DRIVEN is a series of portraits of data scientists and data engineers, who talk openly about their work and personal life and finding a proper balance between the two. The series consists of interviews with one guest per episode both inside and outside a studio setting.

DRIVEN features data scientists and data engineers who openly talk about their careers and their lives. We will regularly add new portraits to this collection.

Episode 1: Giovanni Lanzani - Little Italy

In this first episode of DRIVEN, Giovanni talks about elegance, open source, his family life, the trait of curiosity, his contribution to the team, and the reason for storing 15 liters of wine in his basement.

My main driver is beauty in the sense of elegance and simplicity. Doing physics, that is what we search for. When we have two theories and one is more beautiful and simpler than the other, we choose that one. I am really driven by this also in my work, so finding the most simple things and the most elegant things that solve the clients needs is really what drives me everyday.

Episode 2: Niels Zeilemaker - Automate Everything

Being a real techie, who tries to push technical boundaries, Niels invited us to his automated house. Here, he talked about his passion for technology, from self-driving donkey cars to RGB lighting. But did Niels take his love for home automation one step too far? Find out in this episode of DRIVEN.

I look at Hackernews a lot. For me, the best thing about this website are the comments. The users of this website have such a vast amount of knowledge, it is usually better than the articles they link to.

Episode 3: Rodrigo Agundez - Peanut Butter Workouts

Physicist Rodrigo wakes up early, energized by the promise of a new day of complicated things to solve. One thing in his life is not so complicated, though. And that's his morning ritual of peanut butter banana sandwiches.

When I get the problem and then I get challenged and I cannot foresee the steps that I need to take to get the challenge. Then I think it gets really interesting.

Episode 4: Nelli Gofman - Life-Long Exploring

Growing up in Siberia, Nelli felt a strong desire to broaden her horizons. It was only a matter of time before she moved away and began exploring. Just like wild animals and sheer heights don't intimidate her much, she's not afraid to dive deep into untrodden datasets.

I like to travel quite a lot, discovering new countries. The exploring is also what drives me in my work. You don't know in advance what's going to come out of it, so you better just start and do it. After every corner, you always find something new.

Episode 5: Lukas Koning - Academic Outdoors

Lukas is a true scientist who likes to discover new things; whether it's in human psychology, in corporate data or in the breeding habits of owls. Being outdoors has always been a big part of his life. For Lukas, nature is the place where he goes to relax and explore.

When I was young, my dad, brother, and me used to spend our weekends outdoors to watch birds and collect data. I think this is interesting, because there is always something happening, and that is what also triggered me to become a scientist.

Episode 6: Jelte Hoekstra - Beginning with the End in Mind

Laidback Jelte generally takes things as they come. He gets excited by the energy of early-stage projects and initiatives. Whether it's developing data-driven apps, training other data scientists, or engaging in sports; when Jelte get's started it's hard to stop him.

You start something, that's when the most energy comes in. Then you like to go full ahead. You know, when it's time to go home, I still like to do these few extra things because I feel like I am almost there already.

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When I was six, our neighbour gave us a computer. Quickly after this, my parents had decided to make the rule of one-hour PC time per day rule. If you ever used computers that old, you know that with one hour per day you were busy fixing it. And so I learned really a lot about computers during that time.

Giovanni Lanzani
Chief Science Officer, GoDataDriven