Gabriel Oetjens’ journey at Dataspeed began two summers ago when he joined us as an intern. His hard work and dedication during that time led him to become a full-time Software Engineer a few months ago. We are thrilled to share his story with you, as it showcases how his time at Dataspeed has influenced his career and highlights the exceptional team he works with.

Gabriel in his element at Dataspeed HQ

I feel that my time at Dataspeed has been enriching, both for my capabilities as a software engineer, but also for my collaborative abilities. Truth be told, I feel very fortunate that I am able to spend every day with a team as well-curated and approachable as my colleagues and co-workers. It’s been an excellent experience, to say the least!

My internship has given me several opportunities to get my feet wet with industry-grade software projects. Dataspeed has made these learning experiences all the more effective by allowing me to directly engage with the entire process of auto-related software design, creation, testing, and deployment. My transition from intern to full-time employee has been surprisingly easy because of it.

Besides using many of the programming and design-related skills that I’ve acquired during my internship on a daily basis, I feel that my soft skills have been significantly refined since I first joined. I’ve found myself taking more notes, asking more questions, and feeling much more willing to reach out to those around me.

Both Kevin Hallenbeck and Shannon Barber here at Dataspeed have given me fantastic direction and guidance during my internship. It’s because of both of them that I’ve retained and grown my interest in automotive-related work.

Prior to my internship, my experience with designing significant software projects was usually done solo (I’m a total “do it yourself” personality in several facets of computer work, for better or worse). One of the biggest challenges I remember facing as I began my internship was becoming used to doing design work for larger software projects with a team of people, rather than just making decisions myself. I found that I wasn’t actually as familiar with describing my reasoning as to why I wanted to build something in a certain way as I thought I was.

Gabriel discusses the projects he works on with Micho Radovnikovich, Dataspeed’s Lead Algorithm Developer

Definitely! I’m still decently impressed with my first internship project, which required me to work while learning 4-5 new software technologies all at the same time, all the while I build (and fail, and rebuild) a software package that needs to connect to potentially hundreds of vehicles on the road, all at once. Looking back on it now, the final program ended up being half effective, and half hodge-podge, but I remain impressed with the amount of effort I put into the project at the time.

Gabriel tests Dataspeed’s intelligent Power Distribution System

Working directly with in-production automotive parts and standards has given me a good grasp on how many of the technologies that we see in the automotive industry are applied. As with many things, a hands-on approach has suited me very well in acclimating myself to this particular industry.

Never ever be afraid of asking for help. Oftentimes, receiving help from your coworkers is not only a great way to be guided toward solutions but also a fantastic way to learn. (And in many cases, gain insights you might not have thought about!)


Besides eating Takis and drinking Monster, I enjoy a whole gauntlet of tech-minded-kid-type hobbies. I enjoy making video games with friends when I have the time, I enjoy 3D printing and designing parts to be 3D printed, and I enjoy making music, just to name a few. I also play a handful of instruments with a skill level that I would call: “generally acceptable.”

If I could have any power, I would definitely choose shapeshifting, (Like Beastboy from Teen Titans, in particular). Besides the fact that animals in general are super cool, you can do a surprising amount if you can just turn into any one of them. Why pick “flying” or “super-strength” when you can just turn into a bird or gorilla? Boom, easy.

It isn’t the most important thing to me, but I think it’d be super cool to skydive from an airplane or helicopter. I’m sure I would be shaking head-to-toe on the way up, but after getting it all done and over with, I’d feel very proud of myself, and I would totally win a bunch of bragging rights over my friends.

Gabriel grabs some delicious coffee from the kitchen’s amazing coffee machine

Collecting some tools from the garage for his current project

I feel like it’s pretty hard to get an accurate depiction of yourself in others’ eyes, but I hope that they would say something along the lines of “empathetic.” I’d also expect “silly” or “goofy.”

I absolutely think so. Being put in an environment where I’m put outside of my immediate comfort zone and allowed to experience real-world work has been a fantastic push for me and my career prospects. The amount of preparedness that an experience like the one I’ve had at Dataspeed has given me has vastly exceeded the expectations that a mid-college me has once had.


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What Sets Dataspeed Apart From the Rest?

With the influx of driverless technology providers over recent years, it can be overwhelming for teams to navigate the seemingly endless options. Dataspeed offers Kinetic Kits that were developed to streamline the AV hardware and software selection process to allow teams to focus their efforts on their own research and testing.

Every component was hand-selected by the experienced Dataspeed engineering team based on extensive industry knowledge and experience. Included software functionality was developed in-house to allow for project adaptability and expandability. 

Don’t hesitate to reach out to us so we can help you kickstart your project vehicle. Get in touch with us today and let’s turn your dream project into a reality.

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