Snowplow Spotlight Benjamin Benoist

11 April 2019  •  Miriam de Medwe

Benjamin Benoist

Benjamin Benoist - Data Engineer based in Berlin

What do you do at Snowplow?

I joined Snowplow 6 months ago as a Data Engineer. During the first few months, I was working mainly for a customer to build a real-time application on top of Snowplow data. I’m now getting more involved in developments around the Snowplow pipeline. I’m currently adding my first enrichment and I’m also integrating contributions from the open source community.

Why did you decide to go into engineering?

I’ve always been a big fan of mathematics and logic, and when I was in high school I started to get a lot into computers and it was already clear that I wanted to work with them. I decided to go into engineering because I really like the day-to-day job. I love to be given a problem and then need to think about a possible solution, before actually implementing it. Seeing the designed solution running and meeting the needs is a great feeling.

What’s your favorite thing about your job?

I love our product, I love the fact that it is Open Source and I love the fact that part of my job is to contribute to it. After having used Open Source technologies for so many years without ever contributing, I’m finally doing it, and I’m even paid for it! How awesome is that?

What do you find the most challenging?

The most challenging thing is that there are only 24 hours within a day. There are so many good ideas of things to build that it’s hard to live with the fact that we have to make choices and we can’t do all of them.

What was the first job you ever wanted to have?

When I was 6, I wanted to become a baker, like my godfather. Today I do spend a lot of time in bakeries, but on the other side of the counter :)

What steps do you think the tech industry can take to become more inclusive?

I think that the problem does not come from the tech industry but is rooted deeper in society. When we grow up, many things around us make us subconsciously believe that certain types of jobs are better suited for certain types of people. For example in movies we rarely see women working in IT and in ads for cooking and cleaning we barely see men at all. One thing that the tech industry could do to become more inclusive is to organize projects/activities in school, where all the children would participate equally.

How do you find working for a company with such geographically distributed teams?

I think that it depends a lot on the company but at Snowplow remote work is part of the culture and everything is made so that being in a geographically distributed team works as well as being all in office, while having the big advantage of flexibility. Sometimes during a meeting you learn that your colleague is now on a different continent than he was in the last meeting, that’s not very common! And we have the chance to have Away Weeks where we can spend quality time with everyone in person!

What do you like to spend time doing when you’re not at work?

I love triathlons, especially the IronMan distance, and I spend a lot of time training. I also love spending time in nature, reading, cooking (I’m vegan) and I love going to Berlin’s amazing techno clubs.

What are 3 things still left on your bucket list?

  • Cross the Atlantic ocean on a sailboat
  • Do a very long trip just with my bike
  • Plant a forest