Filtering by Tag: hiring

Machine learning jobs at Lokad

Published on by Joannes Vermorel.

Machine learning along with artificial intelligence have become buzzwords. Given that Lokad has become identified as one of the key European companies that generate real-world decisions driven by machine learning - supply chain decisions actually - we are getting a growing number of applicants.

The good news: we are still hiring!

In this post, we review the three realms of machine learning that exist at Lokad and what you need to do to maximize the odds of getting an interview with us, and ideally be hired afterwards.

Kudos to the applicants who will be able to mention that they have read this blog post during their interview. Smart people are curious people, and if you can’t be bothered doing a bit of research on your future employer, you’re probably not fit for the machine learning industry anyway.

Job 1: Predictive business modelling

Improving the supply chain performance of a company through machine learning takes significant effort. The data need to be well-prepared. The resolution of the challenge should be fully aligned with the vision and the strategy of the client company. The supply chain teams should be coached to embrace a new and more capable analytical solution. Measurable results should be collected, and one should be be prepared to have these results challenged by top management. At Lokad, the data modelling team, or more simply put, the data team, is responsible for tackling those challenges.

For this specific position, we are looking for engineers with a strong analytical mindset who are capable not only of understanding the strengths and the limitations of the machine learning engines that are made available to them, but are also able to implement real-life set-ups that will be integrated into the daily workflows of real-world supply chains. Improvements are real and mistakes are real too. In your interview, it is advised to demonstrate your understanding of the Lokad product as documented on our website. Bonus points if you can outline how Lokad’s technology can be used to address actual supply chain challenges.

Job 2: Crafting the Big Data infrastructure

Machine learning is critically dependent on data. In fact, the more data is available, the better machine learning works. Lokad seeks talented software engineers that can design all the infrastructure that supports the different machine learning bits. The importance of the whole data pipeline is not to be underestimated: a deficient pipeline is one of the primary failure causes of data-driven initiatives. The infrastructure needs to be not only fast and reliable, but also needs to be able cope with the hefty computing requirements of the machine learning algorithms themselves.

For this role, we are looking for software engineers with a strong taste for complex distributed back-office processing. You should not be afraid of tackling complicated algorithms, such as dealing with a radix tree, and implement such algorithms yourself. Ideally, in your interview, you should demonstrate not only your capacity to understand and implement this kind of algorithmic processing, but also to deliver code that can be maintained and that is fit for production.

Job 3: Hardcore machine learning science

Most modern machine learning algorithms are complicated not only from a statistical perspective, but also from a purely algorithmic perspective. Lokad seeks talented mathematicians who are willing to acquire the software development skills it takes to implement those “hardcore” machine learning algorithms. We have developed our own suit of algorithms which are specifically designed for supply chain needs. Do not expect to plug one open source machine learning toolkit and move on: our clients are critically dependent on algorithms that have been designed to accommodate specific supply chain challenges.

For this position, we are looking for mathematicians or software developers with a strong propensity for numerical analysis and optimization, who have the ambition to deal with stunningly difficult problems. You should not be afraid of rolling out your own class of algorithms which may be somewhat unlike what is considered to be “mainstream” machine learning. Ideally, in your interview, you should be able to demonstrate why Lokad requires alternative approaches and maybe even shed some personal insights on the case.

More about Careers at Lokad.

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Will compilation save supply chains?

Published on by Joannes Vermorel.

Yes. To a noticeable extent. And I would never have ventured to put forward this opinion when founding Lokad nearly a decade ago.

By compilation I refer to the art of crafting compilers, that is, computer programs that translate source code into another language. Few people outside the ranks of programmers know what a compiler does, and few people within the ranks of programmers know how a compiler is designed. At first, compilation concerns appear distant (to say the least) to supply chain concerns. Yet, nowadays, at Lokad, it’s compilation stuff that keeps saving the day; one supply chain project after another.

Shameless plug: software engineers with compilation skills don’t grow on trees, and we are hiring. Want to work on stuff that matters? Well, the next time your plane is late because a part was missing, or the next time the drug you seek is out of stock, just remember that you could have made a difference by joining Lokad :-)

Supply chains are complex, maddeningly complex. Globalization has multiplied sourcing opportunities, but delays are longer and more erratic than ever. Sales channel are being multiplied too: there are physical stores, online stores, marketplaces, resellers, wholesalers, ... And now, thanks to Amazon, everyone, everywhere expects everything to be ordered and received overnight. Supply chain expectations are higher than ever.

