5 Bullet Friday: Paul Savage

Welcome back to 5 Bullet Friday! This bi-monthly post gives you insight into what the people of Conjura are loving, using, reading, watching, thinking about that week. Do go back and check out our previous 5BFs with:

This week’s 5BF introduces our COO Paul Savage!

What I’m reading/ watching/ listening to:

I’m currently reading “The Hurlers” by Paul Rouse which is a book about how the modern hurling game emerged in the late 1800s (hurling is one of our national sports here in Ireland). Very interesting for me personally as it turns out my great grandfather was involved in the design of the ball used in the modern game, he was also a member of the team that won the very first hurling All Ireland final!

I’m watching “Only murders in the building”, Starring Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez. Steve Martin is at his best and appearances from James Caverly and even Sting make this great watching.

For music I take the cheese and crackers approach, anything worth listening to is either cheesey or an absolute cracker! The “Guilty Pleasures” playlist on Spotify is my current go to.

Interesting fact I’m enjoying:

Techniques for DNA data sampling have improved recently and it has been discovered that the “Farmers” of the Neolithic are very different, at a DNA level, to the “Hunter Gatherers” of the Mesolithic. Whereas previously I assumed that the hunter gatherers learned to farm, it now seems that people with the latest technology in the year 4500bc (farming) actually replaced and wiped out the technologically inferior hunter gatherers. Apparently in Northern Europe hunter gatherers all had dark hair and blue eyes – a very rare combination in today’s population! I always enjoy when data brings new information like this and gives an insight into the impact of technology on us humans.

Interesting work happenings:

I’m most excited about next week’s design sprint where we are going to scope out the latest new feature that we are adding to our platform and design part of the new user experience we are launching in early 2022. Design sprints are always a very intensive week but deliver great results and bring a lot of energy and focus to everyone as they build out a new aspect of a technology platform. For anyone who has not come across the concept of a Design Sprint I’d strongly recommend reading The Sprint Book by Jake Knapp.

What I’m learning about:

At the moment I’m learning a lot about running Data Science in production, with help from the incredible data science team at Conjura. Getting Machine Learning Models to work is tough enough but getting a model to reliably infer against a changing production data set is on a whole different difficulty level.

I’m also (re)learning a lot of secondary school maths as I help both my teenagers prepare for big exams this year ….. this makes the data science seem very straightforward.

People who are inspiring me:

This week it was William Shatner, entering space for the first time at 90 years old. I’m a huge Star Trek fan and Captain Kirk & Danny Crane are two of my favourite fictional characters. Although it was great to see him do this, I do wish that the excitement around space tourism could be tempered as it flies in the face of so much effort more and more people are putting into environmental initiatives.