Community Spotlight - Thiago Valentin

Thiago Valentin, a dedicated data scientist and volunteer with YYC Data Society, has built his career around three principles: People, Processes and Data. What sets him apart is his belief that data, the technical aspect among these pillars, should not take precedence. In Thiago's view, the path to successful data work begins with understanding and cultivating relationships with those who will consume the data product and respecting the processes that guide the journey. While technical work is undoubtedly fascinating, its value is hollow without the other two pillars. Thiago's unwavering commitment to people has reshaped his trajectory, propelling him to prominence as a community leader in Calgary's data sphere.

Brazil is Thiago's homeland, and though he's not a soccer player, he's at home listening to Brazilian popular music. During his undergraduate degree in Electronic and Computer Engineering, he made the audacious decision in 2013 to immigrate to Canada, specifically to attend the University of Calgary. He later pursued his Master's degree in Electrical Engineering at UofC, where he worked as a researcher and teaching assistant. Following graduation, he worked in a variety of different technical roles, including software development and data science at Helcim. Throughout this journey, community involvement remained his constant companion. While his primary focus was in the data domain, Thiago's diverse interests led him to found and lead the Origami and Portuguese Language meetups, illustrating his multifaceted nature.

Recently, Thiago made another significant career move. After four fruitful years at Helcim, he embraced a fresh challenge, relocating to Edmonton. This shift not only brings him closer to his longtime partner but also opens doors to new opportunities, as Thiago will have to decide what company he would like to join next. Edmonton is rapidly emerging as a hub for AI/ML research, courtesy of the University of Alberta's groundbreaking work, and this academic strength is now spilling over into industry, as seen through institutions like Amii and AltaML. Thiago sees Edmonton not merely as a place to learn and live but as a burgeoning arena for data science careers.

However, Thiago's move holds another purpose: to bridge the gap and foster collaboration between Calgary and Edmonton's data communities. Each city boasts its own strengths, with Edmonton excelling in academia and Calgary shining in industry. Despite underlying provincial rivalries, Thiago believes that cooperation in the realm of data can benefit both sides. He envisions playing a pivotal role in this endeavor and is already taking steps through his involvement with the Edmonton Data Science Community, as previously featured.

Thiago Valentin exemplifies how prioritizing people and processes alongside technical prowess can elevate a data scientist into a community leader and a catalyst for cross-city collaboration. Stay tuned for more exciting developments in his remarkable journey.

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