Approaching supply chain problems with anything less than the full expressiveness of a programming language does not work. Just like Lego programming is not going happen, supply chain challenges won’t fit into checkboxes and dropdowns. This does not prevent software vendors from trying, mind you. Solutions that include more than 1000 tables, each table hovering at around 100 fields on average, are all too common. And while the client company is only using about 1% of the solution’s feature area, they still have to cope with its pervasive complexity.

Compilation saves the day because it provides a huge body of knowledge and know-how when it comes to crafting high-quality abstractions intended as power tools for solving statistical and combinatorial problems (and much more actually). And most supply chain challenges happen to be precisely statistical and combinatorial. For example, at Lokad, by introducing an algebra of distributions, we managed to "crack down" on complicated lead time problems which were resisting our more direct approaches through packaged software features.

What makes language features different from, say, the usual app features (wysiwyg), is that language features are much less sensitive to the specificities of a given challenge than their app features counterparts. For example, let’s consider a situation where your stock-out detection logic backfires in the specific case of ultra-seasonal products. If the feature is delivered through a language construct, then you can always narrow down the data scope until the feature works exactly where it’s intended to do so; possibly dynamically adjusting the scope through an ad-hoc numerical analysis. In contrast, with an app feature, you’re stuck with the filtering options that have been built into this feature. App features are a good fit only if your problems are narrow and well-defined, which is actually very unlike supply chain optimization.

In supply chain, programmability shines because:

  • Problems are both highly numerical and very structured
  • Supply chains are modular and this modularity needs to be leveraged
  • The number of variables is significant but not overwhelming
  • Fitting the precise shape of the problems is critical

It is slightly amusing to see how many software vendors tend to gradually re-invent programmability. As the user interface grows in depth and complexity, with the possibility to add filters, options, pre-process or post-process-hooks, templated alerts, KPI monitors, the user interface gradually becomes a programmable thing, and reaches the point where only a programmer can actually make sense of it (precisely thanks to his or her pre-existing programming skills). Programmable yes, but in a highly convoluted way.

Compilation is the art of amplifying engineering skills: one has to craft abstractions and language constructs that streamline thinking the resolution of problems. As Brian Kernighan famously wrote: Everyone knows that debugging is twice as hard as writing a program in the first place. So if you're as clever as you can be when you write it, how will you ever debug it? The same logic applies to supply chain optimization, because it’s essentially the same thing as writing code. Well, at Lokad, it literally is the same thing.

Conventional IT wisdom states that one should automate the easy parts first, leaving human experts to cope with the more complex elements. Yet, in supply chain, this approach backfires badly every single time. The most complex parts of supply chain are nearly always the most costly ones, the ones that urgently need attention. The easy parts can take care of themselves through min/max inventory or Kanban. Just like you wouldn’t build software for autonomous cars by refining software for automatic train operations, you can’t tackle difficult supply chain problems by refining software initially designed to resolve simple challenges.

Naturally, compilation alone isn’t sufficient to cope with supply chain challenges. Machine learning, big data processing and a sizable amount of human skills are worth mentioning as well. However, in all cases, having carefully crafting high-quality abstractions helps considerably. Machine learning is vastly simpler when input data is well-prepared. Big data processing is also much more straightforward when computations lend themselves easily to a high degree of parallelization.

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Hiring Big Data Analyst and Software Engineer

Published on by Joannes Vermorel.

Once again, we are hiring. We are looking for a Software Engineer and a Business Data Analyst.

Software Engineer

You will integrate a team of talented software engineers in order to further develop our cloud-based data crunching apps. We have infrastructure, data processing, scalability and reliability challenges, and need your help in addressing them.

At Lokad, you will benefit from the coaching of an awesome dev team. You will gain skills in Big Data processing and cloud computing apps. Our codebase is clean, documented and heavily (unit) tested. Our offices are quiet (no open space!), bright, and you can get three monitors.

