MLOps Engineer & #Faktionaut – Matthias Van Den Dooren

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How do you find it here, at Faktion?

Very pleasant. I landed in a very passionate and skilled team which gives me a lot of possibilities to learn and further educate myself in the world of A.I. and software engineering as a whole. The flat company hierarchy helps in this, everyone is very approachable and open. 

What is your role and current projects?

I am an MLOps Engineer. Essentially, I deploy and maintain machine learning models, and aim to do this as reliably and efficiently as possible. Doing this correctly allows our  ML Engineers an ideal environment to create and improve models. This is great for customers as well, since this reduces costs and improves the end-user's experience. 
 
My job is quite varied, for one (side)project I am mainly responsible for the architecture, using technologies such as Terraform, Azure Pipelines and various Helm charts. But most of my time is currently invested in Kubeflow and setting up our new infrastructure in this cutting-edge technology, which is quite an experience.

What are your future plans or dreams?

Besides doing MLOps I'm also learning a new programming language, namely, Go(lang). This should allow me (in the future) to make contributions to open source projects (such as Kubeflow) or create some functionality in this. I would also like to grow into a more management-oriented role (team lead for example). I'm a fairly sociable person so I would like some more interaction with customers 
 
On a more private life-oriented note, I've always dreamt of leaving Belgium and moving to Switzerland.

What are your interests?

I really enjoy coding. I find challenges like the ones on LeetCode to be fairly entertaining. My competitive nature and perseverance certainly help with this. I'm a rather active person as well and used to do a lot of sports. Lately, due to time restrictions, this has been limited to just working out (fitness).

What is important (your values at work)?

Mutual respect/trust and a certain amount of freedom, nobody enjoys being micromanaged. Being recognised for what you do is also important. If something is not right, it has to be said, but if something goes well it should be mentioned as well. 

Fun facts about you

- Used to compete at a European level (jiu-jitsu, highest was 4th on European championship in Germany)

- Love Thai food (and everything that is extremely spicy)

- Studied Pharmaceutical Sciences at the VUB, but opted for a career in IT instead as this is where my passion lies

- I always look forward to Saturdays, on which I go home (Lissewege, a small village in West-Vlaanderen surrounded by fields and near the coast) and spend the entire day with my grandparents.

- Really want to steal Bowie (the famous Faktion office dog)

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