🏡 City: Lille ➡️ Paris ➡️ Sydney ➡️ Paris
💼 Job title: Senior Data Engineer
🎓 Studies: Engineering at Centrale Supelec Paris and at UNSW in Sydney
🔮 Languages: French 🇫🇷 English 🇬🇧 and I study Spanish 🇪🇸. In my work I use programming languages such as SQL and Python.
👣 How do you commute at work? I ride my bike to work every day. It’s a 10km trip and takes around 30min. 🚴♂️
🧳 Travel dreams: I’ve never been to South America, it’s on my bucket list.
🎬 Favorite book: “Les Cavaliers” by Joseph Kessel, because it’s a story of personal and geographical travel.
📌 Which team do you work in and what does your day look like?
As a Data Engineer, I am part of the tech department and I work in the data team. The data team has 3 different positions: Data Engineers, Data Scientists and BI Engineers. The small team I work in, located in the Paris office, is composed of Data engineers and BI Engineers. This team is called the Lynx Squad and our goal is to work closely with the business teams, to enable them with tech solutions to ease their journey and maximise their impact. My daily routine? Usually I try to arrive early, when the office is still quiet so I can self-reflect on what I achieved the day before, and what will be my main focus of the day ahead. Within my team we like to start the day with a 15 minute stand-up. It’s a great opportunity to take the pulse of the team, and align on who is working on what, what are the blockers, and what we should focus on for the day. In practice, I code most of the day and if necessary I jump in on small meetings to discuss technical issues or to do go-betweens with stakeholders to have a better understanding of what they need and which project we should prioritise. Our team codes mostly in Python and in Scala. We use Python to create data pipelines, in which we extract, transform and load data. We also focus on delivering real-time features to drive the business such as a pre-order ETA API and a live alert micro-service.
📌 What has been the biggest challenge in your current role?
In my opinion, the biggest challenge we faced so far was to build this new team from scratch one year ago. We started this squad with brand new people, a lot of challenges ahead and high expectations from many stakeholders at Stuart. The hard — and thrilling — part of the job is to match the always evolving business needs with the robustness required when you build tech products that are meant to last and empower the business’ core departments in the best ways possible. We’re proud to say that we have met this challenge and that we now facilitate the everyday work and maximise the efficiency of the strategic departments of Stuart — Operations, Account Management, Finance.
📌 What is the influence of Data Engineering on the development of Stuart solutions?
The Data Engineering team aims to provide the whole company with the gateway to reliable data. One part of the team is based in Barcelona and focuses on building and growing the dispatcher — the algorithm dispatching deliveries in real-time to drivers in the 80+ cities in which we operate. When a business client requests a delivery, we need to find the right driver while considering multiple constraints — package size, picking time, delivery time, etc… The dispatcher plays a central role in our tech platform and in our ability to improve our delivery performance. The other part of the team, which I am in, is working closer with the BI and business teams and focuses on addressing one big challenge: providing reliable and actionable data. While doing so, we work with many teams: Operations, Account Management, Finance, Sales — which all have different data needs. For example: Operations need to monitor the day to day of the business, to have good knowledge of couriers, to have efficient sourcing, to reduce churn, to have good knowledge of the supply and demand and manage all of these aspects in order to always provide a good customer experience. Similarly, Account Managers need to have really good knowledge of the client — order history, monthly performances, etc. — to make sure we deliver outstanding service in line with our SLAs. All those different teams need accurate data to facilitate their decision process and our team is responsible for providing this data to the whole company.
📌 What methodology do you use?
We use an Agile methodology. Agile has become a buzzword lately, but it’s really how we organise our work. Most common agile methodologies are Scrum and Kanban. Scrum is made of two week sprints and at the end of each one you have to deliver something. However we prefer to use the Kanban methodology, which allows a continuous workflow. That means that we don’t have two weeks deadlines, rather we receive requests from stakeholders and deliver solutions at any time. We chose this methodology because it is more flexible and fits better with the urgency of our tasks. Our extended project team is made of one Product Manager, a few Data Engineers and one BI Engineer. Some projects are multi-disciplinary and require several skills from backend engineers, devops, etc….
How do we organise ourselves to deliver features? Everything starts with a proper shaping phase to gather and understand the requests from stakeholders through our Product Manager. He is the one who translates business issues into product requirements and prioritises them. Each request is split into small tasks that can be worked on in parallel by different members of the team, depending on everyone’s technological skills / current workload. Then comes the grooming session, meetings during which we define technically how each task needs to be addressed in order to build a solution that matches the needs — basically how to get things done.
📌 What project are you the most proud of?
I would, without a doubt pick the “Data Warehouse”. The purpose of this project is to provide the whole company with a unique source of truth for reporting by gathering data from every data source, internal or external. The main internal source is our platform (i.e backend), the applications, the dispatcher and any information about couriers, jobs and what is happening in each zone we’re operating in. External sources are all the tools used by each department on a daily basis to facilitate their work. Our mission is to make sure the data is clean, reliable and usable by all teams. It’s mandatory for them to monitor our activity in every aspect of the business and for our company to be data driven. I am very proud to be part of the team that delivered this ambitious project because I see that it has a strong impact on Stuart’s day to day business performance, and that it improves teams efficiency at a cross-team / country level. It was a long journey for sure, but definitely worth it!
📌 How would you define the culture at Stuart?
I have been at Stuart for two and a half years now. Even though culture has evolved in parallel with our growth, most of it remains the same. What I’m really proud of is the pleasure we all take in working together. I feel that everyone at Stuart is very committed and trusts each other. We share a common interest for the projects that we are working on and we all have the same idea of what we are trying to achieve: build logistics for a sustainable world. As a company, I think we form a group of easy-going and smart people who have a strong spirit of cooperation. At Stuart you feel empowered from day one. As soon as you arrive you’re responsible for your work, your part of the project.
As a company, I think we form a group of easy-going and smart people who have a strong spirit of cooperation.
📌 What do you like to do in your free time?
I’m a travel addict and I love discovering new cultures. A few weeks ago, I went to the Cape Verde islands on holidays with two Stuart co-workers that have become close friends 💙. Cape Verde is an archipelago of ten islands close to the coast of Senegal. We enjoyed the beach, the food and did treks around five of the islands and even climbed an active volcano! I was lucky enough to see my first whale and ate thousands of different types of fish (and potatoes) — it was amazing!
📌 Do you have any advice for future Data Engineers?
I realise that I learned a lot of stuff while I was working, even more than during my studies. So, my advice is to always be super curious regarding new stuff happening in the industry, new languages and ways of coding, new tools, etc… Try not to be afraid of starting something completely new. Don’t worry — adopt a doer attitude, you will overcome challenges for sure!
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