We are a C#/.NET shop, and you will be developing under Visual Studio, the source code being versioned in Git. Our apps are hosted on Microsoft Azure. In addition, with .NET Core coming later this year, we also anticipate a few strategic migrations towards Linux.

We expect you to have strong software development skills. A taste for low-level high performance computing is a big plus, and a vivid interest for distributed systems is very much appreciated. Contributions to open source projects are also highly regarded.

Big Data Analyst

Your role is to make sure our clients get the most from Lokad. You will address complex supply chain issues and craft quantitative strategies. Your goal is also to keep refining these strategies over time to keep them aligned with the needs of our fast-growing clients.

At Lokad, you will benefit from the extensive training and coaching of our expert team. You will gain skills in Big Data, predictive analysis and overall quantitative optimization for business. You will learn how to achieve measurable business results grounded on scientific analysis of data.

About one quarter of your time is spent interacting with clients in order to better understand their business, (mainly over the phone in English). The rest of your time is spent in what could be akin to advanced Excel-like analytics; except that you're dealing with Big Data and Machine Learning through the use of Lokad's platform.

We expect you to have a keen interest in data and quantitative analysis in general. Good Excel skills are a plus; and having even the most modest programming skills is a bonus too. An engineering background is usually a good fit. We also expect you to be fluent in English as the majority of our clients are located overseas. 2 years or more of professional experience are expected.

About Lokad

To apply, just drop your resume at contact@lokad.com.

Lokad is a software company that specializes in Big Data for commerce. We help merchants and a few other verticals (aerospace, manufacturing) to forecast their inventory and optimize their prices. We are profitable and we are growing fast. We are closing deals in North America, Europe and Asia. The vast majority of our clients are based outside of France. We are located 50m from Place d'Italie in Paris (France).

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Senior software engineer wanted!

Published on by Joannes Vermorel.

We are hiring again!

You will integrate a team of talented software engineers in order to further develop our cloud-based data crunching apps. We have infrastructure, data processing, scalability and reliability challenges. We need your help to get those challenges addressed.

At Lokad, you will benefit from the coaching of an awesome dev team. You will gain skills in Big Data processing and cloud computing apps. Our codebase is clean, documented and heavily (unit) tested. Our offices are quiet (no open space!), bright, and you can get three monitors.

We are a C#/.NET shop, and you will be developing under Visual Studio, the source code being versionned in Git. Our apps are hosted on Microsoft Azure. With .NET Core coming this year, we anticipate a few strategic migrations toward Linux.

We expect strong software development skills from you. A taste for low-level high performance computing is a big plus. A vivid interest for distributed systems is very appreciated. Contributions to open source projects are also highly regarded. We are located 50m from Place d'Italie in Paris (France).

Lokad is a software company that specializes in Big Data for commerce. We help merchants, and a few other verticals (aerospace, manufacturing), to forecast their inventory and to optimize their prices. We are profitable and we are growing fast. We are closing deals in North America, Europe and Asia. The vast majority of our clients are based outside of France.

Lokad is the winner of the 2010 Windows Azure Partner of the Year Award, and was named as one of Europe’s 100 hottest startups by Wired Magazine (09/2012).

To apply, drop your resume to contact@lokad.com.

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Hiring a software engineer with taste for compilers and big data

Published on by Joannes Vermorel.

Lokad is growing, we are hiring again.

At Lokad we use Envision, our in-house programming language, to write data analysis scripts and adapt our forecasts to the business constraints of our customers, processing hundreds of gigabytes of data each day.

Envision is a modern, strongly typed, high-performance relational language with inspiration from SQL, Python, R and the Excel approach to column data. Its state-of-the-art compiler performs type and table inference to minimize the need for annotations and uses static analysis to optimize the execution plan and reuse cached data from previous runs, generating scripts in an intermediate language that is compiled down to CIL and allows the injection of custom C# code.

Envision, its compiler and its tooling are still growing, and we are looking for new team members to help us develop it further. You would be contributing to the core compiler code, implementing new language features and optimization modes.

You will benefit from an awesome dev team to support you and from a calm working environment (nobody works in open spaces at Lokad). You will be reporting directly to the CTO of the company.

