Why It’s OK to Make Mistakes on Beyond Limits’ Engineering Team

by Madeline Hester
November 13, 2019

When building a robot, there are multiple components that make it function. The control system acts as the brain, sensors receive feedback, actuators account for movement and end effectors are responsible for carrying out tasks. Each software team can develop different parts, but if they’re not working cohesively, the entire robot will sputter before it starts.

Though they’re not building robots, Beyond Limits understands the importance of integration between software teams. Using artificial intelligence originally developed for NASA space endeavors, the engineering company’s mission is to solve tough, complex business problems here on Earth.

We're open to learning from each other so the best ideas bubble to the top.

But not all AI is created equal.

Beyond Limits integrates machine learning, cognitive technology and AI techniques that emulate human intuition to adapt across the healthcare, energy and finance industries where the wrong decision can have devastating impacts. Full-Stack Application Developer Uche Akotaobi said he prioritizes product stability across the different software engineering teams in order to deliver the most trusted machines.  

In order to stay cohesive, Akotaobi looks at past mistakes as opportunities to advance software development practices. He explained that when building a team that is cooperative, the best practices will rise to the top. With this approach, they’ve built an AI system that not only mimics human intuition, but can also explain why it made the decision. We spoke with Beyond Limits to learn which consistent software practices they use to progress an ever-evolving AI industry.

 

beyond limits
beyond limits

 

How does your software development team define their best practices? 

I think the currency of our best practices is measured in past mistakes.

Mistakes can be made by our experienced developers or can be in the form of industry practices that aren’t cohesive. We're open to learning from each other so the best ideas bubble to the top.

Our software development pace is pretty frenetic here, so often multiple teams will build different products at the same time. Because our individual developers are integrated across multiple teams and projects, a good practice from one team can spread through word-of-mouth until all of the teams are doing it.

Our software development pace is pretty frenetic here...

 

How does your team balance a need to incorporate best practices into their work with the desire to try and test new methodologies and strategies?

Product stability comes first, so our software engineering side tends to be slightly more conservative than our research and development and data science side. That said, new methodologies are developed all the time. If they're really new, we discuss them and evaluate them experimentally.

 

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