Amber Rigg is a Kubrick Alumni who trained as a Data Engineer in 2018 before consulting and then becoming a full-time employee at one of our leading energy clients. She shares her journey through the world of data and technology with Kubrick, specializing in data with IoT technology to help create energy which is accessible, efficient, renewable, and safe.
Prior to working for Kubrick, I got my master’s degree in Chemistry. I had really enjoyed the data side of chemistry, and I also did a bit of computational chemistry, which means I had worked with code, but just in different way to how you work in data. This combination of experience got me interested in getting into a tech-based role, but at the time that seemed hard to do; I thought that my degree in Chemistry would not be considered the ‘right’ kind of degree for the world of data and technology.
I was looking for roles when I came across Kubrick on a graduate job board and went onto their website. I was immediately struck by the opportunity to get paid to train, but I was also very impressed by their list of client companies with which you would go on to consult, especially as they were such a young company when I applied. Their clients are organizations which, quite frankly, felt impossible to get into when I was applying to graduate schemes. When you first graduate, it can be really tough to get your foot in the door. What Kubrick does is find people with the right mindset, who they know are able to do these sorts of jobs even without the experience, and they open that door to get your career started - that’s what really appealed to me.
I really feel like I’m doing something that's going to help a lot of people, and that's what I love about it. I think some people have a misconception of the energy sector, but with my work, I see the future of green energy.I know the training has evolved since I trained in 2018, but it must have the same cornerstones. If you put in the time and commit to learning, you will be ready to go on client placement. I didn't have much experience with Python at all, but the trainers were fully engaged to get us up to speed if you did the work. In Kubrick’s training, you get back whatever you put in, and there are so many people ready to help so you know you can achieve your goals. It was a lot of information to take in, but those core principals I learned with Kubrick are still so valuable to me. I still have my training notes and example code I wrote in my GitHub, and I genuinely refer to them from time to time to make sure I’m following the correct standards.
My master’s in Chemistry was focused on hydrogen storage carbon capture, so I’ve always been interested in the energy industry. Kubrick recognized this passion and domain knowledge and were able to place me within one of their major energy clients. I was also excited to be placed there since there are so many Kubrick consultants (and now Alumni) working there; it is such a great community, which is one of the best parts about Kubrick and my placement.
I was first placed within a Natural Language Processing team, where I learned a lot about optical character recognition, image data extraction, and about the NLP itself and training models, which was completely unexpected. What I brought from Kubrick’s training was good standards for my Python code as a foundation for all this new knowledge, but I had also learned how to approach challenges in the right way in order to adapt to this new environment. I had learned how to think creatively so I don't get stuck on a problem. Instead, you learn what the right questions are to ask, or how to research it yourself, and if it’s still not working, you understand how to reassess your methodology. With Kubrick, the 15 weeks of training is a vital starting point, but not the end of your learning; it is a springboard to keep developing throughout your 2 years of consulting and, in all honestly, your career.
I'm now in the Computational Science and Digital Innovation division within the Projects and Technology department. It’s all about emerging digital technology, so our division is working on high performance computing, wearable technology, and blockchain – it’s amazing. I’ve specialized on IoT products with sensors to help advance green energy production while also ensuring safety on our sites. We have sensors all over our sites, which allow us to stream data to gain insights for vital decision-making. For example, our sensors can indicate if the pressure on a site is getting too high so we can remove employees from the situation, and we also use sensors to monitor our solar and wind farms to predict any issues so we can get ahead of resolving them. Another one of my projects is using microgrids to support organizations and industries with reliable electricity, including hospitals, mining, and the marine industry. We ensure the data is available and collaborate with data scientists so that they can optimize their batteries to generate readily accessible energy. I really feel like I’m doing something that's going to help a lot of people, and that's what I love about it. I think some people have a misconception of the energy sector, but with my work, I see the future of green energy.
We’re becoming multi-cloud and are working with both Microsoft Azure and AWS to deploy our solutions. As a Microsoft Partner, we’ve had their commitment and support for our renewable and green energy projects, which has included training and certification opportunities in their tech stack which I had access to as both as Kubrick consultant and now as a full-time employee. Our training has included immersion days hosted by Azure and AWS, as well as fun but challenging hackathons (I’ve done three already this year!). My client was always invested in my training so that I could keep up with the pace of change and ensure everyone in the team is at the same level to improve collaboration.
In my journey with Kubrick, gaining 2 years of consulting experience and becoming a full-time employee at my client, I’ve learned that the data and tech industry is full of knowledgeable, passionate people who want to help each other and encourage each other to get better. Don't be afraid to ask someone senior for advice and support if you want to improve, whether in Kubrick or on client site, because that's exactly what they want to hear. As I’ve continued advancing my skills, I always know I can post on message boards and ask colleagues for how to resolve issues. After all, it you’re not breaking code, you’re not being innovative enough – you need to think bigger!