The Capella Values Series: Quality and Creativity

In recent months, a few members of the Capella team have published blog posts about some of our company values. I’m adding to that series today with a post about two of my favorite Capella values: Quality and Creativity.

Quality SAR Data

Quality is very important to me as a data scientist. Access to SAR data can have a huge impact on our customers’ businesses, so we believe the products we deliver should not only meet their expectations but exceed them. However, SAR data comes with its own nuances and requires certain domain level knowledge to understand and process the imagery. In spite of the complex nature of the field, my team has succeeded in building high-quality future roadmap products using Capella’s SAR imagery to make SAR accessible for everyone.

I see the quality value manifested in my team every day. For example, in a short span of nine months, the team was able to deliver production-ready features for our new platform. By focusing on product-oriented development methodology, the team delivered quality algorithms that included rigorous testing and validation steps.

Creative Solutions to New Problems

Creativity is also a core value for everything we do on the data science team. Often, when we encounter a challenge in the SAR field, it’s a problem very few people have dealt with before, so we have to get creative to solve it. For example, there isn’t a vast amount of existing, labeled SAR imagery. Initially, this made it difficult for our team to develop meaningful machine learning algorithms that could be scaled into products. Through a combination of innovation and repurposing existing technologies, we were able to rapidly prototype ideas and show proofs of concept to our internal business and sales stakeholders for developing our product feature roadmap.

Putting Values into Practice

We’ve leaned on both of these values throughout the pandemic, too. My team is a small group of data scientists and a DevOps engineer. Several members of the team joined Capella around April 2020 when the COVID-19 restrictions were already in place. Luckily, our HR and IT teams have been very creative about making the onboarding process as seamless as possible and always being there when we needed some help. In spite of being remote, these new team members did a fantastic job getting up to speed on all of our projects in a very short time and have made major, quality contributions to the progress of our projects.

I also saw these values manifested in the Capella team during my own onboarding process. I first applied for a job at Capella because I spent my childhood at the rocket launch station my dad worked at in India, and always wanted to do something with remote sensing. When I saw the job posting on LinkedIn for a lead data scientist role at Capella, I wanted to give it a try. During my phone screen and onsite interviews, I met several team members and was very impressed with the company culture and the team’s creativity and work around Earth observation, and I sincerely wanted to be part of this exciting journey.

I believe that all of our company values mutually support and enhance each other. For example, I think quality and accountability go hand in hand, and creativity and “aim high & bold” are complementary values. Make sure to visit our blog in the coming weeks to read about the rest of our values.

About Ganesh Yalla:

Ganesh is the lead data scientist on the product engineering data science team at Capella. Ganesh has an extensive background in computer vision and machine learning, holds a Ph.D. and MS in electrical engineering from the University of Kentucky, and a bachelor’s degree from Sri Venkateswara University, Tirupati. Ganesh has published several journal/conference papers, has 15+ issued patents both in the US and worldwide, with several patents pending. He is a member of IEEE and AGU.

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