I Am NI: Dylan Turner



Dylan Turner, a passionate maker of music, stories, and video games, found a home here at NI, where he is able to work alongside a knowledgeable team of engineers to create innovative solutions for everyday problems.

Name: Dylan Turner
Hometown: Garland, TX
University: Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Department/Role at NI: Software Engineer


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Why did you want to intern/work at NI?

I wanted to work at NI because, after doing an internship here, it seemed like a place where people stayed a long time and were relatively happy. I got the impression it had a healthy work culture. On top of that, I’d get to work on stuff I was genuinely interested in.

As a Generation NI intern or new grad, tell us how this program has impacted you.

This program is great because it teaches lessons in a variety of fields while providing opportunities to interact with others in similar situations. It gets you up to speed on NI as a whole and provides a welcoming environment.

Diversity and inclusion are important to engineering because people are important to engineering. Engineers can do good things on their own, but when they’re able to collaborate with one another, they can produce mankind’s greatest achievements.  

- Dylan Turner
Do you have a passion outside of “work”?

I’m a maker. I make lots of different things. I make music with my bass, ukulele, computer, and other instruments. I make video games and electronics. I make languages. I make stories and poems. I just love to create; it’s part of who I am.

How do you Engineer Ambitiously™?

Wherever I go, I’m constantly thinking of new ideas to improve or add to various experiences. I’m always thinking of ways to make something better and what I would need to do to make that happen. I have hundreds of pages of designs for different problems and several prototypes of future software and hardware solutions that I and others could use and build together.

Who is your biggest inspiration and/or mentor (at NI or otherwise)?

I got into software when I was about 12 years old. Not long after, I became really interested in embedded systems. Right around that time, I discovered a YouTuber who would go on to inspire me throughout middle school and high school: Ben Heck. He would make all sorts of cool projects, from portable game consoles to pinball machines, all while showing the build process extensively. I was hooked on his channel, and it inspired me to pursue my projects over the years.

With the transitions to remote school and work in the past year, share some lessons learned along the way.

I learned how important it was to get up early and go to sleep early even if you don’t have to get ready and go into a building. Staying on a consistent sleep schedule keeps your mind working optimally.

During your time at NI, what’s been the most significant lesson you’ve learned? (This can be anything from a life lesson to a skill/best practice you use in your career.)

Ask questions. This is by far the biggest thing I’ve had to learn. People want to help you, and they want to share their knowledge. With Teams and email, you’re usually not bothering anyone by asking for help or for information about something, so ask questions because it’ll save you time and frustration.

As you enter the workforce, tell us why diversity and inclusion (especially in engineering) matter to you.

Diversity and inclusion are important to engineering because people are important to engineering. Engineers can do good things on their own, but when they’re able to collaborate with one another, they can produce mankind’s greatest achievements. Every individual has their own experiences, culture, and beliefs that influence how they come up with solutions. Diverse and inclusive teams are better able to find a solution to any problem to progress a project forward.

What’s the one thing you want people to know about you that doesn’t fit on your resume?

I’m an artist, and engineering is an art form. My projects are a sign of not just technical skill but creativity. They’re ideas, just like the pictures that form in the mind’s eye of a painter. My creativity shines through in my other hobbies—music, poetry, conlanging—but it doesn’t necessarily shine through on a resume.

How would you describe the culture and connections you’ve experienced with other NIers?

I would describe my fellow NIers as welcoming.

How have your skills developed at NI, and what has been the impact of those skills on your work and life?

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that I need to ask questions and that it’s OK to do so. Most people are willing to help and share their knowledge, but you’ve got to take the initiative.


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