Day In The Life: Meet Adobe Research Intern Robert Dates

Estimated reading time ~ 3 min
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Robert Dates
Speech and Language Technology Developer Intern, Adobe
San Jose, CA
Twitter: @DatesRobert, @yaheardllc

7:15am: I lay in bed thinking about what I want to accomplish today. I’m in San Jose, California for the summer, working as a research speech and language technology developer intern at Adobe by day and building out an app I cofounded, Yaheard, by night. I catch up on a few texts from my cofounder, Joshua Puente, about recent improvements we’ve made to our code. Our app allows people to exchange opinions on just about any topic. Now it’s time to get ready for work.

8:00am: I get dressed and head outside to catch the bus to the Adobe office. During the 45-minute ride, I catch up on Snapchat and emails (most of my friends are three hours ahead of me on the East Coast) while listening to Kendrick Lamar’s new album DAMN. I recently went to Kendrick’s concert, and it was lit!

9:00am: I’ve made it to downtown San Jose. I hop off the bus and take a short walk to Adobe Systems headquarters. I join a few intern buddies and eat a nice breakfast – three eggs scrambled with cheese, onion, and spinach, two slices of bacon, side of yogurt, and one slice of french toast – in the Adobe cafeteria. So good.

9:30am: I head to the creative intelligence lab, home to Adobe’s primary research and development team. The journey up to my desk is always fun; I try say what's up to as many people as I possibly can along the way. When I arrive in the lab, I get a small cup of coffee and greet my fellow officemates before checking my calendar to remind myself what meetings I have today.

10:00am: The moment everyone has been waiting for: I get to work creating the magical features that Adobe customers will hopefully enjoy. As a speech and language technology developer intern, I listen in on the theories and concepts of speech researchers and work with product teams to implement real live working prototypes. This summer my focus has been on researching voice user interfaces for Adobe products, which involves studying the patterns of human language and translating them into workable prototypes to create Adobe products.

Robert Dates

12:00pm: I step away from my desk and suit up for a basketball tournament Adobe is hosting for both full-time employees and interns. Getting on the court is a nice break from the challenging problems you encounter in your research. It’s also fun to put the skills I learned playing AAU basketball growing up into practice. Chef Curry with the shot boy!

1:00pm: I shower in the office gym and grab some lunch with my teammates. Since breakfast was so filling, I keep it simple with a small salad.

1:30pm: I focus on making progress with my research project and documenting my latest findings for other researchers who will be picking up where I left off when I head back to North Carolina State University to continue earning my computer science master’s this fall.

4:30pm: I hop into a meeting with a product team I’m consulting with. I love working with this team because it allows me to see the impact of my work and how it directly drives popular products that Adobe provides to the public.

5:30pm: I head to the Adobe gym for a workout. Adobe’s wellness program provides benefits for fitness-related activities, and I try to take advantage of this perk and maintain a healthy lifestyle by going to the gym three-to-four days a week after work. It helps to balance my lack of activity sitting at my desk for most of the day.

7:00pm: After my workout, I message a few friends to decide whether to cook or eat out. Tonight I opt to head home. I cook pasta with spinach, chicken, and vodka sauce.

8:00pm: This is when I clock out of Adobe work mode and clock in as Yaheard LLC’s co-CEO and cofounder. I work on a new direct messaging feature and then make a few touch ups to our website.

2:00am: Satisfied with my progress and ready for bed, I call it a night. Entrepreneurship has proven to be challenging, but it’s exciting because I’m always learning so much, which I love. I work hard because I believe in the research my team is doing and the product that my partner and I are creating. #Yaheard?!

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Images courtesy of Robert Dates

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