A day in the life of...

Robert Rodger

Writing Intellectually Challenging Code

Perhaps because of my background in risk management, I have worked for several of GoDataDriven’s financial clients. I also worked on a project for a publishing company. They were looking for tooling that could automatically take their English content, translate it to Dutch and then make summaries of that content in an automated fashion. They wanted to reduce the degree of human intervention in this process as much as possible, and they wanted whatever we were going to build hosted in the cloud.

For instance, today I was stuck on a small difference between the ways two versions of Python handle text – particularly how they encode it. I was banging my head against the wall for a few hours. But just before this interview, I figured it out and the code ran correctly. So now this won’t be on my mind all weekend.

Machine Learning Meetup

A few years ago I attended a Meetup about machine learning co-organized by GoDataDriven. I was impressed by the company’s maturity, and we stayed in touch. Now, I’m happy to say I’ve been working here for a number of years.

GoDataDriven is a good fit for me. My colleagues are all highly talented individuals and social at the same time. Everyone is willing to share their knowledge, so it’s also a great place for technical growth if you are less experienced in some areas. I also like how working as a consultant accelerates your soft skills development.



Gensim, Elasticsearch and Flask

The assignment started with a proof of concept. My approach, as always, was to build a prototype tool quickly. Once I had shown that what the client wanted was possible, then I iterated upon this PoC to improve its output.

To that end, I took advantage of some pre-existing technologies. I used Gensim, which can perform automatic text summarization and the Google Cloud Translation API. I also used Elasticsearch to provide a prototype recommender system with which users of the platform are supposed to find relevant articles. And I used Flask to create a front-end for demonstration purposes.

After trying out some code in Jupyter notebooks, I rewrote everything as Python scripts and set them up to run periodically from a Google Cloud Compute Engine using some ops experience I picked up from a previous assignment. I was pleased that all the pieces came together so well, and the client was impressed by the result.

Intellectual Challenge

My audience is not always very technical, and I need to think carefully about the order and presentation of ideas.

We develop and deliver our training on the Python data science ecosystem and use machine learning and natural language processing.

All of these provide ongoing opportunities for me to refresh my knowledge base and work on my communication skills.

Giving a successful presentation, talking to a satisfied student after conducting a course, or finally resolving an issue I’ve been stuck on- these are the things that make me happy in a working day.

In addition to my consulting and training work, I enjoy interviewing and assessing potential colleagues. I appreciate that management places trust in us as consultants to make hiring decisions. Providing positive and negative feedback is an invaluable soft skill to have.

Robert Rodger

Interested in working alongside Robert?

AI Strategist

You are passionate about helping organizations drive their success with Data & AI. You feel comfortable operating at the sweet spot between Leadership, Business, and Tech. And, after co-creating a vision and strategy on Data & AI, you’re not afraid to kick-start and drive the execution with a top-notch team that will turn your ideas into reality.

Analytics Engineer

Your passion is data and analytics. You want to create value at our clients by uncovering, organizing, and making sense of data. You understand that it is important to build robust solutions. You feel comfortable to operate in the sweet spot between business and engineering.

Analytics Translator

You love to help organizations become successful with Data & AI. You have been a practitioner as analyst or scientist. You feel comfortable to approach stakeholders and help them to uncover the needs of their business. And you are not afraid to take ownership and make sure the right solution goes into production.

Data Engineer

You are a engineer with a pragmatic attitude. You feel the weight of responsibility that comes with taking systems into production. You easily switch between scripting and structured programming in typed languages. You understand cloud, provisioning and automation. And you know how to build robust systems.

Data Science Educator

You are passionate about sharing your knowledge and helping others in their development and success stories and feel comfortable explaining difficult subjects on various levels and are adept at creating new learning and development offerings on Data & AI. You are fluent in Python and the most used data science libraries such as Pandas and scikit-learn. Clean code comes naturally to you and you understand why that is important for the next generation of data science products.

Data Scientist

We are looking for senior data scientists who feel at home at the intersection between science, mathematics, machine learning, business, and coaching. You have experience in building value from data through ML and software.

Machine Learning Engineer

You understand ML. You understand that scale is not trivial. You like to code. You are comfortable to be a bridge between data scientists and data engineers to build production-ready, scalable applications driven by data and AI.