Meet the team!
Born and raised in South Africa, I have followed my passion for Data Engineering to the Netherlands. My education already introduced me to software engineering, which later developed into a passion for data engineering. Data engineering is vital because all companies work with data and there are continually new technologies to learn. Though for me it is not just about technology but also to help each other via knowledge sharing and collaboration. We always work with people, and to me, people are of extreme worth.
At BigData Republic, I have found almost a family of incredibly skilled and inspiring people. I say family because we are a small company where we share in our successes and even failures. This makes it more personal, but also creates deeper relationships and more compassion.
I also chose BigData Republic because of the consultancy aspects. There are frequently new clients to meet, exciting projects to start, and interesting people to learn from. What’s more, is that every client presents a unique challenge where I can develop myself. Ultimately I want to help as many clients as possible to improve our world and ensure sustainability.
My expertise is in Azure, AWS, Docker, Scala and Python. I also like to focus on security, data management, and data architecture because I hope to establish myself at a higher level, working with people and technology. There is much more to me than these few words, so kindly take a look at some of my work.
Machine Learning Engineer
Years ago I started out as a data scientist but I soon found out that my real passion is in data engineering and infrastructure. After starting at BigData Republic in 2016, I'm now leading the MLOps chapter where I help my colleagues in shaping their goals and learning paths. I'm building ML workflow solutions for various clients, focusing on bringing scientists and engineers closer together. Working at BigData Republic is great because of the variety of projects, the knowledgeable colleagues and the freedom I have in choosing what I work on. As an example, I built an open-source ELO tracking app for table football on Fridays: https://github.com/BigDataRepublic/kickerscore. I’m currently having a lot of fun leading a data science platform team at the Politie.
Data Engineering fascinates me because I get to connect the data, science models and business cases to a true product. The number of technical tools to learn is endless, and I get to work with the latest cloud technologies every day. The cooperation between the colleagues at BigData Republic is the perfect way to exchange ideas and learn from each other. Via interesting clients and projects, BigData Republic also gives me the opportunity to work in different sectors, which ensures a steep learning curve on every project.
Please visit our meetups or checkout our blogs and let us know what you think!
Diederik Jan Lemkes
I'm an engineer that likes to work with the bigger picture in mind. That's why you'll hear me ask the 'why' question a lot. Coming from a semi-business background has taught me a lot about making sure we’re doing the right thing and not starting another data project because it's the cool thing to do.
In my free time, I like to ride a bike. Spinning through the woods in winter on my MTB, and through the sun in summer on my road bike. Rest on rainy days leaves time for some proper cooking. Or, for learning more about functional programming in one of my hobby projects. As I tend to ask 'why' a lot, I'm on the practical side of the FP spectrum though.
For me the beauty of data is that it helps solving practical problems. Societal problems as well as business problems. As a data scientist I treat these problems as a puzzle. Finding the right analytical solution is obviously an important piece of that puzzle. I believe it takes more to embed an analytical solution successfully in an organisation. Taking time to understand what business owners and end users really need. Investing in a smooth collaboration with data engineers to turn the solutions of my team into true data products. It is this combination of technical problem solving and working with people that motivates me. It is also why BigData Republic is such a great environment to work in. Contact me if you need our help in solving your puzzle.
Machine Learning Engineer
Robbert van der Gugten
As a graduated data scientist I plowed my way through random forests and neural networks to strive for the perfect solution. When I joined BigData Republic, I started seeing many sides of data science in the industry, and noticed that creating the perfect model is in many cases not what a company needs. The right resources and knowledge are not always easily available to incorporate the model in the business process, resulting in a shelf full of gems dusting away.
I became a practical data scientist, engaging in end-to-end development of models, specializing in bringing models to production. This experience allowed me to start my current position, where I am building a data science platform in a private cloud environment using modern techniques.
My knowledge of the data world is broad and I learn new things every day. I love solving problems, both personally and professionally. Do you need a state-of-the-art data science platform? An awesome recommender system? Or a streaming prediction pipeline? Let’s do it!
