12 May

Life at Mesh-AI: Interview with Adrian Ursu, Principal Engineer

Adrian Ursu

Can you tell us a bit about your background? What started your journey into tech?

I have always been naturally drawn to computers and systems. But my journey into tech really started when I realised that, armed only with a laptop and an internet connection, I could build something from anywhere in the world that can actually have a significant impact on people’s lives. This discovery held so much potential and was so liberating!

I’ve been an Android app developer, a Java backend developer and, for the past seven years, I’ve been deeply involved in cloud engineering, helping organisations architect, design and build infrastructure in the public cloud.

Can you tell us a bit about your most recent data transformation experience?

My most significant recent experiences were at Hive and Toyota.

At Hive, for example, I was a member of the data team. We were mostly doing R&D, aggregating various data streams from within the organisation and building data products for the customers while providing insights to the company. During my time there I had the pleasure of working with some great data scientists, data and cloud engineers.

I am a big advocate of modern best practices like adopting self-service, elastic and self-healing infrastructure, using automation wherever possible and structuring your organisation using distributed teams instead of the traditional silos. By using some of these tools, practices and frameworks we helped both these companies become data driven, which was one of the goals they wanted to achieve.

What attracted you to joining Mesh-AI?

I loved the people and felt strongly that Mesh-AI is on the same page as me around the incredible potential that lies within data and the technology and tooling around it.

In some of the places that I’ve worked, people are calling data a “gold mine” and I definitely agree. I think that most enterprises nowadays are sitting on these ‘gold mines’ and don’t know how to actually drive significant business value from them.

I also believe that as a lot of the technology and tooling has evolved during the years for the application and infrastructure domains, the data domain has been lagging behind: no one knows what the best practices are or how to go about it in an efficient way.

That is something that is starting to change today with architectural frameworks such as data mesh (which also implies organisational changes) and a significant number of tools becoming available to extract value from data.

I think that at Mesh-AI, with the exceptional talent available here and by leveraging these new technologies and best practices, we can help our customers get the most value out of their data and make a significant impact.

Finally, one of my personal targets is to always learn and develop, and this seems like a great place to do exactly that.

What makes a good company culture?

In my view, a high-quality culture is always defined by the values that a company identifies with and how it manages to achieve consistency in promoting these to all the employees.

Some of the main ways to enable this kind of culture, in my eyes, are creating a place to work where everyone feels like they belong, where they can create and see they’re creating value for the company while also developing themselves personally and professionally.

When it comes to delivering transformation for enterprises, what are you most passionate about?

I get extremely excited about self-service, elastic and self-healing infrastructure, infrastructure-as-code, automating everything and architectural best practices. I also enjoy teaching people about all these concepts and showing them how it would work for them.

From what I’ve seen, the traditional stick (that is, restricting people in organisations to only specific technologies) doesn’t seem to work. In a great number of places I’ve seen that limiting what people can achieve in delivering value for the business and forcing people to find ways to work around that just creates another set of problems.

In most places, encouraging people to use technology by providing them with tools/modules tailored to their needs. Then they actually want to use these tools via self-service because it makes their lives easier, empowers them to deliver value faster while providing a good balance between speed, security and company-wide accepted best practices.

What do you think enterprises should be investing in and why?

Many enterprises have already been through digital transformation projects that modernised their digital infrastructure but I think very few of them give data, the tooling and the infrastructure around it the attention needed to maximise the business value they could get out of it for their customers (internal and external).

Data has so much potential, ranging from providing various data products to their customers to giving continuous pointers to the company on where attention is needed internally from the business to self-organise and adapt.

What would your message be to C-levels who are looking to invest in big data/AI projects?

Start seeing the data you have distributed within the organisation as a massive stockpile of potential business value. Leverage a data mesh approach to democratise your data and by doing so create avenues to use AI, ML and automation to maximise the benefits for your business.

If you’re interested in joining the Mesh-AI team - we’re hiring! Get in touch with us at careers@mesh-ai.com or find our open roles here.

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