How long have you been at Serpa?
Pretty close to 10 years.
How did you find your way to Serpa?
I was a student at CSU Fresno in Computer Engineering when I found out about a paid engineering internship program. I applied to it and my first internship happened to be with Serpa. I enjoyed the idea of getting to see my programming unfold through motion rather than just a debug an application and decided to go back after I got my degree.
What is a day in your life at Serpa like?
I never have the same day twice. Some days I’m working on the schematics or program of a new machine being built. Other days, I’m out on the floor helping our debug team solve a new issue with a machine or improve the machine to make them better for operators. I can be asked to investigate new designs for our sales team or assist a customer with a problem they are having with an existing machine. I never have to be worried about being stuck in a rut.
What inspires you to succeed at your job every day?
Knowing that our machines will have a positive impact in the industry. As a Controls Engineer, I feel that the best thing I can do to make our machines great is to make them operator friendly and as simple to use as possible. Whether it be the person who must run the machine, change it over, or maintain it, I want to make their life easier.
When do you have the most fun at work?
My favorite task is problem solving. Whether it’s a new concept or an existing machine, I love being presented with a difficult challenge. Debugging code, programming a new mechanism, our troubleshooting a customer’s problem all ultimately create a puzzle for me to crack.
Why did you select Serpa as opposed to another company?
It was obvious during my internship at Serpa that not only would I be given unique tasks, but I would be given freedom and support in completing them. I would learn coordinated motion and robotics while being given the responsibility of completing whole machines from beginning to end. If anything gets too challenging, I have always been able to rely on my coworkers.
What opportunities or experiences have you most enjoyed here?
I love the travel. Whether it be for machine installation or troubleshooting, I’ve gotten to visit many different customers all over the U.S. We’ve even done a couple of machines in Ireland that I had a blast helping to install.
If someone new were joining the team, what one piece of advice do you think they should know?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Everyone here is helpful to a fault and ready to assist in anything you’re having trouble with. Be ready to learn because we learn a lot in this job and love to teach others.
What is something you’ve learned or your biggest takeaway so far?
Communication is key in everything. Outlining the task at hand is always useful for troubleshooting or designing a machine and that requires clearly expressing the information you require and the goal you have in mind. So many problems seem to be fixed by effective communication and so much time is saved by removing any ambiguity.
What keeps you motivated and coming to work every day?
I enjoy my work and my coworkers have become good friends. It’s not hard to imagine how easy it is to stay motivated and come to work under those conditions.
What are some of the biggest differences you’ve seen in previous places you’ve worked and Serpa?
Everyone has a positive attitude. I’ve worked at a couple of places where people are just waiting to clock out and that view only reduces the morale of everyone else around them. Here, everyone seems to have a lot of fun and it makes the workday a whole lot better.