This summer we, Charlie Stuart '23 and Tyler Cornetta '23, had the opportunity to work as interns for Nuance Communications in Burlington MA. Nuance is a multi-billion dollar software development company that specializes in speech recognition software across healthcare, financial services, telecommunications, retail, and government.
We interned on the company's medical team to help with a system doctors currently use in hospitals. We had daily meetings with our team, which consisted of about a dozen professional software engineers and three college interns. We were also paired up with a manager who led our team and oversaw us throughout our time at Nuance.
We were assigned to test certain bugs that showed up in the voice recognition software. When phrases that doctors need the system to understand do not return the way that they want them, wav files are used as a testing and training tool that software engineers can use to identify the source of the error. To fix bugs, the first check was to determine if it was a poorly-recorded wav file, and if it was, we would re-record it. When we created the wav files, we also had to update a shared file so that others could find the spoken phrase and the location of the wav file. If the error was caused because the software had a bug or simply didn’t support the vocabulary in the audio file, we would pass the issue off to the full-time software engineers.
When we found that a bug in the software had been resolved, we would put our findings into our team's central webpage. This would notify other employees in the healthcare department that we had resolved the issue and allow them access to our comments.
We had multiple meetings every day. We met with our research and development team, the whole healthcare side of Nuance, our affiliate team located in India, our manager, and the whole team of over 150 Nuance interns. We also had the privilege of joining intern career development series meetings, where a highly knowledgeable full-time Nuance employee would give a zoom presentation to all of the interns from the Burlington, Canada, and India offices.
We were also lucky enough to participate in multiple in-person events, like “national intern day”. This was a day when all the interns who worked for the office in Burlington got to participate in in-person events at the Nuance offices in Burlington. We played trivia games, listened to a career development speech, and got food. We also went out for ice cream with our team of interns and software engineers on our second to last day. Thank you to Matt Harrison for being a great manager this summer.