What Babylon team are you part of?
The Babylon Insights team
What drew you to data engineering?
I took my first engineering job on a bit of a whim. It was with a manager who understood me well and he convinced me to give it a shot. Once I got into that first position though, I stayed because it was really empowering to hear people say, “Wow, could you really do that? It would be amazing to get our hands on that data!” I have enjoyed gaining business acumen and then joining that with my technical skills to help people access the data they needed to answer their questions and make data driven decisions.
What drew you to Babylon?
When I first applied at Babylon, I only knew that they were a healthcare company with US offices in Austin, Texas. Once I had finished the interview process, I was drawn to how honest and smart each one of the interviewers had been and how they each seemed self motivated to try and build an excellent product and company. It was that striving for better that made me really interested in working here.
What do you enjoy about your role?
As a Data Engineer it is my job to help build out and support an architecture that analysts can use to access data. I love the self-help aspect of our data teams. I love that when I help people with their problems, we teach each other new skills whether that’s programming, debugging, architecture, or just navigating documentation. After collaboration here, people have learned something that helps them do their job better now and in the future. Instead of just providing band aid support, I get to help upskill people and build architecture in a way that enables analysts to be more capable.
What skills did it take to get here?
While I don’t necessarily think it’s a requirement for all data engineers, I’m glad to have a Computer Science degree. It’s helpful to have a background in a few different languages (my undergrad program focused mostly on C++) and to know that somewhere in the back of my mind is information about software and database design that will be familiar to me when/if I need it in the future. I once had a math teacher whose answer whenever students asked him, “When am I ever going to need this?” was, “Well, never, if you don’t know it’s there!” and I feel similarly about the knowledge I gained in my program.
I will say the most useful skill I’ve gained since college is the willingness to solve a problem in many different ways. It’s easy to get so caught up in one way that seems like the *right* solution that you’re not flexible enough to pivot in ways that are very necessary when you’re doing projects with outside constraints.
What’s the most difficult project you’ve done at Babylon?
Earlier this year, our Marketing team needed access to data from a 3rd party provider and I set up the Cloud Function to automate that call. It was intimidating because I had never written a cloud function before and I hadn’t interfaced with APIs much in a professional setting, but I ended up learning a lot in that project and I’m really proud of the end result which enabled the Marketing team to better understand our app usage!
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