Coiled Employee Spotlight: Data Science Evangelist Pavithra Eswaramoorthy

Christiana Cromer July 26, 2021

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Welcome Back to the Coiled Employee Spotlight

In this segment of our blog, we highlight and get to know the fantastic members of our team. In these posts, we interview Coiled team members to learn more about their background and interests and pick their brains on data science, ML, and open source. 

For this feature, we sat down with our Data Science Evangelist, Pavithra Eswaramoorthy.

Keep reading to get to know Pavithra and learn about her journey to open source and Coiled. 

Meet Pavithra

Pavithra was born and raised in India, and she currently lives there with her family. Growing up, she moved around the country constantly, and she told us about the diverse experiences and cultural exposure she got from living in so many different parts of India and attending so many different schools. Many folks would probably find that frequently moving at a young age would be challenging, but Pavithra took it in stride. She mentioned how the vast network of friends she was able to connect with, and the closeness with her family, are two huge benefits from that experience. Plus, she loves that she’s able to easily adapt to new places and culture, isn’t super picky, and can write the how-to guide on packing light. 

Pavithra also attended college in India, where she studied computer science and engineering. When she entered college, she realized just how far she could go with her studies, and though she found programming itself to be interesting, she was increasingly curious about things like software engineering, data structures and algorithms, and so on. And so, when she had some extra free time outside of academic life, she was introduced to the open-source community.

“I’ve always been the type of person who likes to keep their plate full. If I have free time, I want to do something with it. I had some friends who had been talking about open-source, and I decided to see what it was all about.”

Pavithra went on to participate in Google’s Season of Docs with the Wikimedia Foundation, which she credits as giving her an entry into the open-source world. After this initial experience, she knew she was here to stay in open source. She excitedly attended the PyCon India conference and began looking for ways to get more involved. When she saw that Bryan Van de Van, the project lead for Bokeh – an interactive viz library targeting modern browsers for presentation – tweeted out that he was looking to mentor someone aspiring to get involved with OSS and Bokeh development, Pavithra jumped at the opportunity. From her involvement with Bokeh, she learned about more scientific Python tools, including Dask, which is how she began following our CEO Matt Rocklin’s work. When she saw that Coiled was hiring for an Evangelist intern position, she applied while still completing her undergraduate degree. She contributed significantly to the growing team in that capacity, so much so that she was asked to come on as a full-time Data Science Evangelist after she graduated. And luckily for Coiled, she accepted! 

Now let’s Dive into some Q&A

CC: What’s your favorite thing about working at Coiled?

PE: A lot of things…I’m gonna first say the work itself. I wanted to work in developer relations since I learned about it. It’s a perfect match for me, I love the work. The second is what we are doing here. I genuinely believe in what we’re building with Coiled Cloud and Dask. I think that Dask and Coiled are impactful, and they will continue to impact a lot of people. It’s really amazing how Coiled is making science more accessible to people, right? Not everyone has access to a supercomputer. But now you can just have a computer and be from anywhere in the world, and you can do science and participate in this open science movement, it’s a huge deal. That’s going to bring in a lot of new voices. That’s what has impacted me, so I truly believe in that. And third is the team. I love the people. Everyone’s just so awesome. We have rocket scientists, we have particle physicists; everyone you meet here has an amazing, cool background. I feel lucky to be here.

CC: What advice would you give to someone in college or just starting out in their career who wants to get involved in open-source? 

PE: 

I would say expose yourself to a lot of things. I think that’s something I tried to do. I was never fixed on any particular technology or domain, I tried my hand at a bunch of things. Even with my courses in college, I didn’t stick to any particular electives. And exposure even in terms of student chapters and organizations, and taking advantage of those cool things in college and around in your city, like technical meetups and conferences. Try your hand. You may like it, you may not. But you’ll eventually find something you do like. 

CC: What most excites you about the future of the data science and ML space?

PE: Data science and machine learning is a big part of everybody’s lives; whether we know it or not, it is there. So I’m excited about how we take everyone with us into that future you’re talking about, because you’re navigating the ethics around data science and machine learning, making sure it’s still open and accessible to everybody. I’m excited to see how we bring everyone together and make sure it’s a good place to be, and how we ensure we’re communicating about progress. We’re trying to solve big problems, we are trying to solve things like climate change, but making sure we’re getting the message out there and how well we’re doing that is very important. 

Rapid Fire Questions 

CC: How do you like to spend your time outside of work?

PE: Open Source of course, if I have time, I try to contribute where I can. But sometimes you just don’t want to be in front of a computer. So I like spending time with friends and family, going for walks, and board games. Right now it’s all remote, so I’m still in front of a screen, but I love having chats with my friends on the weekends. We play a lot of video games.

CC: What’s your perfect Sunday?

PE: I love sunrises, more than sunsets, so I probably want to watch the sunrise and have my coffee there. I like going on walks, especially right after it has rained, it’s amazing. Good food all day, of course, and spending time with friends and family. I also spend a lot of time reading on Sundays.

CC: Tea or coffee?

PE: Both. I actually drink a lot of coffee. I start my day with like two cups of coffee. I need that in my system to function. But then I end up sipping tea throughout the day. And I like different types of teas because eventually, you get bored!

CC: Do you have a secret talent?

PE: I understand a bunch of languages and can speak them because I’ve moved around so much. Everywhere I’ve lived I’ve just picked up the language. I mean, on a daily basis, in my house, we communicate in a mixture of three languages that only my family will understand. 

CC: Do you have a recent book or show recommendation?

PE: I’m reading this book called the Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green, it just came out. It’s a memoir, but it’s also a collection of essays. I’d recommend it. And for a show, I’m watching Loki. Everything Marvel, that is my big recommendation for folks. If you haven’t seen MCU stuff, you should.

CC: What’s one thing you’ll never do again?

PE: I don’t like light themes. I can’t even read things on them anymore. I’ll never go back to light themes again, it’s got to be a dark theme. 

That’s a wrap!

Thanks for reading this employee spotlight and learning more about Pavithra. To find out more about life and work at Coiled, you can visit our About page.

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