Meet the Team: Jan Cabala, Data Engineer

Meet Jan Cabala, data engineerInfinite Lambda is such a vibrant place because of the interesting people that work here. We’d love for you to meet them as each has an inspiring story to tell. We started this blog series where each article features a team member from around the world, so you can peek right into the heart of IL, its people.

Today, we introduce you to Jan Cabala, data engineer. Jan is based in Kosice, where he has lived his entire life.

Jan has agreed to tell us the story of how he joined IL and relate his journey here so far. In this interview, he is also touching upon the routines that keep him motivated and sharing his views on office life vs. remote work.

Where did you go to university and what did you study?

I studied Informatics at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Informatics at the Technical University of Kosice. It was quite a standard choice for a lot of the software engineers here. However, I’d like to emphasise that university does not guarantee becoming a good engineer.

How did you find your way to IL?

For years, I had been working at corporations and at some point I felt I could not tolerate their ways any longer. I took some time off doing programming just for fun and getting the good rest I could really use. Ah, those were the days!

After a while I realised I had to get a job again. It was around that time that a friend of mine was contacted by a company called Infinite Lambda. They were looking for data engineers and my friend thought I could be a good fit.

I got in touch with IL to learn more about the company and after a few talks I finally made up my mind to apply. I remember I really enjoyed the test assignment as I learnt a lot just by working on it.

You have been with IL for well over a year now. What has changed for you during this time?

For me, this has been a year of learning and growth. Probably the most notable fact is that I saw what a modern data stack can look like and found out you don’t need a horde of rocket scientists to set it up and manage it.

I learnt about lots of useful cloud services that save time and allow you to build something on your own that you would otherwise need to pay an entire engineering department for.

It was also here that I made a shift from the world of Java to Python. I must admit I was at least slightly prejudiced against Python for only being good for writing simple scripts.

What is your most memorable project you’ve worked on at IL?

I am quite fond of the project I am currently working on. I help build a content moderation system which can be used as a service. It uses machine learning models to evaluate user content.

The project is moving really fast and there are loads of inspiring solutions that have actually made it possible to have active usage on production almost from the start. I am learning a lot thanks to getting quick and actionable feedback on my work.

We’re about to open an office in Kosice. Do you plan on going regularly?

Yes, I am really looking forward to it. I had been working from home even before joining Infinite Lambda and I’m starting to feel I’ve got enough of it. I expect to improve my work-life balance by separating personal and work environments.

I also miss having coffee with my colleagues. I used to learn a lot during coffee talks before. I just need to make some preparations, such as buying new clothes to replace the jogging suits I’ve been wearing all the time. 😀

Have you been to other offices? How do you find them?

I’ve been to the Miskolc office a few times. It’s a really nice place with nice people. Even though I live relatively close to the border with Hungary, I did not keep in touch with the colleagues over there. It was only after I went for my first visit that I realised how close we actually were.

The year is almost over, what are your hopes for 2022?

Right now, I am just hoping that the weather will be nice next weekend and I will be able to do some hiking.

What makes IL special?

Apart from all the things I learned here, I enjoy the laid back atmosphere. It’s still a place where you can directly reach the CEO on Slack. And if you did not reach them right away, they would definitely get back to you later to find out how you were doing. 🙂

Apparently, Jan doesn’t seem to be a fan of remote work. Good thing we’ll soon be opening an office in Kosice for our team to use to their heart’s content. Or not, this will always be up to them.

Together with Rastislav, Jan is one of the first team members in Slovakia. They are both looking forward to welcoming new colleagues in data analytics and data engineering, so head to the careers page and see how you can join them in Kosice.