Q & A with Christiano Christakou, Data Engineer

Q & A with Christiano Christakou, Data Engineer

We sat down with Christiano, Data Engineer, to find out what his day-to-day life looks like, what significant milestones he has had at Vortexa, and what he really thinks of our company culture…

09 June, 2023
Jessica Irvin
Jessica Irvin, Head of Operations & People

Christiano is a Data Engineer at Vortexa. Christiano studied Physics at the University of Bristol for his undergraduate degree, before studying for a Masters in Data Science at the University of Leeds. Following this Christiano worked as a data scientist before transitioning into more engineering focused roles. Christiano has always been interested in using technology to solve problems, and the move from data science to data engineering helped him gain a wider view of how to turn a solution to a given problem into a system that can be relied upon.

Fun fact:  I once bumped into the comedian Jimmy Carr on the street, and mistakenly asked him if he was ‘that guy from tv… Alan Carr?’ He was not happy about it.

We wanted to find out what inspired Christiano to join Vortexa, what some of his biggest milestones have been to date and what day-to-day life really looks like for the Data Engineer… 

What inspired you to join Vortexa? 

I had read some of the VorTechsa blog posts and was really impressed and excited by the level of technical expertise in the team. Once I began the interview process I enjoyed some great interactions with my now co-workers and I just knew that I’d learn a lot and get to work on some really interesting problems.

What would you say is the most interesting aspect of your role? 

For me, the most interesting aspect of my role is that I get to be exposed to a variety of  programming languages like Python, Kotlin and Rust, and learn about cutting edge tools and systems like Kafka, Airflow and ElasticSearch which enable us to process a massive amount of data and turn it into valuable insights.

What have been some significant milestone moments for you at Vortexa? 

I did some work a while back to investigate the memory utilisation in some of our key tasks. I found a few particular points in our process where we weren’t as efficient as we should be, so I highlighted this problem to the team and lots very proactively offered to help. It was really fun, I got to work with people in other pods and learned a lot from the experience. We also had a great time doing some memory saving refactoring to our code base and after a few afternoons working together we had managed to significantly reduce the peak memory utilisation in our production tasks, overall we had a great time.

[The culture at Vortexa] is absolutely fantastic, everyone is incredibly approachable at all levels of the company.
What does day-to-day life look like for you as a Data Engineer?  

It varies a lot and it will depend on the current project I’m working on which is great. The more routine aspects usually involve a lot of time reading through code, pairing on particular problems with my pod, reviewing pull requests, raising my own pull requests, and of course indulging in copious amounts of coffee while listening to ‘lo-fi chill beats to study/relax to’

What key qualities make a Data Engineer successful? 

In my opinion it boils down to curiosity. It plays a vital role both in acquiring new skills and knowledge, and also in understanding the various processes at play in a complex system. Effective problem solving requires a willingness to explore all avenues and sometimes embrace the unexpected.

I was really impressed and excited by the level of technical expertise in the team.
How would you describe the culture at Vortexa? 

It’s absolutely fantastic, everyone is incredibly approachable at all levels of the company. There is a genuine interest in helping you move things forward, and I’ve never had someone not jump at the opportunity to help me out with a problem. 

What advice would you give to people hoping to join Vortexa? 

Go for it, I would recommend it!

Describe your working life at Vortexa in three words!

Exciting and rewarding

Jessica Irvin
Head of Operations & People
Jessica Irvin
Jessica is Head of People & Operations at Vortexa and is responsible for hiring, learning & development, culture, engagement, performance management and leading expansion plans.