graduation.

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