Levi started his studies in Application Development in Breda. He says he has always wanted to pursue a career in the computer area. In the beginning, though, he was not sure about which direction to follow. Although he did not really understand what programming was at the time, he says that he picked some courses in application development by chance. After some initial struggle, he discovered that he loved the field.
As Levi describes, coding can be a very problem-solving affair: “You have a problem, and you must create a solution to solve it. It’s very rewarding if you can make something in that way.” He also remarks that programming is really a structured business, so the very nature of the subject helps him in certain real-life situations: “I found myself in it; it gave me a lot of structure in life, as well.”
After finishing his MBO, Levi wanted to move further with his studies: “I didn’t feel like I had achieved everything that I could, It felt like I only had the basics. In summary, I wanted to do more. So, I knew I wanted to go for an HBO. My course now involves work with hardware and embedded systems; you get introduced to everything you can do with code. That’s why I chose it,” he explains.
Levi also highlights the impact that the Corona crisis has had on some processes at his university. According to him, Application Development is a complex course per se. Nevertheless, the pandemic has created an even more demanding scenario, as Avans University, where Levi currently studies, started to update the curriculum in 2020. As the student explains: “there’s so much new code and so many new things to learn. They started chasing and implementing new topics for study; therefore, some things tend to fall on the experimental side. When Corona hit, everything started becoming most unstructured, and we had to improvise a lot. It created very challenging situations for us all, students and teachers: everyone trying to figure out the best ways to move forward.”
Levi points out that usually, every third-year student, like himself, completes an internship assignment. Typically, the activity revolves around working at a tech company, performing a simple given task, and writing summaries or reports about it. However, at Levi’s school, innovation is key: “Since I have started my course, from grade one, they wanted to make a change. This year, they organized our program in a similar manner to a graduation internship; they feel like it prepares you better for the actual one. It’s quite identical, but you’re not going through it to graduate.” Indeed, the similarities in the approach are visible: students have a research question and, when going to a company, it is necessary to ensure that they are working on something relevant, creating a research subject.
Levi says that Ericsson was the very first company to respond to his internship request. At the 5G Hub, he discussed the demos he was going to work on with Edwin Dijkstra, his leading advisor. Being an intern with versatile skills, Levi was conducted to explore his talents on a set of diverse fronts and working on multiple demos at the Hub. “Levi is a quick learner, understanding the strength of 5G and developing solutions leveraging its capabilities. By creating an Augmented Reality solution using 5G’s low latency possibilities towards the edge, he will be offering real-time responsiveness to the end-users,” says Edwin. Levi also counts on the guidance of Lennart Koorevaar as his secondary advisor. He states that “students like Levi, with a strong technical background and explorative attitude, are directly helping us shape tomorrow’s 5G-enabled technologies.”
As mentioned, his current project at the 5G Hub, a collaboration with Sentors, employs Augmented Reality. To him, AR is “a very cool concept. It’s like visual satisfaction when you can see an object on your phone, and it creates a stimulus.” Levi explains that with 5G, we can create these images remarkably fast, turning them into something more viable for regular phones. According to him, the technology available now is much superior compared with what was being used. Nowadays, “if you want to make something really cool, you usually must have the newest phone, a tablet, a VR headset and things like that,” he remarks, “but with 5G and one of those edge computers, we’re going to make it accessible for everyone.”
Levi works on his assignment together with his colleague Mark Baaij. As Levi describes, “we’re basically partners in crime. At the moment, we are assigned the same demos, so we’re both working on Sentors.” In another moment, the students will also work individually: Mark, on the Racecar, already available at the 5G Hub, while Levi will develop the new 5G Drone project. “I’m going to create it. I came up with the idea after watching a YouTube video. Edwin really liked it,” Levi says.
He is proud of the very fact that he is working with 5G technology. As he highlights, “I don’t think anyone at my school can say ‘I’m working with 5G’. I feel very privileged for being able to develop a project with such new technology.” Levi points out that everything he is developing is very innovative and unique, which also creates difficulties since it has not been done before, and there is no previous research on it. It is about setting up the pavement for what is there to come.
Levi says that he perceives the 5G Hub as an extraordinary place, where one can actually perform tests with 5G. For him, it is like a workshop, as much as it feels like an open demonstration because many demos are there.
The 5G Hub is an ecosystem promoter, intended to be visited by many parties interested in knowing more about and creating new solutions with 5G technology. Being a fundamental part of the team, the interns are involved in the discussions, participating in the rounds of demo tours, and providing information to the visitors. “It really feels like you’re involved. I really like it. I got a sense of ownership.”
Levi invites the community to check out and visit the 5G Hub (as soon as that is possible) as the place is impressive, and the demos available are exciting and innovative. “Just meet the people that are working there – they are fantastic,” he says.