Our data engineer spills the data on her time with us | Meet the bonsai.team

15 September 2022

Our data engineer spills the data on her time with us | Meet the bonsai.team


Ivana has been with us for more than a year now, and since it’s almost her birthday, we wanted to chat with her over a cup of (iced) coffee – to see what life as a data engineer in Bonsai looks like.

Hi Ivana, how are you today?

Pretty well, thank you. I’m having iced coffee in the good company of HR and it’s nice being in the sun.

What do your days look like and what are you working on at the moment?

At the moment I’m focusing on researching new technology for a new data architecture for a client. I cover most of our projects, including our biggest one, so most of my time is spent on that.

As always, we’re really trying to come up with the best possible solution. This means searching various forums, actively following what’s trending, and seeing if we can implement it in some way with my team lead.

What is your history with the company, has it always been this way?

I was the second data engineer in the company, and I’ve been here for more than a year now. We’ve had a big client from the beginning, but since I didn’t have a big workload, I was able to casually get introduced to the company. Towards the end of last year, the team got a bit bigger, and we got some cool new projects. It’s been growing ever since, and I’ve been able to grow with it.

Lately, I’ve been participating in the hiring and onboarding process of the new team members. That was an interesting and chaotic change - I was surprised by how much time it takes, and since it’s not postponable, you really have to get good at managing your time. It’s always worth it in the end, because you get a great colleague and help with your tasks.

What would you say is the biggest personality fit between you and bonsai.tech?

We’re all pretty close, we communicate, and there’s this feeling of working towards a common goal. When there’s no feeling of working towards something you all care about, it’s not really that satisfying. At least, that’s one of my values.

Also, we go hard on knowledge sharing. By that I mean, everyone takes the time to really show you how to do something, from the most basic things to the ones that take a bit longer.

How is bonsai.tech supporting you career goals? 

Before coming here, I worked as a data analyst and then I was a developer for about a year. My first full time job, however, was data warehousing. We worked in somewhat old technologies, which wasn’t really giving me transferable knowledge to other technologies, and I felt like I wasn’t growing and learning as much as I would have liked.

Enter Bonsai! I wanted a chance to move towards newer technologies and to research new things to feel like I’m keeping up with the field – and Bonsai offers just that. There’s a lot of support around wanting to try new things and expand our knowledge, and consequently the knowledge of the team. We have yearly goals we set on our semi-annual checkups and 1:1 monthly meetings with our team lead. We have the freedom to suggest things we stumble upon or find interesting while researching.

What would you say is one of your successes you’re proud of and you were able to achieve while here?

Hmm, I’m really proud of my integration in my work environment. I’m happy I’m somewhere I feel very comfortable and that I started to look for a place that would better suit my personality and my interests. I feel like I make a good fit with both the tasks and the people.

What is something specific to bonsai.tech that makes us a company you wish to work at?

This is more of a team thing, but we have something called ‘INTerno jADAnje’ which combines the INT and the ADA team (they used to make up one team before the workload required it to split.)

We come together around once or twice a month, eat lunch together and bond over all our troubles and frustrations – but cool things as well. It’s a space where you don’t have to be careful what you say, and it does wonders for the team spirit.

I know you’re very physically active in your free time, is that a way for you to unwind? Have you always been active, what activities, any goals?

I wasn’t always active, actually. I have the classic lockdown story, which means I got bored of being stuck at home, so I started running and riding my bike much more often. It’s only for fun, no competitions for me in the future, but I would like to go on a longer trail race.

The last thing I tried was padel which I went to with a few of my colleagues as part of the Fitness Consistency Challenge and it was fun. We have Multisport memberships through the company, which I must say is pretty sweet.

Is there something else you’re working on lately that you wish to share?

I recently enrolled in a doctorate program in physics, which has been interesting. I wanted to challenge myself and see what’s current in the field.

And my latest thing – I started knitting hats.

Any finals thoughts? Who should apply to the ADA team – what kind of profile/candidate would best fit the team/role?

Personally, I would choose attitude over exquisite skills any day. People who enjoy working as part of a team and aren’t opposed to being faced with problems and working towards solving them would all be a great fit. Also, people who welcome opportunities for self-improvement.

Thank you, Ivana!