Today we’re chatting to our amazing new Data Scientist Yuri Lifanov who joined our team in June. He is our specialist in mathematical data modelling and statistics. Enjoy the interview!
Could you start by explaining how you landed at craftworks?
I came across the craftworks website while searching for Data Science focused companies in Vienna. What caught my attention was the recognition that working environment and team atmosphere are extremely important as well as the wide selection of projects and technologies. This felt like it would be a big step in the right direction, so I had to apply.
What were you doing before craftworks?
I did my undergraduate in Systems Engineering followed by a doctorate in Computational Physics, both at Warwick University in UK. I then started as a Data Scientist at Waytation – a Viennese startup working on crowd analysis solutions. Then I moved to a Data Science position at Parkbob – also a startup in Vienna which focuses on providing information about on-street car parking.
Could you describe craftworks in 3 words?
Chill. Professional. Organised.
What advice would you give someone who wants to finish a PhD in your field?
Track your working hours and progress, and don’t let yourself go over 40 work hours per week.
Which book would you recommend reading and why?
To be honest, I haven’t found a book on tech or Data Science I really enjoyed – most of the ones I find end up being reference material and not actual goodreads. „Doing Data Science: Straight Talk from the Frontline” (Cathy O’Neil & Rachel Schutt) is the closest to a goodread I’ve found so far.
How do you go about continuing to develop your professional skills and knowledge?
I encounter an aspect I know very little about in almost every new project, so I’m constantly forced to learn new things. I also regularly check the programming and Data Science related subreddits to stay up-to-date with the research trends.
What does your typical day at craftworks look like?
I usually arrive at the office between 9am and 10am, say hi to everyone already at the office, and maybe have a short chat with somebody in the kitchen while getting a coffee. Then, until about 6pm, I work on my open projects which usually involves writing code, doing a bit of subject-specific research, data analytics and/or reporting. Everybody usually gathers together for lunch and there are multiple smaller gatherings for table football matches throughout the day – so the office definitely has this pleasant communal vibe. I try to spend 5 – 10 minutes on making notes, logging and pushing any important changes to close the day.
You are UK citizen what is the most challenging part regarding the integration here in Austria and at craftworks?
Not knowing German well does make some things, e.g. doing paperwork, quite difficult, but I rarely find it a problem in Vienna. It did take me quite a while to get used to the shops being closed here on Sundays.At craftworks the working language is English most of the time and I feel like everyone makes the effort to include the non-German speakers in regular conversations – so I wouldn’t say I find any difficulties here.
How do you deal with it and what recommendations do you have for others who want to apply for a job here?
When I applied I wasn’t sure if any positions were open or whether my CV was strong enough from the experience standpoint – I just thought I’d give it a shot. Before the interview, I looked through some online lists of technical questions which usually come up in Data Science interviews, but mostly to remind myself what I still don’t know. One thing I would recommend is to not overthink the coding/data challenge – it’s better to submit a simple, well documented and reproducible solution with known limitations than a research article with an in-depth exploration of the problem and possible approaches.
3 short questions:
Mac or PC?
Mac at home. Linux PC at work.
Office or remote?
Which music is playing on your player right now?
The Knife- Silent Shout
Thank you Yuri!
Thank you Betül!
Thanks for reading and see you in two weeks with another exciting interview!
PS: Due to the large amount of new projects we have, we’re currently hiring more team-members. Sounds interesting? Check our career page.