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Techies@CHECK24 - Neus, Senior Data Scientist
Techies@CHECK24 - Neus, Senior Data Scientist

17. November 2021

Neus, Senior Data Scientist

Neus is a Senior Data Scientist at our hotel comparison service in Münster. In our interview, she reveals how she switched to Data Science as a Product Manager, what she thinks is best about CHECK24, and why she is committed to women in IT.

Neus, you joined CHECK24 as a Product Manager. How did you then come to data science?

That's a good question and one I've been asked a lot. I started as a Product Manager at CHECK24, although my background as a physicist could have been a better fit for the position. At the time, I was a postdoc and wanted to move into the industry and apply my knowledge to practical use cases. A colleague and friend told me about a job offer, and I was excited about the challenge. Product Manager? At CHECK24? Sounds interesting! Shortly after, I took up the position of API Product Manager through the employee referral program.

Looking back, it was the perfect opportunity to combine the learning process of the product itself with a technical management role. I learned a lot about the day-to-day tasks of project managers and their internal processes and customer-facing decisions: how to work hand-in-hand with Developers, prioritize, plan and design a project, and the tools used to deliver on time. I was also fortunate to have good mentors.

After a few months, I started taking on projects that had more to do with Data Science and working on them outside of the API team, like recommendation systems or customer segmentation. So I wrote the code, validated the algorithms, and worked on the changes myself until, eventually, my responsibilities no longer matched those of a Product Manager. It was a seamless transition that happened naturally, so I sat down with the CEO and agreed that it was time to change my job title to the more appropriate term, "Data Scientist." The time I spent as a PM helped me get a better overview of the entire product, and I now see it as an advantage.

What technologies do you work with?

I write everything in Python, which is the standard programming language in the data science community. It has a simple syntax and is, therefore, very easy to read and learn, especially compared to other languages like C++ or my first programming language, Fortran 90! In addition, since starting at CHECK24, I've got to know many other tech stacks that I had yet to use during my time in science, like Spark, Docker, Tableau, Airflow, Dask, and everything else involved in bringing a project to

The best thing about CHECK24?

One of the best things about working here is that you never stop learning. There are often tech talks where new technologies or projects are presented, and people exchange ideas with each other.

Neus, Senior Data Scientist

How can you develop further at CHECK24?

One of the best things about working here is that you never stop learning. There are always tech talks where colleagues present new technologies. We have our Data Science group, where there is a constant exchange of tech tools and internal tech talks where people present their projects and the associated tech stack. There must always be an expert in the Data Science community at CHECK24 that you can go to and ask for support.

What does a normal day at work look like for you?

Although some fixed appointments are on my calendar, no day is like the other. Every second day we have meetings where we, the data science team, inform about the progress of our projects, tickets, possible problems, or changes in the weekly schedule. Additionally, I usually have one or two daily meetings with Product Managers, the General Manager, or colleagues from other products about projects or possible Data Science solutions.

Once a week, we have our Data Science meeting where we discuss the current problems in detail, go over the status of all of our projects, or present and discuss new ideas, and I sit down with our DevOps to prioritize the tickets we will work on in the next week.

The rest of the time, I focus on my projects and help my teammates with questions and issues. I also test and verify that all ongoing tasks (e.g. retraining, data export, automated calculations) are working as expected.

You are personally committed to the issue of women in IT, why?

If you look at the numbers, it's obvious to me: we need more women in IT. Men primarily hold positions in STEM fields, and it's been proven that different perspectives and ways of thinking are always the key to success. That is undeniable and why we need to advocate for change actively. One way is to introduce these professions to young girls while they are still in school. We need mentoring programs and female role models. We need to show that a woman is not weird or an outsider if she wants to pursue such a career in STEM or any other male-dominated field. I have met many brilliant girls discouraged by prejudice and insecurity and ended up studying what was expected of them as women. We need to change such behaviors. IT is open to all and a very enriching field, which is a lot of fun. At CHECK24, for example, we support women in IT through our CHECK IT Meet-up Women in Tech.

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