Recovery, Challenges, Completed Challenges

My first 90 days at Neuralink: an epic struggle

My first 90 days working at Neuralink, a brain computer interface (BCI) company has been rewarding and frustrating in so many ways. My goal from day one has been to have a meaningful and measurable impact on the company but I feel I am failing to deliver.

I'll start off with the good.
BCI is game changing technology designed to help those with paralysis gain independence by being able to use our thoughts as a computer input device similar to a mouse or keyboard. At Neuralink we are mission driven, passionate about helping people and doing good for humanity.

Innovative technology is an understatement! I get to take a deep dive into ML and how we are reading spikes coming off the neurons in the motor cortex region of the brain which we then decode and develop applications as seen in the video of Pager playing monkey Pong.

Now for the not so good.
I found myself struggling from day one and I can narrow this down to 2 area's.

1. I am remote and this is a strong in person culture. It represents a big hurdle and I find myself with limited visibility into day to day life at the company. It’s amazing how much you learn in the break room or by stopping and talking to people in the hallway.

How do you build rapport and become a trusted advisor over a video call? Is it normal for me to feel this way? As a remote employee or someone managing remote employees how do you solve for this?

2. The technology, and I’m not referring to the BCI or the tech stack we use in recruiting, I'm talking about assistive technology.

I am at the computer for hours on end working with browser tabs open to business social media sites like LinkedIn, G Suite apps like email, sheets, Meet, calendar, Slack, and Greenhouse, our applicant tracking system.

I need to create, edit, input and extract data and be able to communicate with my colleagues in real time. My brain is still sharp and I can usually think 10 to 20 steps ahead but my body is moving at the speed of molasses. Think of a sloth with one finger trying to use a tablet, keyboard or mouse. That is me! It's a frustrating  daily struggle.

If you’ve used assistive technology or you know of a power user I would love to connect and discuss best practices. In part two of the blog I will share what I’ve tried, what has worked and what has failed.

If you are a software developer or an ML research engineer and want to have an impact by building products to help someone like me please consider joining the team.

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