Abay holds BA and MA from the Suleyman Demirel University and PhD from the Al-Farabi Kazakh National University. He has also taught machine learning and programming at SDU. In 2016 the young specialist wins an internship grant from the Shakhmardan Yessenov Foundation and thus starts his six months in the Silicon Valley at AmplifyLive startup (former Ticktate).
1. What did you do?
I worked at AmplifyLive, which is a young company that sells tickets online for various concerts. The market is huge in the United States. My task was to develop a chat bot that music lovers could communicate with in a language they understand. In a way it is a personal assistant to users and it studies their music preferences, behavior and many other aspects to keep fans abreast of concerts ongoing and of interest. The bot also can purchase tickets, send them to users and much more.
2. What did the internship give you?
Early startups have their own circumstances, and one of these is you do not just fulfill your job description, but also work in other related fields, which, can be altogether new for you. Besides the added experience in machine learning, I gained good understanding of designing in general, got to work in a team, and honed my skills in product presentation and negotiating with potential investors. One of my goals during the stay in the Valley was to network with professionals in Data Science and learn the latest progress in the field. There were many informal meetings and events where I got to meet with many interesting people, learn a lot, and do the networking.
3. Any plans to apply the lessons learned going forward?
I actually already have, you know. I had hardly completed my internship before AmplifyLive offered me a full time job. And I have been working for them remotely ever since. They have big plans and there’s a lot of work to be done. I also received one more interesting job offer from another startup, a more promising at first glance, but I decided to stay with my team at Amplify, although in the future I look forward to being a part of a new strong team that I can learn from. My goal is to keep growing professionally and to apply the knowledge and experience in interesting projects and share them by teaching others. And that is why I would like revisit what I was doing before – teaching machine learning and programming. Moreover, my new friends from USA have agreed to participate in online guest lectures that I am planning to set up. Wouldn’t it be great for Kazakhstani students to learn from one of Google’s team, a machine learning specialist, for example?
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