Let's talk about Data Science

Julien tells you more about working in Data Science at XING and the people who make it so unique.


To the interview




Hi Julien, tell us ...

…a little bit about yourself.

I am from the French-speaking part of Switzerland, between Lausanne and Geneva. After 3 semesters in sociology at the University of Geneva, I changed courses to study communication systems at the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL). During my studies, I spent an exchange year at KTH in Stockholm, Sweden, and finished in 2005 with a Master’s degree in communication systems. I then went to the L3S lab at Leibniz Universität Hannover, Germany, where I did a PhD in computer science, which also involved some teaching and EU grant proposal writing. After my PhD, I joined XING which was in the process of creating a new data science team. I worked on many different projects within the team, but my main topic has been leveraging our ontology to detect entity references in XING user profiles and job postings for improved searching and recommendations. I was recently promoted to Staff Data Scientist, and am working on fostering innovation in data science throughout whole New Work SE.

How much previous experience did you have before applying to us?

I worked as a PhD student at Leibniz Universität Hannover, mainly doing research, but also giving courses and participating in writing EU grant project proposals.

What do you like most about your job as a Staff Data Scientist?

We have many talented data scientists and data engineers working on a wide range of data products, using various techniques and technologies. As a Staff Data Scientist in the Central Data Science team, I find it very exciting to devise a strategy for fostering data science innovation to support those various data teams.

How would you describe a typical workday?

As a Staff Data Scientist, an important part of my work is done in meetings. I discuss strategy and high-level problems with our Director and the Team Leads in our department. I also spend time discussing issues and solutions with Team Leads of data science teams for the various products. And I also stay in contact with data scientists from the whole company in personal meetings, but also in reading groups, workshops, and other further education events we have on data science topics. I’m also very happy to still be able to get my hands dirty on side projects, and during our 2 annual HackWeeks where we can try out whatever new techniques we want, or develop prototypes we find interesting, in turn fostering innovation.

How much time do you have to develop your skills?

In our central data science teams, an important part of our mission is to foster innovation in the other data teams within the company, which is why we aim to spend more time on further education than data product teams. I’d say we spend around 10-20% of our time on some kind of further education, including learning and trying out new tools and techniques, keeping up to date with the latest developments in data science and data engineering, online courses, attending talks and conferences.

Additionally, twice a year we have the #NewWorkHackweek! Check out our video the learn more. 



How is your team organised? Do you work a lot by yourself or a lot with others

Given my role, I work with many different people from the whole company, not only my team. But data scientists in the company typically work on well-defined projects involving around 2-5 people. The duration of the projects may vary from 2 weeks to several months. And there are of course also smaller maintenance tasks that we tend to do alone or in smaller groups.

To what extent do you feel you can contribute with your own ideas and create impact through your work?

I enjoy working at New Work SE a lot because it’s a big enough company to allow us to take the risk of trying out new techniques, but also small enough to see the impact of our work.

XING is part of New Work SE, which is why we would be interested to know why working for us is so special for you.

Because the different brands bring a wide variety of products complementary to XING, and the different working cultures are a source of mutual enrichment and stimulation for innovation.


Open questions?

Julien is looking forward to your message!

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