Choosing Altius over a Top Five Global Tech Company

Choosing Altius over a Top Five Global Tech Company

We are always on the lookout for talented data engineers and data scientists to join our team. When we learned that a recent recruit Francesco Pizzolon had chosen Altius over one of the top five global tech companies, we tracked him down to find out why Altius held such appeal.

Read our interview with Francesco to find out what we discovered!

How did you get started in data engineering and data science?

I hold a BSc and MSc in Computer Science Engineering. After finishing my Master’s, I took a role as a data engineer in the banking sector in Italy. Prior to joining Altius, I spent three years working at Transport for London (TfL) as a Data and Analytics Manager.

What did your role at TfL involve?

During the last year I was leading a project to move TfL’s on-premise data warehouse to the cloud. The project was very successful, but when it was completed, that was the end of that role and I found myself considering my next career steps. I realised I wanted to get back into the fast-paced private sector.

So you applied for a role at a top five global tech company?

Yes. I applied for a Data Engineer Manager role advertised on LinkedIn. I found the role appealing because it involved leading a team in one of the most data rich companies in the world. And let’s be honest, it would have looked fantastic on my CV.

The interview took an entire day and was a really positive experience. However, my concern was that the role would be too restrictive as the data science applications I would have worked on would have been limited solely to social media data.

How did you hear about the Senior Consultant role at Altius?

At the same time as I was going through the application process for the tech company, a recruiter approached me about a data engineering role at Altius. Until that point, I had never considered working for a consultancy. Either way, I was intrigued by the role and keen to find out more.

I did eventually get offers from both companies in the same week, and decided to take the role at Altius.

What persuaded you that consulting, and Altius in particular, was the right option? 

I interviewed with the Microsoft Practice Director (and Microsoft MVP) James Dales and Microsoft Practice Lead, Rahil Bukhari. I got on well with them and really liked that the work is project based, which offers me a wide variety of experience.

I particularly agreed with Altius’s “Platform as a Service” (PaaS) strategy on using PaaS components when building a Data Platform. It means that on a project, you only focus on developing data products rather than on the hardware infrastructure. This brings additional benefits to clients such as enhanced security, cost effectiveness, seamless scalability and footprint reduction.

I liked that Altius focuses on outcomes and deliverables, which means we work toward deadlines in a fast-paced, agile environment. I also got the impression that it’s a very close-knit and friendly team – and that’s really proven to be the case!

When did you join Altius and what projects have you been involved in so far?

I started in November 2018, so I’m only a couple of months in, but I’ve already been working on two very different projects. One is a law firm in Bristol which involves bringing their on-premise data warehouse to Microsoft Azure.

The other is a public body client in Newcastle where we are using the potential of Microsoft Azure services for data science, helping the client to effectively and efficiently prototype, develop and productionise data driven products.

What are you enjoying most about the role?

I am an engineer by nature, hence I really enjoy problem solving and empowering clients to get the best out of their data. I get the opportunity to pitch to clients’ non-technical stakeholders, so I really feel like I’m adding value. On top of this, for some projects I get to travel, which breaks the London home-office routine and allows me to visit different parts of the UK.

I love that it’s such a collaborative role and process. As a senior consultant, I have a team working with me, including data engineers, testers and data scientists, and I’m really enjoying mentoring and leading them.

Would you recommend Altius to others, and if so, why?

Absolutely! I think the size of the company is perhaps one of the biggest draws. In larger companies you feel like you’re just a number, but at Altius the senior managers really listen to you. You’re given a lot of autonomy and encouraged to use new technologies and services, which is fantastic!

The scope and variety of the work will give me a broader experience than I could get anywhere else, including a top global technology company. I look forward to progressing my career here at Altius, eventually to the Advisory and Client Management team.

I’d encourage anyone to apply. It’s a great team and company to be part of!