When the pandemic hit, our small-but-growing company that was based mostly in Brno and Prague offices faced two new trends: remote work and rapidly continuing team expansion. This has of course resulted in a larger team, spread across the planet, and continued pandemic responses have limited our ability to get teams together in person.
While we welcomed Yassine via slack with plenty of emojis when he joined us in summer of 2021, we wanted to get to know him a little more now that he’s settled in better. He’s a pleasant sort, not at all the introvert that one might expect the average Machine Learning Engineer to be… but then again, Runecast tends to hire above-average people. ;)
How would you describe yourself in 3 sentences?
Let’s say that I’m a typical ENTJ. I’m strong willed and I find great pleasure in rising up to challenges. Strong will alone isn't enough, of course, that's why I work hard and I'm really dedicated to what I do.
What is your position at Runecast?
I joined Runecast in 2021 and since then I've been working as a Machine Learning Engineer (MLE), "AKA Magician". As an MLE, I wear different hats, but to summarize, I use machine learning and state of the art Natural Language techniques to make the life of our engineers a bit less complicated, by automating the boring tasks.
You started at Runecast in mid-2021 and work remotely from Tunisia. How has the new remote-work reality impacted your life in general?
I'm an extroverted person and I enjoy a good conversation every once in the while. But due to covid, I had to work from home for the past two years. It wasn't easy at first because this was new to me, but I gradually adapted and developed new routines.
What are your tips and routines for getting the most from remote work?
The most important thing is to have a schedule. That way you can remain productive if you're a procrastinator or you can avoid burnouts if you're a workaholic.
Also, make sure that you regularly have casual meetings with your colleagues, as it helps break the ice and smoothens future collaboration.
Finally, you should take advantage of remote work. You don't need to be in the office so why don't you work from a new city or a nearby beach. I count myself lucky because here in Tunisia it's sunny all year long and I really enjoy working outside my home.
As an MLE, you work with Runecast AI Knowledge Automation (RAIKA)... can you tell us a little about your role and experiences with it so far?
Actually I joined Runecast because I really wanted to be a part of RAIKA. Security Compliance is a very challenging topic when it comes to AI applications, and I love challenges. People usually think that building models is the toughest part of the job but it’s actually processing the data. And in the CyberSec field, dealing with data is way harder than in other fields. I find great pleasure transforming complicated articles into bite sized actionable insights for our engineers, leveraging my knowledge in Natural Language Processing (NLP).
What would be your vision for the future of Runecast in Analytics and Artificial Intelligence?
In order to build reliable models, I have to study the data very well. That’s why I spend a big part of my day reading infrastructure related documentation. What I learned so far is that there’s absolutely no way that security teams can deal with such a massive volume of data and information without using AI. This is why I believe that Runecast is indispensable to them.
“There’s absolutely no way that security teams can deal with such a massive volume of data and information without using AI.”
How? To me, Runecast symbolizes the core of “Ygrassil”, the Norse tree of life. And environments such as AWS, Azure, Kubernetes and VMware are the branches. The knowledge extracted from these branches is augmented by our AI models and pruned by our engineering team.
This knowledge is transformed into monitoring checks or remediation steps, but it can be used in other ways as well. For example, It can be used as a metric falling under the social pillar of ESG scoring frameworks, or maybe for evaluating carbon footprints and reducing emissions of data centers.
The sky's the limit here, and all of this will be possible because of AI.
Now let's move from work-related questions… what do you do in your spare time?
I love history and I enjoy learning about other cultures. This is probably due to the fact that I was raised in Carthage, where I was surrounded by ancient ruins. I spend hours every day reading and watching online material about ancient cultures, important events and famous battles.
I started a new habit this year which is traveling. It allows me to directly connect to foreign cultures and customs and quenches my thirst for knowledge.
And a love-hate question to wrap up: What animal would you consider your spirit animal?
According to the quiz that I just took, my spirit animal is the wolf. Pretty cool right?! I think I can see the similarity there. I, like the wolf, love freedom and thrive in autonomous environments.
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