Collecting the data
'My work at Northpool is like sorting a puzzle and it is fun'
The first impression Mengmeng Ye had when she came to the Northpool office was overwhelming. “It was definitely: wow, what a lot of screens. Every desk had four screens and at the trading desk they had at least ten. In my previous job I was used to a maximum of two.” Mengmeng joined during the first Covid lockdown in 2020.
How did you get to Northpool?
“Through Trisha Paul, a good friend who I met at the university in Delft where I studied computer science. She told me that Northpool was looking for new people, so she said: why don't you come and have a look? I had more options at that time but this one seemed quite interesting for me and I didn’t regret it. While I didn’t hear of energy trading before, I didn't even know that it exists.”
Was working in the Netherlands a dream?
“I never thought of coming to the Netherlands but there was an exchange program between my university in China and TU Delft. It was better than I thought and I met my boyfriend here. So I stayed for a master program, graduated and found work. Do I like it? Yes! The work-life balance is really great. And yes, the weather is not so good and the food I am not exactly happy about but at least that part I can sort out by cooking myself.”
What makes working at IT interesting?
“I had lots of experience with data engineering already before I came to Northpool. But it is not the same as trading data as you have to make it available real time for the traders. They do need all kinds of data and it is up to me to make it available so traders can make sense out of it. That part was new for me and is still interesting.”
How can good data make a difference?
“It is obvious that traders need data to make their decisions so if we have good data available on time and in advance of other companies we can make the trade. Of course I try to always deliver good data but sometimes things don’t work out. If the provider doesn’t provide stable data you can’t do anything about it.”
What is the magic of data for you?
“Data providers are different and I have to get data in different ways so there is always another solution. How to get the data out, how to make it faster and stable, I have to write programs that make sense out of it. For me it is like sorting a puzzle and it is quite fun. It is challenging and not always the same. It fits me and it fits the company too. So both sides are happy.”
What does a regular working day look like as a Data Engineer?
“I start my working day by checking all the monitoring tools we have and see if all programmes are running as usual. We use scrapers to scrape data of all kinds of places and if there are problems I fix them. Afterwards I will check what is there for me on our task boards. Then I start to make new scrape boards. Where can I get the data from? Sometimes there are problems getting the data out of the database so we use Snowflake. Then I help to write SQL queries to get the data so that the traders can analyze it.”