Machine Learning Engineer
Mathematics has fascinated me since my early school career. At the end of high school I set the goal to use mathematics to solve real world problems. Studying data science at university helped me achieve that goal. During my internships and jobs I learned that it requires more than just mathematics to make data science work in the real world. I learned that lots of software engineering is required, which is why I acquired this skill as well.
I started working at BigData Republic, because I wanted to surround myself with individuals from whom I could learn the most. As BigData Republic consists of experts in both data science and data engineering, it seemed like the optimal place for me to learn more about both subjects and their connections. And it turned out to be just that. We are a great community of experts helping each other grow through team work, knowledge sharing and fun.
The projects that interest me the most are the ones that lie on the edge of data science and engineering. How do teams get their machine learning models into production as fast as possible? How do teams ensure their model will keep delivering value over time? I love studying these problems, because they are essential to efficiency of data science in organizations, and hard to solve.
I love sharing my vision and knowledge with the world through conference talks and articles. If you share the same fascination for this field, feel free to look up some of my work or get in touch with me directly.
Tom de Ruijter
"I predict the future" is how I explain my job to my grandmother.
There is a great hype surrounding the field of data science. Hype is dangerous as it hinders asking important questions. I help businesses make sense of what data science can and cannot do. My background is in computer science with a specialization in artificial intelligence and machine learning. I enjoy explaining my work to crowds, small and large. Besides that I love coding and I enjoy a well constructed program.
BigData Republic has been nothing short of family, with many colleagues whom I consider my friends. In the early days of data science, I felt a need for connection and sharing with peers. I joined the company because each of my colleagues has a strong sense of contributing to the community and to have unique expertises.
I value informal, direct and honest communication. Experience has taught me that I am at my best when working with clear goals, making the world a better place. My business decisions are mostly data driven, though my personal life is certainly not.
Feel free to reach out if you have a neat technical problem that needs solving, want to discuss data or talk about your personal growth!
I'm a recruiter because enjoy helping people with the next step in their career. It’s why I love my job!
As a recruiter, I believe that it’s important to understand the candidate’s goals. With my curiosity and sincere interest in candidates I’m able to determine if our job openings are a good fit for them. If not, I’ll give them advice for the future. My background in hospitality helps to create a positive atmosphere where everyone feels comfortable.
I like working at BigData Republic because of the atmosphere and the team. Everyone appreciates each other. I also like the flat hierarchy and the freedom in my work. It helps me achieve results quicker. Most importantly I learn from others and I like the freedom in my work.
When I’m not working I like spending time with my daughter, who recently turned one. I’m married and I live in Culemborg. I love to play tennis and because of my personal interest in data science and programming, I recently finished my first course ever in Python. And I read about data science.
I’m always open to share knowledge or have a conversation about data science, recruitment or tennis.
Machine Learning Engineer
Aged 10, I started developing websites and setting up their required services. This practice turned into a self-employed job when I was 17. The choice of a BSc in Mechanical Engineering was a step in a different direction. However, that engineering knowledge contributed significantly to my programming skills and vice versa in terms of analytics, entrepreneurship, and project management.
With my first job as a data scientist, I switched to mainly coding in Python and Scala. Here, I developed a deep interest in creating scalable machine learning solutions. In all fairness, this partially originated in me being reluctant to buy a new computer for Kaggle competitions. It excited me to rent servers only for the short times I needed more capacity. To strengthen and prove my expertise on this topic, I got certified both as a Google Cloud Professional Data Engineer, and Cloud Architect.
Working at BigData Republic, I can fully express my passions for setting up scalable cloud infrastructure, efficient coding, and transferring my knowledge and enthusiasm. Let's create your next-generation data platform, together with our top-notch data scientists and engineers!
As an experienced data science lead, I leverage my broad knowledge, technical abilities and soft skills to deliver industrialized data products, boost the data science capabilities of any organization and ultimately make the difference. I have both data science management and hands-on consultancy experience in various sectors, including retail, energy, finance, FMCG and airline, covering virtually every industry use case. My interests are in science and technology in general, and information processing systems in particular: ranging from the human brain recalling its most precious memories, to efficient artificial intelligence algorithms learning from vast amounts of data. Feel free to reach out and discuss anything related to data and AI.
