This submit is co-written with Jennifer Bergstrom, Sr. Technical Director, ParsonsX.
Parsons Corporation (NYSE:PSN) is a number one disruptive know-how firm in vital infrastructure, nationwide protection, house, intelligence, and safety markets offering options throughout the globe to assist make the world safer, more healthy, and extra related. Parsons gives companies and capabilities throughout cybersecurity, missile protection, house floor station know-how, transportation, environmental remediation, and water/wastewater remedy to call just a few.
Parsons is a builder neighborhood and invests closely in worker improvement applications and upskilling. With applications reminiscent of ParsonsX, Parsons’s digital transformation initiative, and – ‘The Guild,’ – an employee-focused neighborhood, Parsons strives to be an employer of selection and engages its staff in profession improvement applications year-round to create a workforce of the longer term.
On this submit, we present you the way Parsons is constructing its subsequent era workforce through the use of machine studying (ML) and synthetic intelligence (AI) with AWS DeepRacer in a enjoyable and collaborative approach.
As Parsons’ footprint strikes into the cloud, their management acknowledged the necessity for a change in tradition and a basic requirement to teach their engineering process power on the brand new cloud working mannequin, instruments, and applied sciences. Parsons is observing trade developments that make it crucial to include AI and ML capabilities into the group’s strategic and tactical decision-making processes. To greatest serve the shopper’s wants, Parsons should upskill its workforce throughout the board in AI/ML tooling and the way to scale it in an enterprise group. Parsons is on a mission to make AI/ML a basis of enterprise throughout the corporate.
Parsons selected AWS DeepRacer as a result of it’s a enjoyable, interactive, and thrilling problem that appealed to their broader vary of staff and didn’t mandate a big stage of experience to compete. Parsons discovered that AWS has many devoted AWS DeepRacer specialists within the subject who would assist plan, setup and run a collection of AI/ML occasions and challenges. Parsons realized success of this occasion could be pushed by environment friendly mechanisms and processes the AWS DeepRacer neighborhood has in place.
Parsons’ objective was to upskill their staff in an fulfilling and aggressive approach, with digital leagues amongst peer teams and an in-person occasion for the highest racers. The schooling initiative in partnership with AWS was comprised of 4 phases.
First, Parsons hosted a digital dwell workshop with AWS specialists within the AI/ML and DeepRacer neighborhood. The workshop taught the fundamentals of reinforcement studying, reward features, hyperparameter tuning, and accessing the AWS DeepRacer console to coach and submit a mannequin.
Within the subsequent section, they hosted a digital neighborhood league race for all taking part Parsons staff. Fashions had been optimized, submitted, and raced, and winners had been introduced on the finish of racing. Contributors within the digital leagues had been comprised of particular person contributors and frontline managers from numerous job roles throughout Parsons, together with civil engineers, bridge engineers, methods and software program engineers, knowledge analysts, undertaking managers, and program managers. Becoming a member of them as members within the league had been enterprise unit presidents, SVPs, VPs, senior administrators, and administrators.
Within the third section, an in-person league was held in Maryland. The highest 4 members from the digital leagues noticed their fashions loaded into and raced in bodily AWS DeepRacer automobiles on a observe constructed onsite. The highest 4 rivals at this occasion included a market CTO, a undertaking signaling engineer, a undertaking engineer, and an engineer intern.
The fourth and ultimate section of the occasion had every of the 4 rivals present a technical walkthrough of the methods used to develop, practice, and take a look at their fashions. By way of AWS DeepRacer, Parsons not solely showcased the influence this occasion was in a position to make globally throughout all of the divisions, but in addition that they had been in a position to create a memorable expertise for members.
Over 500 staff registered from numerous enterprise items and repair organizations throughout Parsons worldwide proper after an announcement of the AWS DeepRacer problem was printed internally. The AWS DeepRacer workshop noticed unprecedented curiosity with over 470 Parsons staff becoming a member of the preliminary workshop. The digital workshop generated vital engagement – 245 lively customers developed over 1,500+ fashions and spent over 500 hours coaching these fashions on the AWS DeepRacer console. The digital league was a powerful success, with 185 racers from throughout the nation taking part and submitting 1415 fashions into the competitors!
The digital AWS DeepRacer league at Parsons supplied a enjoyable and alluring surroundings with a lot of iterations, studying, and experimentation. Parsons’ Market CTO, John Statuli, who was one of many prime 4 contenders on the race stated, “It was a whole lot of enjoyable to take part on the AWS DeepRacer occasion. I’ve not finished any programming in a very long time, however the mixture of the AWS DeepRacer digital workshop and the AWS DeepRacer program supplied a simple approach by which I may take part and compete for the highest spot.”
On the ultimate race held in Maryland, Parsons broadcasted a companywide digital occasion that showcased a troublesome competitors between their prime 4 rivals from three totally different enterprise items. Parsons prime management joined the occasion, together with CTO Rico Lorenzo, D&I CTO Ryan Gabrielle, President of Related Communities Peter Torrellas, CDO Tim LaChapelle, and ParsonsX Sr. Director Jennifer Bergstrom. On the occasion, Parsons hosted a webinar with over 100 attendees and a winner’s walkthrough of their fashions.
With such an amazing response from staff throughout the globe and an curiosity in AI/ML studying, Parsons is now planning a number of further occasions to proceed rising their staff’ knowledgebase. To proceed to upskill and educate their workforce, Parsons intends to run extra AWS DeepRacer occasions and workshops targeted on object avoidance, an Amazon SageMaker deep dive workshop, and an AWS DeepRacer head-to-head race. Parsons continues to have interaction with AWS on AI/ML companies to construct world-class options within the fields of vital infrastructure, nationwide protection, house, and cybersecurity.
Whether or not your group is new to machine studying or able to construct on present expertise, AWS DeepRacer might help you get there. To study extra go to Getting Began with AWS DeepRacer.
Concerning the Authors
Jenn Bergstrom is a Parsons Fellow and Senior Technical Director. She is captivated with revolutionary technological options and techniques and enjoys designing well-architected cloud options for applications throughout all of Parsons’s domains. When not driving innovation at Parsons, she loves exploring the world along with her husband and daughters, and mentoring numerous people transitioning into the tech trade. You possibly can attain her on LinkedIn.
Deval Parikh is a Sr. Enterprise Options Architect at Amazon Internet Providers. She is captivated with serving to enterprises reimagine their companies within the cloud by main them with strategic architectural steerage and constructing prototypes as an AWS professional. She can also be an lively board member of the Girls at AWS affinity group the place she oversees college applications to teach college students on cloud know-how and careers. She can also be an avid hiker and a painter of oil on canvas. You possibly can see lots of her work at www.devalparikh.com. You possibly can attain her on LinkedIn.