1. Hi, Souvik. Tell us about yourself! What was your path to joining Rasa?
I was born and raised in India, partly educated in France and worked professionally in Belgium since 2015 in various roles. I transitioned into NLP and ML Engineering late 2017 when I discovered Rasa for one of our internal chatbot projects at my enterprise.
I have been working with Rasa OSS for almost 5 years now and thus was fairly active in the open source community prior to joining. I met Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Alex Weidauer, last summer when he described to me the role of Resident AI Engineer. What immediately caught my attention about my role is how customer-focused it is and where I have the opportunity of becoming an enabler helping our customers best use Rasa as a product in their massive enterprise landscape.
2. Take us through a typical day as a Resident AI Engineer. What types of projects do you work on?
A typical day for me is working for one of our customers as a dedicated resource on multiple levels of support.
- Architecture: Drive and assist the strategic architecture roadmap of Rasa’s implementation at our customers
- Technical Support: Support the operational team of our customer along with the help of some of our amazing CSEs on all things Rasa
- Operational Quality: Assist our customer in improving the operational quality of their bot(s) including reviewing all essential Rasa components and even participate in solving certain coding problems as well
3. Which areas of your work are you most passionate about?
I am extremely excited to see how large enterprises are using Rasa for a variety of use cases and where I can contribute to their success. I have a unique opportunity to influence the Conversational AI roadmap at a large enterprise while still working for a well known AI first open source company.
4. What's an important problem you're solving at Rasa?
My past experiences have been working for a large enterprise as well as a fast growing scale up which puts me in a position to bridge the gap between a fast growing product with a large open source footprint onto the scale of a large organization. This position gives me leverage over discussing how to adapt new features quickly onto the enterprise architecture while also influencing the product roadmap at Rasa to deliver features at scale for our customers while holding ground to our core open source values.
5. How would you describe Rasa in three words?
Opensource, diverse, innovative.
6. How do you collaborate with other teams at Rasa?
I have plenty of interactions with the customer office, product and engineering within Rasa. I try to bring in valuable insights of what our customers are expecting from our platform as well as detecting new opportunities/features for our product to incorporate.
7. What does a culture of diversity mean for you at Rasa?
Living in a linguistically diverse country like Belgium and coming from a vastly culturally diverse country like India, I put a lot of importance on diversity to grow myself as an individual and to be more accepting of our differences. Rasa has put great emphasis on creating an inclusive environment. In fact one of my meetings after joining was a very insightful interaction with Alex along with other newcomers on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
8. How has working at Rasa helped your professional development?
I come from an engineering background working for a long time in a fairly large enterprise, which means my interactions have always been mostly with other engineers as well as our colleagues from marketing and business. What often happens in such a setup that as an individual you might lose sight of the impact you create on your customers. One of the big drivers of my role here is that I am now directly facing our customers and learning how they are using Rasa, what are the challenges they have ahead of them and how I am contributing towards their success and most importantly the impact Rasa is creating on their business. This gives me a brand new outlook as an engineer firstly as well as an opportunity to grow in the role of customer success.
9. What's the most interesting thing you've learned lately?
Really excited about Large Language Models and controllable outcomes using Rasa. I believe there is a big future for generative AI and how it will shape the future of Conversational interfaces across the internet. However we are still in early stages of these models and I am really excited at the prospect of how Rasa is positioned to leverage the best of what is yet to come in this space
10. What's the best career advice you've received?
There is no end to learning new things. Always give yourself the best shot at picking up new skills across all aspects of your life.