Some experience of working on compilers, or with operational or denotational semantics, is expected (for a junior position, an university compiler project would qualify). In-depth knowledge of SQL, relational algebra or pure functional languages is a big plus. We do not require any prior knowledge of our development and production stack (C#, .NET, Visual Studio, Azure and Git).

We expect you to be fluent in English.

About us: Lokad is a software company that specializes in Big Data for commerce. We help merchants, and a few other verticals (aerospace, manufacturing), to forecast their inventory and to optimize their prices. We are profitable and we are growing fast. We are closing deals in North America, Europe and Asia. The vast majority of our clients are outside France. We are located 50m from Place d'Italie in Paris (France).

To apply: Drop an email with your resume at contact@lokad.com.

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Hiring our Chief Marketing Officer!

Published on by Joannes Vermorel.

We are hiring a lead generation wizard!

Lokad is a software company that specializes in quantitative optimization for commerce. We help merchants, and a few other verticals, to forecast their inventory and to optimize their prices. We are profitable; we are still small but growing fast. We are closing deals North America, Europe and Asia. The vast majority of our clients are not in France.

Lokad is sold through the web, almost exclusively relying on inbound marketing. We have hundreds of leads per month, but we are aiming for thousands. So far marketing was done part time by the founder, but it's time to put marketing in more capable hands.

As the Chief Marketing Officer at Lokad, you will have one metric: the number of qualified leads; and we expect you to own a lead commit as well. At this stage, we do not care about corporate marketing, only lead generation matters. The web is the native marketing channel of Lokad. While other channels can be leveraged, we expect you to steadily increase the presence of Lokad on the web to generate the bulk of lead growth.

Our technology is very noticeable, and we need you to make sure that decision makers do notice. Our reach is the world. Lokad is already available in many languages beyond English.

We are located 50m from Place d'Italie, Paris, France.

Desired Skills and Experience

You have two years or more in lead generation marketing for a B2B SaaS company. With a bit of help from a graphic designer, you can deliver awesome web marketing materials. Your written communication skills are top notch, and big bonus to you if you have a blog with some audience. B2B stuff is usually boring, and non-viral, and yet, you can make things happen: you can vanquish the market inertia and make people pay attention. Naturally, you are perfectly fluent in English. Speaking French is a bonus but not a requirement.

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Lokad is hiring: junior and senior developers

Published on by Joannes Vermorel.

Business is growing and moving fast. A few weeks ago we moved to new offices twice as large as the previous ones. More than ever, we are seeking talented software developers. We have two open positions in Paris: a junior and a senior.

While working with us, you will focus on big data apps. We are technology-driven company. We pay a lot of efforts in crafting highly interesting (and challenging too) bits of technology. Our apps are lean and focus on the quantitative optimization of commerce. At Lokad, you won't end-up being a drone adding the 1001th feature to a shapeless piece of enterprise software.

From a practical perspective, we have bright offices, with transparent panels to keep the noise low and the concentration high. We buy the best tools that money can buy, hardware and software. You get free coffee and free cookies - well, at less when we don't mess up our own replenishment.

You will benefit from a small but highly capable and highly experienced development team which will help you bring your development skills to the next level. Also, we remain a small-sized company where individual contributions actually contribute to the success of the company. Salary will be competitive and depends on experience.

Apply now by sending your resume to contact@lokad.com.

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We're hiring: Junior Account Manager

Published on by Joannes Vermorel.

Lokad is growing, and we need you. As a junior account manager, you will learn how to grow prospects into clients, and then, learn how to support them so that they make the most of our technology.

Mission

Your goal will be to establish and grow commercial relationships between Lokad and its clients. As Lokad is reaching a global market, you will be expected to converse by email in English with companies located pretty much anywhere on the globe. You will also be expected to handle phone calls, in English. Note that we don’t do much cold calling - so you won't spend your days being rejected after trying to call people who don’t know or don’t care about Lokad.

The position in our office Paris (13th arrondissement). This job is not eligible for remote work. Salary depends on the experience and subject to negotiation.

Profile

We are seeking an enthusiastic and communicative junior. Impeccable command of English is critical because most of our business happens outside France. For practical reasons, we also expect impeccable command of French.

We do not expect you to be knowledgeable about Big Data, but if you happen to be a bit savvy with the web, or software, or ecommerce, it will be appreciated.