Machine Learning Engineer
After a masters in AI robotics, I was confronted with an AI job market focusing on either research or automated killing machines in the army. Neither appealed to me, so I decided to nerd up and follow the IT consultancy path.
After many projects I find myself finally being able to combine my enthusiasm for IT development with the joy I get from seeing self learning systems deal with the real world.
The currently maturing ML market allows me to apply the lessons learnt from building scalable, robust systems to new technologies like machine learning models and big data. For me, BigData Republic is a perfect pool of experts to really nerd up and face the challenge of putting the newest technology to good use for our customers.
If you have a challenge that allows new technology to shine and are willing to fail fast and learn faster, contact our sales team.
My name is Daphne Hensbergen and I’m an office manager at BigData Republic. For me BigData Republic feels like a family and I’m proud to be a part of the team. What I like about my job is the interaction between me and my colleagues.
They’re working very hard to satisfy our customers, so I want to support them as much as I can. For example by arranging their equipment but also by listening to them when they need some feedback. Sometimes they visit an international conference. As I used to work in the tourism industry for many years, one of my favorite things is making their travel arrangements and organizing events.
What I do appreciate about BigData Republic is the warm atmosphere and openness. It’s a company that pays a lot of attention to every single employee. A good example are the handwritten postcards I’m sending on birthdays. Not only to our colleagues but also to their partners as they are a part of our success as well. To me it feels great to be able to work in an environment like this, and make the difference by giving everybody just that extra bit of attention.
Jaap de Koning
I rolled into data engineering from a Physics background. I like to find out how everything works, but nature is very tricky. Software engineering can be interesting in the same way, but because it works according to our rules, we can create much more complicated structures with very little effort. But this complexity soon became a problem as well.
How to then engineer in a way that makes sense and is relatively easy to understand? As a consultant, I am not going to work on a project very long. Luckily there are a lot of tools around nowadays that make data engineering more understandable, whether for machine learning pipelines or infrastructure as code.
At Bigdata Republic I have met a lot of like minded people with whom we can exchange ideas to figure not just the best solution, but one that will keep you going forward long after we are gone!
I found my interest in Data Science through Physics and Operations Research. I’m convinced there is always room for improvement and that is what I like about the field. The use of ingenuity and mathematics to solve real-life problems in companies. Because the role of data in day-to-day business keeps growing, it becomes more and more important to know how to best use it and avoid pitfalls. I enjoy diving into the needs of our clients and their people. In this way I ensure my work has the most impact.
At BigData Republic I have found a tight-knit company full of like-minded individuals, who are highly skilled at what they do. There is a large emphasis on knowledge sharing, encouraging us to stay at the top of our field. Consulting allows me to apply my knowledge to unique problems in organizations, continuously learning in the process.
Please feel free to contact me if you want to know more.
With a lot of passion I am leading BigData Republic and our incredible team of talented, critical and conscious individuals. I am proud of our company culture and atmosphere, which I would define more as a friendship than as a business relationship. I also greatly appreciate our particular mix of technical expertise and soft skills. This combination is what drew me to BigData Republic in the first place, and it keeps defining our company throughout the years.
Coming from a technical background myself, I have worked on hands-on data science and big data projects for many years. My biggest fascination lies with problems that can not be solved by standard technologies and principles. These problems require the sophisticated techniques that have been developed in the fields of parallel processing, machine learning and scalable infrastructure over the past decades. It is great to have talented people around me that share this passion for technology and to keep on learning and growing together.
In the end, it always comes down to human beings obtaining value from technology. This value lies not only in the future, when solutions are brought into production and organizations reap the benefits. It also lies in the here and now where people have fun in creating these solutions and feel satisfied about contributing to the world. This is what I always aim to facilitate in my role as managing partner. My days are busier than they have ever been, but looking at my team, it is worth every second.
