#MeetTheTeam — Data Scientist Adam Ruaux
In this week’s #MeetTheTeam we introduce you to Adam. Adam was the first analyst at carwow. Find out how Adam ended up working at carwow, the advice he has for people interested in coding, and of course, his favourite car.
Where are you from and how did you end up working at carwow?
Born in Kent, I grew up in a leafy village called Woodchurch. It’s about 10 miles from the south coast. I moved to London just over 5 years ago to study for a MSc in Chemistry at UCL. However, in the summer of my second year I took an internship at carwow which ended with me taking a year out to work as a marketing analyst. The idea was to return to uni after that period was up, which I did… albeit for 6 weeks before returning to carwow. For good.
So, why did you become a Data Scientist?
Asking why implies that this was in some way planned… it wasn’t. I’ve always been good at maths, interested in technology and interested in solving problems, so a large part of becoming a Data Scientist is down to being in the right place at the right time. When I joined carwow, the only people who could extract data from our database were the two developers and reporting on our fairly small scale PPC account wasn’t their top priority. This, along with Excel starting to struggle with my demands led me to start learning SQL and R. Since then I’ve spent the last 3 years learning new software, programming languages, statistics and providing insights to all areas of carwow.
Being self-taught, what advice do you have for people that are interested in coding?
There is so much online to help you learn how to code. I first started programming by doing a data science course on Coursera. Online courses are very helpful if you are a complete beginner because you can choose one which goes through the absolute basics. I was lucky in that I had the opportunity to apply everything I learned on a daily basis here at carwow, which was great, as learning to write good code takes a lot of practice. When you get to the point where you need a lot of detail in a specific area — buy a book.
What is your strongest personal quality?
I’m a quick learner — I pride myself on picking up things quickly and get frustrated when I don’t.
What are you most proud of?
- Building my first car, a GTM Libra kit-car, at the age of 16 with my step-dad.
- Building an application to measure the impact of our TV advertising, which in its fourth version, is still used today (blog post coming soon).
- Being involved in recruiting every member of the data team during my time at carwow and watching our role in the company develop.
Which carwow value resonates most with your team?
Curious — Data Scientists are naturally curious. Often too curious. It’s about understanding and digesting data to provide information for the company. Sometimes it’s hard to know when to stop.
What is the best part of working at carwow?
The people and the responsibility — carwow has a very diverse team with people from all over the world. All these individuals have different backgrounds and lots of different skills and interests. This makes carwow an interesting place to be. It’s a melting pot where various opinions and approaches to problems come together to build something awesome.
I have always been given a lot of responsibility. At times perhaps too much for the amount of experience I had. Yet, this was, and still is, very good for my personal development and has given me so much opportunity to build all kinds of skills.
What is a skill you’d like to learn and why?
I have always admired people that are bilingual. Yet, I really struggle with languages so I would like to learn Dutch — it’s quite similar to English. See for yourself:
How does carwow now compare to when you started?
Firstly, It’s bigger. when I started there were less than 10 people and we were in a shared office. Now there are more than 100 people and plenty of new faces. But carwow still managed to retain a lot of the same culture. We’re all still passionate about what we’re doing and we still play a lot of table tennis (or at least I do).
The coffee has become better and better — we started with filter coffee (RIP) then moved to a cafetiere and then an aeropress (which was alright) and now we have upgraded to a bean to cup espresso machine with a steam wand :-)
Besides the coffee machine journey, work has become more specified. Back in the day, people were doing a bit of everything to some extent but now we’re far more specialised. Areas of responsibility are more defined, which is great as well as it allows you to work more in-depth.
Last but not least, what is your favourite car, and why?
Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo — Just look at it!