Friso, Head of Technology
Today, we have the chance to catch up with our Head of Technology: Friso. Born in the Netherlands, Friso comes from a software engineering background. He has previously worked on applied data science and machine learning systems, focusing on recommendation or online personalisation capabilities. Experienced in scalable and data intensive systems, he is making sure FashionTrade truly only offers the best technology to our consumers. Fun fact: in true Dutch style, Friso lives on a houseboat!
Hi Friso! What exactly is your role within the company?
I am responsible for all the computer programming. Computer programming is critical for fashionTrade so I make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible. At the moment, I am focusing on 3 key topics:
- building out the organisation managing our microservices architecture,
- managing our feature teams,
- setting up a data product team.
Describe your regular day at fashionTrade
In the morning, I try to process my emails – which are mostly external since internally we use Slack for pretty much everything. At 10 am, I often join the development teams daily stand-up. This way, I always know which softwares are likely to be pushed to production that day.
After that, I process the hiring funnel. I do my best to get back to all candidates quickly. In order to do so, I keep track of all applications in Trello. This also allows me to extract data later to analyse our hiring process. Every week, I attend a meeting with the management team and another one with the lead engineers from the development teams. In addition, I am often part of technical design meetings. Staying up-to-date with the other teams is critical to me: hence all the meetings!
In my remaining time, I work on new functionality prototypes. I strive to spend at least one day a week doing some hands-on coding on our platform codebase: I need to know what is happening there at all time.
Tell us one thing you particularly like about the company, that you never had in your previous job(s)?
I enjoy the fact that we are working on a greenfield product that can bring significant changes to an established market. I also think that FashionTrade is a very unique start-up. With our solid funding and strong team, I truly believe that we have a good chance of changing the fashion industry.
What is your favorite fashionTrade feature?
It’s not in production yet, so… stay tuned!
What is your favourite digital tool?
A compiler or interpreter: I usually write code to achieve things! For one offs, mostly Python and Jupyter Notebooks.
What is your favourite focus song?
If I have my headphones on during work, there is most likely a light Scarlatti sonate playing.
Tell us one unexpected thing your colleagues don’t know about you?
In my previous job, I would sometimes wear suits! (Editor’s note: we are SHOCKED!)
Do you have a favourite quote?
There are so many to choose from… but since the age of artificial intelligence is apparently almost here, I would go for Edsger W. Dijkstra’s quote: ‘The question of whether machines can think… is about as relevant as the question of whether submarines can swim.’
When a programme answers a request correctly, it doesn’t matter if it’s because it can think or because it’s a direct calculation. Just as it doesn’t matter if a submarine can swim or not as long as it keeps you safe under water. Many researchers are now focusing on general AI. These developments are very interesting both from a technical and philosophical point of view. These questions are interesting per se, but the outcome is not likely to improve our products immediately. We should focus on more established methods first and keep on providing a great user experience without pondering whether the machine that provides it can think.
Feeling intrigued? I advise you to read this article to understand more about the context of the quote.
Finally, what is your next holiday destination?
I think France. But to be sure, I will have to ask the boss at home…
Thank so much to Friso for this introduction! Would you like to meet more FashionTrade team members? You can read some more of our team interviews on the blog:
And don’t forget to visit our career page to read about our job openings.