Hello, please introduce yourself!
Hello, I'm João and I work at Bitfount as a Software Engineer. I'm Portuguese and moved to London in 2016 looking to work for promising startups. Spent 4 intense years at Babylon, then 2 years at Tray.io and now I'm excited to have joined Bitfount.
What does your role as a Software Engineer at Bitfount involve?
I'm part of the Platform team, meaning I spend most of my time writing Typescript for the Bitfount Hub and our Desktop App. There is also a significant amount of specification work going on, especially as we're still shaping the product - need to be asking the right questions at the right time.
How did you get into this field?
Early in my career I did a PhD related to privacy, which exposed me to concepts like re-identification and linking attacks, k-anonymity and differential privacy. This was 10 to 12 years ago though when proper privacy was mostly an academic concern. I decided I was much more suited to the industry than academia so took jobs in a variety of fields, including Pharma and HealthTech. Joining Bitfount feels like I've come full circle!
What challenges are you working on right now?
Right now I'm working on supporting multiple, composable, datasets served from the same Bitfount Pod. Data doesn't always exist in the format required for analyses, sometimes several datasets need to be joined, other times a single dataset needs to be pseudonymised. This functionality is the basic building block for Data Custodians to create “views” on their data using the Bitfount Desktop App.
What do you like doing outside work?
I used to go to a lot of gigs and did a good amount of travelling, and often those two combined, going to music festivals abroad! But since I became a father to an amazing little human, my time outside work is largely spent parenting - incredibly rewarding but not that exciting to talk about, I'm afraid.
What are the most important benefits that you believe data collaboration can bring?
The potential of AI is in everyone's minds lately with the mind-blowing advances brought by GPT-3 and Stable Diffusion. So working to enable the broader use of ML models in healthcare is very exciting. Hopefully it helps bring down the cost and increase the pace of advancement of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Science.