A behind-the-scenes look at the people who make us great.
Welcome to the latest edition of the Cogent Crew series, where we invite you to get to know the people who make Cogent what it is.
This month Armin chats to Andrew who is the newest member of the Cogent team, here to help bring our Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning dreams to life! Andrew tells us about being an umpire for his kids sports games, his favourite lunch spot at the new office and about a hidden island off the coast of Japan.
Name: Andrew Barton
Job: Principal Consultant
Time at Cogent: About 2 weeks!
Armin: What does a typical day at Cogent look like for you?
Andrew: I am normally woken by the sound of three failed sign in attempts on the Xbox and know the boys are up. Coffee starts the day and train ride into the City. I enjoy reading so try and work through a book on the train although the call of social media gets too much as I need to check what everyone is up to. The team has a standup in the mornings and most of the day is spent talking to clients about machine learning. I’m always trying to find somewhere new for lunch but nearly always end up with the same noodles, my favourite. We have a great team of software developers so each day can include looking at new innovations in technology.
Armin: How’d you get into what you do?
Andrew: I’ve always worked with businesses that have a strong technology focus, either as a service offering or product. I hadn’t always wanted to focus on machine learning, it just kind of happened over time.
Armin: What kind of projects are you working on at the moment?
Andrew: At the moment, I am working on a project that looks at Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and Natural Language Processing (NLP) to read and understand documents. There is so much rich data that is held in paper format and we are looking at ways this can be better used.
Armin: You sound very passionate about machine learning, can you tell us why and what excites you most about it?
Andrew: I find machine learning to be intellectually stimulating and it’s interesting how businesses are using it. It’s great that it can be used to solve problems and every week there is a new problem that is being addressed by machine learning. It’s exciting the way businesses are using machine learning and its implementation is increasing so dramatically.
Armin: What’s your favourite thing to do on the weekend? Hobbies, side businesses, random skills etc.
Andrew: I have two boys, so most weekends are spent at a soccer, footy or a basketball game. It’s not uncommon to be playing all three during the weekend. I am lucky, our family loves ball sports so I can coach and umpire and watch the boys at the same time. I have been practicing Karate for more than 20 years and train on most Saturdays and during the week. The family loves going for walks so most Sundays we look for a new destination, somewhere in Victoria, for a walk and a treat afterwards.
Armin: Where’s the best place you’ve ever been?
Andrew: I try to get to Okinawa in Japan every couple of years and the best place I’ve ever been to. It is a fantastic place to visit and very different to mainland Japan. The people are ultra-friendly and very laid back. It offers some fantastic beaches and benefits from a tropical climate. You can jump on a ferry and within less than an hour you are on a deserted beach. It’s also the birthplace of Karate so great place to practice.
Armin: If you had a private chef for a night, what would you get them to make you?
Andrew: I would ask my private chef to put together a degustation menu, minimum of 12 courses, and leave it to the chef. Nothing is off limits so let the chef’s culinary skills go wild! Of course, the degustation menu would need to come with matching wines, which my private sommelier would help with.
Armin: What’s the best advice anyone’s given you?
Andrew: It sounds a bit boring but don’t sleep in, you’ll miss the best part of the day. I would love to say that I always follow that advice but I take a “sleep in” whenever I can get it.
Like the idea of joining the Cogent team? Head over to the Cogent Careers page and say hello