At Babbel, our endgame is getting people to have conversations with other people, in a new language. There are fantastic folks here making that possible. In our “Behind The Scenes” series, we sit down with them to provide a glimpse into who makes it all work, what they do, and where their heads are at.
This round, we’re talking to Sercan Dogan (he/him), our Data Engineer on the Data Product Engineering team.
Hello Sercan! What’s your role at Babbel, and how would you describe a typical day?
I joined Babbel as a Data Engineer on the Data Product Engineering team two months ago. As the name suggests, our team is responsible for developing production-ready data products and supporting other data and analytics teams in the Data Product department. We work in sprints and start each day with a stand-up meeting. After that, I spend most of my time working on my tasks. Sometimes, I pair-program with someone from my team. Throughout the day, we’ll also collaborate to improve designs and discuss implementation details.
Where are you from and which languages do you speak?
My native language is Turkish, and I also speak English and Spanish fluently. Several years ago, I was able to speak a bit of Italian until my Spanish journey began. I’ve recently started to learn German with the help of the Babbel app. Although Deutsch (German) is considered a challenging language, the Babbel app makes it an easy learning experience. I hope to get back to refreshing my Italian skills when I’m done with German.
Can you tell us about life before Babbel?
When I was 15 years old, I wrote my first hello world code, where I installed an Apache server on my computer and created a simple web page using PHP that wrote only “Hello Sercan” on the screen. Since then, programming has been a very important part of my life. I chose to study statistics with the intention of combining it with my passion for computer science. With these skills, I decided to pursue a career in data engineering. After finishing my studies, I worked in sectors like real estate, e-commerce, fintech, and also a mobile game company called Masomo.
What drew you to Babbel?
I saw the job posting on the internet while I was searching for a position in Europe, specifically in Germany. I’ve lived in Italy as an exchange student and also lived in an eco village as a volunteer in the south of Spain. These two experiences introduced me to living and working in diverse environments. I could say I felt the same when I found the position at Babbel. Another factor that drew me to Babbel was that it is headquartered in Berlin, which is a world capital of culture, art, and technology. Being part of a diverse culture while working in a promising position at a global company really excited me!
Once I decided to join Babbel, the lovely People & Organization team helped make my relocation very smooth. They provided me with relocation support, and the experts guided me through the entire visa process and helped with the resident permit process as well. They checked all my documentation and ensured that I had everything I needed, and also coached me on what to expect. I believe the relocation package made the entire process very easy and saved me the headache of a lot of paperwork.
What’s most exciting at the moment?
Genuinely, it’s everything. However, if I have to choose one thing, I would say that I am most excited about working on real-time machine learning (ML) products. I have worked on ML projects for data products in the past, but I’ve never focused on real-time ML. This position opens the door for me to learn new skills like this while continuing to build end-to-end data products.
What’s surprised you most so far?
I am surprised by how well organized everything is. In addition to this, I appreciate how the methods are applied to create a diverse, transparent and inclusive environment. Moreover, I found the onboarding sessions, especially about Diversity, Equity & Inclusion to be an essential part of this culture.
What do you want to do/accomplish/pursue at Babbel?
Babbel’s company culture and my Data Product team encourage me to improve not only technically, but also in soft skills. I hope to continue my professional growth and contribute to our team to improve our data products and services to make Babbel more data-informed and enhance our user experience.
Want to work with Sercan and become a part of the Engineering team? Then apply here!