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Meet Hao Xu: The Fast Interview

Hao Xu, data engineer at Fast, with his cats

Hao Xu

Role: Data Engineer

Team: Data Science and Machine Learning

What do you do at Fast?

I’m a data engineer and I build systems to collect, manage, and transform data into usable information for data scientists and analysts to interpret.

Describe your typical day at Fast.

A day usually starts with a short meeting, then reading or writing some documents, or brainstorming some of the issues I'm currently facing. After lunch, I like to grab a Philz coffee downstairs and get into hands-on coding; afternoons are for focus time.

Where were you before Fast?

I was a data engineer at Earnest, which is a student loan refinancing company.

Why did you say yes to Fast?

I was fascinated by the team; they made me feel I would really enjoy working with them.

Where did you grow up, and what were you like as a kid?

A small city named Weifang, in China. When I was a kid I liked playing Go and got sixth place in one of the state competitions. I have a 2D rank, which is apparently far away from beating Alpha GO.

What was your first job?

My first job was actually an environmental engineering project, working on soil environment remediation, because I was studying energy and environment engineering for my undergraduate degree. 

What are Fast engineers doing that stands out?

We move fast, but also adhere to very high standards.

How is your desk set up?

Favorite thing about being an engineer?

Coding. I will never stop engineering as long as I can code.

Morning person or night owl?

Night owl.

What career path did you almost take?

I started as a full stack developer, then shifted to data engineer, and now I'm so passionate about data engineering.

What’s something you regularly do, but know you shouldn't?

I stay up late, but I can concentrate better at night.

Your non-negotiables for life?

Never stop coding.

What advice would you give yourself as a new engineer, knowing what you know now?

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, as it will turn out to become your most precious knowledge.

Where can we follow you?


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