Thorleif Thorleifsson

Meet Nikolai - Our summer intern

Welcome to Maritime Optima! Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Thanks,I'm excited to be here! I am 23 years old and currently live in Gjøvik with my girlfriend, where I am taking my MSc in Applied Computer Science at NTNU. I grew up on a farm in a small town called Holmestrand in Vestfold with my parents and two siblings. It was an amazing place to grow up, and I loved the freedom of how it is growing up at a farm.

From a very young age, I have always loved the sea and enjoying nature. One of the best places I like to be is in our summerhouse in Northern Norway. It is something truly special about the calming atmosphere you get when you are on a small island that can only be reached by boat, with no traffic or noise.

One of my biggest passions has always been computers and technology. I have always been very curious, and often myself intrigued to understand how different systems work at almost any level. This curiosity to understand how computers and technology work has probably played a big part in making this such a big passion for me. 

Tell us a little bit about your background. Your education? What have you been doing before you joined Maritime Optima? 

Prior to starting my Master's degree, I took a bachelor in Programming (Games |Applications) at NTNU Gjøvik. My main focus was on Games Programming, another big passion of mine. During my bachelor's, I learned a lot about technologies such as AI, computer graphics, and machine learning. Although a lot of this was games-oriented, I think the knowledge is very useful and applicable to many other fields.

My bachelor thesis was in cooperation with Sintef Ocean in Trondheim, and was a submodule of a research project called Neodroid. My work was contributing to Neodroid Playground, together with three fellow students. Our application allowed people to describe a task to a robot within VR, and make this robot train on this specific task within a virtual environment. This training would effectively make a physical robot be able to perform the task in real life,with only training in a virtual space. I also spent the summer in 2019 working further on this application as a summer researcher at Sintef Ocean inTrondheim. 

What will be your responsibilities in Maritime Optima?

As a summer intern, I will be contributing to developing new features for the platform wherever my toolset is suited. I have a bit of a different background, coming from a main focus on programming for games. However, I think that also can give me a different perspective and other strengths, which hopefully will be useful during this internship

What programming languages do you feel comfortable working with both frontend and backend?

For frontend, I have some experience working with Javascript, and Java/Kotlin for Native Android development. However I cannot really say that I am that comfortable working with frontend, and I am looking forward to getting some more experience within that field during this summer.

For backend, I have some experience with Golang and really enjoy working with that language. Although the programming languages I am most comfortable with is probably C++ and C#, as they were the most prevalent during my games-programming courses.

What do you hope to achieve during the summer months in Maritime Optima?

 I hope that I will expand my toolset and understanding of the technologies used in the web and application world. Additionally, I hope that I get to provide some meaningful contributions to the platform during my summer here at Maritime Optima. 

There are so many digital maritime initiatives around and start-ups - what is unique with Maritime Optima?

I think the drive that is within the whole team and the great working culture is part of what makes Maritime Optima very unique. Everyone is so passionate about creating and solving problems together. In turn, this creates a great basis for achieving the team's goals.

How would you describe a successful team?

A successful team is a team that strives towards building each other up. Utilizing each individuals' strengths to achieve a common goal, whilst also making space for exploration and self-improvement. Making sure everyone is in the same mindset and has a shared vision about the goal is something I deem essential to have a well-performing and successful team.

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