Skills

  • Impeccable command of English and French.
  • Sharp analytical mind.

To apply, send us your resume to contact@lokad.com. In your message, please explain shortly why you would be a good fit for this job.

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Senior developer job at Lokad

Published on by Joannes Vermorel.

We are hiring! Below, a copy of our LinkedIn job post.

Lokad is a team of talented and passionate developers. Business is growing, commerce is more demanding than ever for innovative technologies. We are committed to delivering such technologies.

As a senior developer, you will lead the development of one of our Big Data app (check www.lokad.com for more insights in what we do). You will be in charge of bringing our technology to the next level, not to clean up technical debt.

Challenges are numerous:

  • total reliability, because nobody likes crashing a 1000 store network,
  • vast scalability, because 1000 stores is a lot,
  • high accuracy, because we deliver the best numbers.

We expect you to bring a significant expertise to Lokad, but you will benefit from a team capable of coaching you toward your next level of craftsmanship in software design.

We happen to use C#/.NET/MVC on top of Windows Azure, combined with event stores and NoSQL persistence strategies. We expect you to be (or willing to become) extremely proficient in this environment.

We are located 50m from Place d'Italie (Paris 13).

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How to be bullish while being bearish: Berlin here we come!

Published on by Joannes Vermorel.

We are very excited to announce that Lokad is continuing to grow and expand. Our latest addition: a sales office in Berlin, one of Europe’s new tech and startup hubs.

Centrally located around Berlin’s Mitte neighborhood (Woehlertstraße 12/13, to be precise), our starting team of 4 is a first step towards big ambitions. CEO Matthias Steinberg will spend most of his time in Berlin, joined by Martha Turewicz (a.k.a. yours truly) in European sales and Hugo Ros in French sales and a yet to be appointed Head of German sales. We will be working closely with our existing teams in Paris and Ufa, and are thrilled to have become the newest component of Lokad’s international network. Go team!

Berlin is the perfect spot for our new office: renowned for its rich cultural diversity as well as its unique, exciting atmosphere, Germany’s capital city has in the past few years transformed into a veritable hub of new business, primarily in the IT sector. The Berlin Chamber of Commerce estimates that about 1,300 Internet startups have been founded here since 2008. In the decades following the fall of the Wall, Berlin has attracted hordes of new residents drawn to its affordable lifestyle, legendary nightlife (responsible for some of the world’s best electronic music), vibrant melting-pot environment  and the general energy attendant to a city experiencing its renaissance. 

Moreover, entrepreneurs profit from a surfeit of inexpensive, aesthetically appealing office spaces as well as the influx of talented creatives from all over the world. It’s become a sort of massive, youthful tech playground.

While we are bullish on the outlook, we are of course also bearish through and through. For those of you that don’t know the Berliner Bär we post  here one of his cuter incarnations.  Next time you make your way to Berlin, please drop by and meet us in our new office. We are looking forward to it!

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New team member, Christoph Rüegg

Published on by Joannes Vermorel.

Two weeks ago, we announced Dario Solera. Now, it's the turn of Christoph Rüegg to be announced as new member of the team.

Christoph Rüegg has been a very early Lokad contributor since he spends a couple of weeks back in 2007 working on a very alpha version of our technology.

Christoph Rüegg is a very accomplished .NET developer, with a strong focus on scientific computing. He founded Math.NET - the most widely used mathematical libraries for .NET - back in spring 2002, which isn't half bad considering that .NET 1.0 had been released 13 February 2002,

Interview with Christoph Rüegg, Developer at Lokad

Q. Why did you start working in software?

I got into computers rather early and was simply fascinated by it in every respect. This fascination never really lessened up to now. However, as I was spending a lot of time on software development in college already, I actually decided against computer science and went for electrical engineering instead, cherry-picking the most interesting CS courses on the way. Nevertheless it was just natural that the first internships and job I took indeed were in the field of software development.

Q. What did you do before joining Lokad?

I worked for a year for Microsoft in their Zürich Development Center. Our team was part of the Unified Communication group where we developed a new C#/WPF application related to Office Communication Server. Unfortunately I couldn't delay finishing my studies any longer, so I had to go back to ETH Zürich to spend the last half year on my master's thesis (on finding some VLSI optimizations in MIMO receivers).

