Name With The Face:
Technical Project Lead
ClearForest, a Thomson Reuters Company
As a technical project lead for ClearForest, a Thomson Reuters company providing text-driven business intelligence solutions, Sumit Shah works primarily on the company’s Calais initiative, which offers free metadata generation services, developer tools, and an open standard for the generation of semantic content. In this role, Shah has a broad mandate, both helping customers who have deployed OpenCalais and adapting the platform for internal use at Thomson Reuters. He works with ClearForest’s Israel-based engineering team as well as QA teams to address customer needs, build plug-ins and modules, and create new services.Working in an open source environment suits Shah, who has been with ClearForest for 8 years. “You get to share your ideas and get feedback really easily,” he says, more so than in a closed development environment. “You get code evaluations done faster, and code matures and gets to a stable state much more quickly.”
In A Day’s Work:
Shah’s day typically starts by 8 a.m., though on days when there are companywide or departmentwide meetings with Israel, it can be much earlier. “The morning usually passes in phone, video, and Skype conferences with team members in Israel,” Shah says, discussing project progress, bugs, understanding new features, and so on.Afternoons are spent handling customer questions, dealing with production issues, and—what Shah considers “the fun part”—writing code.
Most Memorable Customer Encounter:
“A few colleagues and I were once in a video conference together with the customer on one end and my manager, who is located in Israel, on the other end. The customer asked, ‘How does it feel to be working with a manager located so far away?’ I realized my manager couldn’t hear the question due to disturbances on the phone or poor reception. I turned to the customer and said, ‘It’s cool; we just have to talk louder.’”
View From the Desk:
“Nothing too exciting, just regular cubes with monitors. We do have golf clubs and Wiffle balls in the office to take out daily frustrations.”
“Travelling—maybe to South America—and snowboarding.”
If Not Econtent, Then What?
“I’d either be a science teacher or own and operate a small restaurant—I just need to work on the cooking skills.”