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Hnat Cheung

SFU Student Undergraduate
Applied Sciences › Mechatronic Systems Engineering
Co-operative Education › Student Developed Co-op

Position Title
My experience at Linus Tech Tips has taught me a lot about tech journalism and was instrumental in determining my future career path.
Experience Details
Application and Interview Tips
  • know how to build a computer and what components are in them
  • be up to date on the latest in hardware and software news
  • be up to date on the newest Linus Tech Tips videos
  • know how to manage a work flow and be organized
  • be passionate about computers
Introduction + Preparation

To prepare for my job at Linus Media Group, I watched all their latest videos and brushed up on how to build a computer again as I knew that would be a large majority of my job. In addition, I watched a tour of the office to get a sense of the environment I would be working in for the next four (4) months. This turned out to be a massive benefit as I was a lot more comfortable on my first day than I normally am since I already had a basic understanding of the lay out of the office and what I would be expected to do. 

Previous Experience

Prior to this coop experience,I have had three (3) other coops and one (1) part time job, all of which were applicable to the work I did during this coop. My experience and how it helped are as follows:

  • During my co-op work term with the Additive Manufacturing Lab at SFU researching advanced 3D printing techniques which greatly helped in my understanding of the advanced technology being used in tests here at Linus Tech Tips (ex.robot arm)
  • At my co-op work term with Current Scientific, the building and modifying thermal cameras helped me understand how to follow and design new procedures to keep failures to a minimum.
  • On my co-op work term with Spartan Controls, I worked on control systems of large factories and utilities (ex.dam) and learned how to manage large workloads when being counted on to meet tight deadlines.
  • My part time job at Roboplanets which is teaching coding has given me a solid background to understanding the complex new automated tests being used at Linus Tech Tips
Preparation Tips for Future Students

Watching the videos and reacquainting myself with computer building prepared me fairly well for my first day, however if I were to do it again, I would probably have brought a list of important information I needed to assist in the onboarding process. Key things like being how the time sheets worked, contact information of my coworkers, who to contact if I am sick or late, etc.

During my Experience
Orientation and First Weeks

Because I was the first coop student at Linus Tech Tips the onboarding process was minimal and they put me right to work. I personally enjoy this approach as I learn best by working hands on, however this can be jarring for newer coops with less experience to fall back on. Because of this I also worked with the team to improve the onboarding process for the next students. 

Day to Day

Day to day at Linus Media Group depends on the amount of projects that are being worked on at the moment and their state of completion. If a project is beginning, I discuss the goal of the video with a writer and what tests need to be done to effectively convey the story. Once the tests have been determined, I will build the computers needed and run the benchmarks, making sure to log all of the information gathered. At the end of each day, I will update the progress of testing to my manager. When the testing is finished, I will discuss the results with the writer and make sure they are accurate and tell the story we want. This entire progress can take anywhere between one to three weeks depending on the size of it.

Accomplishments and Challenges

I have come up with multiple video ideas that are in the progress of being developed and learned ways to apply labs test to the tech journalism to convey the results in a manner that is easy to digest for the average viewer. Managing multiple projects at once has been a struggle. I solved this problem by managing my time with the use of trello boards and prioritizing high priority projects first. I also started using a parallel workflow doing multiple tasks at once. Using these new skills, I thoroughly tested and benchmarked 5 computer systems in over 50 configurations, the results appearing in three (3) videos to date.

Cultural and Environmental Observations

Everyone here is very nice, and the environment is very welcoming, however due to the busy work schedule and tight deadlines we are often very focused on our work resulting in a quiet workspace. When we do have time to talk, the team is very close and do have a good sense of humor and enjoy having fun. There are also many opportunities for team building at game nights. Although our team is close there is very little inter department interaction due to being physically separated on two different floors.

Wrap Up

Day to day work at Linus Tech Tips can be very rewarding and is highly based on your own drive. The work here is self-guided and therefore your experience will be a result of whatever you put into it. I personally have a passion for technology which drove me to work harder to discover the interesting truths of the latest in technology I was given to test. Due to the nature of the work and the need to be a self-starter and feel confident in your technical foundation, I highly recommend this company to gain experience if you hold a similar passion for technology as I feel it is the only way to get the most of this experience. 

Reflection & Tips

At the start of my co-op work term, I didn't expect the sense of accomplishment, I would have when a video I had a hand in producing got uploaded. Knowing that I am helping people become more knowledgeable and make informed decisions is the best part of the job as I can actively see the impact my work is having on the community. This has greatly influenced my future career plans as before this coop I did not consider a career in tech journalism, however this is now in the forefront of my future options.

Most Valuable Aspects of This Experience

The most valuable aspect of this experience to me is the connections I got to make while working as I'm collaborating with world class professionals who are experts in their field. I got to learn so much just by being around them and interacting with the cutting-edge equipment available to me, which I will apply in whatever future endeavor I wish to pursue. 


Hnat Cheung

SFU Student Undergraduate
Applied Sciences › Mechatronic Systems Engineering
Co-operative Education › Student Developed Co-op
visibility  593
Apr 4, 2023