Q. You're also the leader of community project named Math.NET. What would you consider as the most valuable skills that you've acquired while developing this project?

The Math.NET project has accompanied me for almost eight years now, so most acquired skills are in some way or another related to it. Most of these skills are especially useful when they fall together, so I'd rather not single out a most valuable one. Nevertheless, very specific to Math.NET may be some experience in how to deal with numbers in programming and computing in general, which is very different from how one usually thinks about real numbers. There are loads of pitfalls that can lead to loss of precision, and tricks on how to work around them.

Beside of all the core skills, it also turned out to be a nice opportunity to train some team organization and collaboration skills - even more as the Math.NET team contributors are all voluntarily working together.

Q. What are the aspects that are looking the most interesting in your upcoming works at Lokad?

First of all, I'm very excited to join the Lokad team. I also expect working for Lokad to be a very different experience than working for my last employer, where in the end you're one of tens of thousands of employees. For the technical aspect, I'm looking forward to work on real-world distributed and parallel computation including cloud based approaches. It will also be nice to work with mathematics from the concrete application point of view, as up to now I was almost exclusively in the role of the general-purpose framework provider.

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New team member, Dario Solera

Published on by Joannes Vermorel.

We started in 2007 as a tiny company. We are still small but we are growing fast. Yet, when it comes to statistical forecasting, more people does not equate better forecasts. This is why we focus on top notch profiles who have the potential to create the next generation of forecasting tools.

This week, we are very proud to announce that Dario Solera is joining the team. Dario Solera graduated from the prestigious Politecnico di Milano. While being a student, he created ScrewTurn Wiki, an impressive open source project that got a significant momentum on its own.

Interview with Dario Solera, Developer at Lokad

Q: Why did you start working in software? Good question, hard answer. I'd guess many people have made-up an answer for this one. In high school I attended a mechanics-oriented course and in the latest two years of it I started getting more and more interested in computers and especially CAD software and 3D design. The interest in computers caused me to also want to program them and then naturally led to my university studies in Computer Science Engineering at the Politecnico di Milano.

Q: What did you do before joining Lokad? I worked for an Italian engineering company. The goal was to design a web-based system for acquiring, collecting and analyzing data generated by large fleet of vehicles. Server-side is based on ASP.NET/C# and SQL Server, while data are acquired by an on-board device built around a Microchip PIC micro-controller that interfaces directly with the Electronic Control Unit of the vehicle. It's been a very challenging work mainly because of the recurring trade-offs between application performance and operation costs, especially due to the potentially enormous amounts of data it can store and process.

Q: You have also created a community project named ScrewTurn Wiki that has now become quite popular. How did it start? I was still attending university (early 2006) and I needed a simple web application that worked like a CMS to publish some stuff on the web. For the sake of learning a new framework (ASP.NET) I decided to write my own and it soon became decent enough to be released to the public. In the old days of version 1.0 the users were not many, probably a few dozens at best, but I kept working on it, releasing version 2.0 a few months later. STW now counts several hundreds users and version 3.0 is on the way.

Q: ScrewTurn Wiki has been awarded $5000 as best .NET open source project by Jeff Atwood. In your opinion what were the key factors that lead to this success? I'm still not sure, but I think that STW was something big enough and working well enough to be noticed by a sufficiently large number of users and developers. Wikis were and are being used extensively by teams of software developers and are now even entering the less-techy enterprise world of non-developers. STW is probably one of the first choices in the .NET world because there are not so many competitors in the same price range (free). The cash grant that Jeff decided to give us was really welcome, yet has been initially of little practical help for the project. I think Jon Galloway, a friend of Jeff, was right when he warned Jeff that open-source projects run on time, not money. In the end, I used the money to "hire myself" for several days of full-time work on STW. They helped a lot.

Q: What are the aspects that are looking the most interesting in your upcoming works at Lokad? Working on Windows Azure is probably the most interesting part: I believe that the cloud computing race has finally began and I want to be part of it. On a broader view, I think that working on large amounts of data is still a challenge and I can learn a lot while working at Lokad. Also, I never had the opportunity to work on so many math-focused algorithms, and this is another intriguing aspect of the work.

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