A Day in The Life: System1 Data Scientist

Michael Sugarman
November 5th, 2021

S1 Data Scientist

These days a data scientist is one of the most sought-after positions at a tech company. There’s no question they earn their keep, but what does a data scientist actually do? Well, it depends on the company they work for. At an adtech company focused on customer acquisition and retention, like System1, they have a lot on their plate. But our data scientists are hungry and they like what’s being served. We sat down virtually with Data Scientist and avid climber, Lucas Mattick, to discuss the life of a Data Scientist at System1.

How long have you been on the Data Science team?

“I’ve been on the team for about two years.”

What’s it like to be a Data Scientist at System1?

“While we are not in the business of automation, really important decisions need to be made across System1 on a daily basis, and I work on seeing if we can take the human error component out of it. So I write software code to construct robust frameworks where we can set up some automated decision making to test these decisions to make sure they’re safe and work well.”

Do you feel you are given enough latitude to accomplish your job?

“System1 gives me 100% flexibility on how I perform my job. Even before covid quarantine when we were still in the office, I had a fluid work schedule. For example, I don’t live close to the office. In Los Angeles, this means that any commute to the office will involve traffic. But System1 gives me the flexibility to come and go as I please as long as I excel at my job. This means leaving the office in the early afternoon to beat traffic where I can get home, relax, have a meal, and then pick up my workday from the comfort of my home.  This gave me the best of both worlds: being productive in the office and at home.”

Given your job, you must have a really good coding software setup. Can you tell us about that?

“Sure!  I code in Python and use VS code, the text editor, to write that code. But the development takes place inside a Docker container. In production, we use a Docker container to run our code and the Docker container on my local computer is a reproduction of our production environment. So, I’ll run a Jupyter notebook within the docker container to test and develop the Python code. And that’s really convenient because I don’t have to manually set up an environment on my local machine; I can just update our docker container as I develop.”

Data Science is not the only team of engineers and coders at System1. Do you work with other technical people at System1 as well?

“Yes, definitely. Currently, I’m working a lot with our Platform team, tinkering with some of their code to help that project along.  Data Science also works with the System1 Tools team and Data Engineering team, creating a unified symphony which makes System1 hum.”

What do you like most about working at System1?

“That’s easy: my team. I like and respect everyone on my team, and I love that I am continually learning from them, almost on a daily basis. I truly believe that my team will provide me a lot of opportunities at System1, and I’m looking forward to working with them for the foreseeable future.”

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What’s it Like to Work in DevOps?

Michael Sugarman

Born, raised and partially educated in the Lone Star state, Michael "BigSug" Sugarman came to California via Atlanta where he earned his M.A. in Literature. A true renaissance man, this powerful combination of brains and brawn can currently be found either generating sick beats on a drum kit, or generating engaging content for System1.

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