Machine Learning Engineer
Hi there! I am Ivo and I am working to create a better world through data. Being a data engineer means that I get to work with all sorts of new technologies and develop new and interesting data architectures for our customers. I got my introduction to Data Engineering through developing websites at first. Starting with just a small database I learned that having the right data infrastructure is crucial for running a successful data driven business. Even with the smallest datasets there are mistakes to be made and, ideally, prevented.
That data that we process usually impacts people. This is why I’ve always been adamant about discussing the implications our applications have on the people that use them. What data do we process and how can it impact their rights and their privacy? To me, automation is not just about saving money, but about building a better world.
That is why I joined BigData Republic. With my expertise in the cloud, big data and security, I believe I can help our clients create a better product. Both for their customers and their business. Working together as a team, we continue to push the boundaries of what is possible. To share our vision with the world we often share our thoughts in blogs and whitepapers, which I invite you to read.
For me, data science represents the best of the things I like to do at work: solving challenging and interesting problems, having an impact in the world and working with smart and capable people. After doing a PhD and working for a few years, I discovered this exciting upcoming field. I decided to go for it and I never looked back.
Having gained experience in several different companies and industries, I ended up here at BigData Republic. The atmosphere of sharing and getting better together is what convinced me to join, and I have no regrets.
In my work for clients I try to bring the combined experience of myself and all my colleagues, to deliver the best possible value. The goal is to deliver work that is of good quality and solves the business needs. More importantly, the results need to be sustainable for the client’s organisation. This means working closely with the people there, and making communication with stakeholders a priority. In the end, I consider myself successful if I have made myself unnecessary to the client.
I am always open to talk about machine learning and related topics, please feel free to reach out on Linkedin.
Erik Jan de Vries
As a consultant and lead data scientist I enable organisations to unlock the full potential of their data assets in support of their business. I focus on demonstrating how an organisation can integrate data-driven decision making into all areas of their business. An important part of this is the development of analytics skills and technologies. I enjoy coaching analytical teams on the job. Data Science is as much about data and science as it is about people. Bringing these three together in harmony is what motivates me in my day-to-day work.
In my spare time I enjoy playing the piano a lot. One of the highlights of my musical career was playing Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue in the Haarlem concert hall: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJsnGprFRa8.
If you like to have a chat about how artificial intelligence can help your business, send me a message!
As BigData Republic’s marketeer it’s my job to showcase the expertise of our consultants. Their knowledge is our most important asset. I sincerely think it has the potential to change the world, or at least the way we do business. It’s very exciting to be part of a company that has so much promise.
I wanted to become a marketeer because it’s a job with a lot of creativity. It’s (almost) never boring, which I really enjoy. Moreover, it’s a job that allows me to learn many different skills, ranging from technical understanding (HTML, CSS and APIs) to analyzing data, writing the right text or configuring various tools.
What I like about BigData Republic is the challenging environment. We’re a team that always wants to improve. It means that you need a good reason for almost everything you do. If you can’t explain why you’re making a certain choice, chances are that it’s not going to fly. It keeps me on my toes. At the same time, there’s a spirit of always wanting to help and support each other. To me, that combination creates a great company culture.
An important part of always wanting to improve is being open to feedback. Meaning, that if there’s anything I can do better in terms of our website, social media, or anything else I’d really like to hear it. Please email me (email@example.com) or reach out on LinkedIn if there’s something you’d like to share!
There’s always more to discover. There’s always a better way to build systems. That’s what I love about my job. It’s a journey of learning and improving. Improving my own knowledge and skills, but also improving my team’s process and efficiency. I often find myself writing small tools for mundane tasks, and suggesting better ways to collaborate. As a software engineer for machine learning systems, I continuously raise the bar for the quality of the system that we’re building. Both for myself and for my team.
I’ve worked for years successfully bringing machine learning initiatives from idea to production in a variety of industries, ranging from retail and FMCG to energy and telecommunications. Clients can trust me to go the extra mile to create value for the organization and act as an effective translator between business needs and technical expertise. I’ve formulated various comprehensive data strategies and don’t hesitate to steer the course when I anticipate challenges down the road. I thoroughly believe in leading by example with a pragmatic and hands-on approach to managing and coaching data science teams. This has led me to be all-round effective in designing and executing both data science and engineering roadmaps. I bring enthusiasm and humor to the job and continually drive a positive and educational work environment. With degrees in econometrics and political science from VU Amsterdam and the University of Oxford, you can always hit me up for a discussion on AI ethics. I’m currently leading the technical development of the AIOps platform at Liberty Global.
