New job: from beauty to books

A few words on a big change for me, I’m leaving Birchbox to join Oyster Books, starting tomorrow.

It’s never easy to leave a position you enjoy, especially since it let me grow so much professionally. In my 15 months at Birchbox, I had the chance to play with search, recommendation, prediction, optimization & integer programming, MySQL, Redis, Flume, Tornado, Mixpanel, MyMediaLite, … and I’m forgetting much more. I use the term “play” because when you’re in a small team with a great boss that encourages you to pursue most of your ideas, there’s no reason not to have fun while doing it. Birchbox is a great place to work, and I’ve never seen a company valuing more their employees (they are always hiring, including in the Data Science team, take a look!).

So, why leave a company when they’re opening their first store and raising $60M in a round B? Good question; and as always, the answer came from a combination of many things. But a few reasons while I’m so excited to start at Oyster’s tomorrow include:

  • recommendation and search are part of their DNA: if you can’t find a book to read, you won’t read;
  • a very clear and focused vision: remove any hurdle that prevents someone from reading, so you read more, more often;
  • a great group of core developers that have already proven themselves with the release of the app;
  • the opportunity to help start their Data Science team, so it can keep up with (and fuel) product growth;
  • the belief that the unlimited subscription model is the right model for books;
  • I’ve always loved books;
  • theĀ app is so pretty!

There are opportunities that are too good to pass, and joining Oyster Books was such one. Of course, today I’m both excited and a little scared at what comes next, but “good scared”. Can’t wait!

 

First post – Welcome to my blog!

Hello world!

As I’m leaving academia for good (here is my old website), it is time to start fresh with a brand new website. It is here to stay (the url and hosting does not depend on anyone but me), it has a great blog (thanks WordPress!), and it can be expended at will!

This blog will mostly let me talk about technologies I’m investigating for my work as a data scientist. That said, I love NYC (especially the restaurants) and Montreal, I have a soft spot for music technology which I studied in grad school, I think the Canadiens is the best NHL team ever, and I might comment on those too!

Finally, if something I post is useful to you, don’t hesitate to send me en email! I’m always interested to hear about people working on similar problems. For instance, I try to share my code (often python) whenever it makes sense.

Cheers!
T.