Part-time job

Ralph Wolf punching in a timecard

To help pay for some commodities during my studies, I got a part-time job. I started working at the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung. I worked on a project named "Unterstützung der Marktüberwachung". The objective was to verify the industry's energy efficiency levels measured by the industry itself, as a sort of watchdog for energy efficiency.

My part in this project was to program a webcrawler that can identify the energy efficiency tags for a given product and verify them. I learned Python 2.7 and Regex and now my program can successfully check a robots.txt file for permissions, download a webpage and check its HTML for the energy efficiency tags and cross-check them with the product information. My final version unfortunately only works for a couple of websites.

After working at the BAM, I started work as a technical consultant at Market Logic Software, a company that produces enterprise software aimed at marketers. I worked there for about two years in total.

Since I had my exchange semester in the US, I had to temporarily leave MLS during my exchange. When I came back, I returned to work in a different team than before. I worked as a data analyst in our Business Intelligence team. I also wrote a tool that helps us do usage reports whenever I wasn't doing them manually myself, and I have to say - I'm quite proud of it. I designed the code architecture so that every element of a usage report is calculated separately, meaning we can issue out different elements of a usage report with a "wrapper" function. This also means several people could work on the program at once, since each one of us could write a function for a different element of the usage report. I definitely improved our workflow - in February 2018, we were taking about 100 cumulative hours to produce all our reports, whereas in July 2018 we only took about 40. Since then, we've passed the baton on to the customer-facing teams, since they've got better knowledge of their clients anyway. I made our whole team obsolete!

Around February 2019, I started working full-time, since all my classes were already over. I got the shiny title of Data Engineer and the privilege of a really good contract, if I can say so myself.

After that, we took on a few other projects. I took on the job of establishing a data warehouse architecture and a data ingestion pipeline to integrate several of our internal data sources. I started out with most of the groundwork and preparing "template" style code - for instance, the entire pipeline architecture, as well as loading data into a PostGreSQL database - and then began the actual data manipulation. This was mostly because we needed input on business definitions and we still had a lot of things in flux. When I left for NYC, we already had a lot of the foundational things done, and several different pipelines running in different rhythms. Now all that's really left is data analysis - something easily done with the Tableau Server infrastructure I set up. A lot of the continuing work will have to be done by someone else, however! I think I left a good chunk of documentation behind for my replacement, as well as some really good guidelines on continuing development.

Now that I'm moving to NYC, we'll see where my career takes me!