Machine Learning Engineer
I strive for optimization and efficiency; using machine learning for prescriptive models, and data engineering to make the systems scalable. With 10+ years of solid experience and a strong background in software engineering, I’m your go-to person to productionize machine learning systems.
My main expertise lies in combining data science and data engineering. Topics I just can’t get enough of are causal inference, reinforcement learning, streams (like Flink), and event sourcing. I’m more than willing to get my hands dirty in an IDE, but I also really like to brainstorm and collaborate with colleagues. With my experience I often get the Tech Lead role. This allows me to share my knowledge to both the business and the team.
I found my sweet spot at BigData Republic: novelty through consultancy projects, smart colleagues to learn from, and a laid back but professional culture. It also brings me opportunities in business development; As one of the first 3 employees, I co-created the business plan, sales strategy, recruitment, and hiring policies. Nowadays, I mix my week with hands-on application of my expertise, and supportive application through coaching, advising, and guiding others. Both internally in BDR and client projects.
I’m a software engineer by training with 15 years of experience in the software industry. I have been specializing in data science and engineering for the last 10 years. I built a variety of data products and machine learning platforms. I'm a craftsman with a passion for delivering value through high-quality software, aligning stakeholders, coaching team members, and foster a strong engineering culture.
I’m a polyglot, always interested in figuring out the best tool for the job given the context. These days I mainly work with JVM languages and Python, but if needed I’ll dive into Go or Rust as well. Designing data systems means working with a wide variety of technologies: real-time message busses, distributed compute clusters, search technology, and process isolation. I constantly challenge myself to think about how those pieces fit together in a coherent system, which meets the needs of the business.
What I love about my job is the combination of technical challenges and the complex contexts in which solutions need to be implemented. Solutions can look straightforward from a technological perspective. However, economical, social, or organizational challenges often require a lot of creativity to find solutions fit for purpose.
I’m always in for a chat about engineering challenges in your organization, feel free to reach out.
Data, data everywhere at any place, any time all the time. The collective amount of data has never been this big and is continuously growing at enormous rates. The possibilities that start to exist by combining data sources with a clear focus in mind, fascinate me immensely. I believe that every use-case (small or big) should start with the need for data and work forwards from the information it provides.
Getting the most value from data only works when it is available freely and connected inside an organisation. Often data is domain and use-case specific only accessible and interpretable within the island it got created. I enjoy combining my technical skills with my keen business senses to provide an intrinsic need for sharing data from the source. For me sharing the responsibility of the value in the data with the whole organization is key.
I realize it can sound as an ambitious goal to make an organisation data driven, this requires extensive expertise on many fields from business to technical and organisational. BigData Republic has a diverse set of professionals that can help your team/company well on its way to developing new, exciting and valuable data use-cases completely independent.
What do websites, software engineering, sustainable energy, robots, and data science have in common? Not much, except they are all technical subjects with a strong connection to the real world. The models I build only are worth the effort if they add real value for the people we are building them for. This means they should make money for clients, and help end-users at the same time. To me it is these conflicting interests that make my work challenging and keep me interested.
Before working at BigData Republic I worked at Eneco - a large energy company focussed on sustainable energy - where I wore many hats. Building data science infrastructure, training predictive models, and deploying models in production were some of my responsibilities. A nice mix of engineering and science. So why change jobs? Because BigData Republic offers something most other companies can not offer.
Working at BigData Republic means you grow as a professional at an amazing pace. Whatever subject you think you know much about, there is probably someone in the team who knows much more than you. We challenge each other to learn new stuff every day, and use this knowledge to push the envelope at our clients. Working as a consultant means you’ll see lots of different clients with different challenges and opportunities. This combination of variety and pace means you will grow faster than you thought possible.
If you are interested in discussing the state of AI, data science or business, let’s meet for a good cup of coffee. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.