February 28, 2020

People Profiles: Yaniv Costica

As a core member of the Waycare team, Yaniv Costica works as a Data Engineer in the Tel Aviv, Israel office. Yaniv joined the company over two years ago when there were only six employees on the team. Since then he’s seen significant growth and has had a hand in integrating the vast amount of data we receive into the Waycare platform. Learn more about Yaniv in our latest People Profile.

Yaniv, as a Data Engineer, what are your main duties?

I’m responsible for integrating the data that we get from various data providers and sources to our systems and algorithms. These sources include navigation apps, weather conditions, road sensors, construction events, etc. This means that I must research and understand the data to be able to “translate” it to our internal formats and terminologies – allowing our R&D team to implement it within our system.

What is one of the most challenging aspects of your position?

Integrating the connected vehicle data into our systems is one of the most challenging responsibilities since we are dealing with huge volumes that need to be processed in real-time. I’m also responsible for the data that we send to external pipelines of other tools and companies such as Waze, 511, Twitter, DMS signs and more.

What drew you to this field?

I’ve always enjoyed working with data and manipulating it to be able to understand the bigger picture. I love the fact that with today’s technology there are endless opportunities for solving problems with the use of big data. One data set might give you some insights, but it is only when you combine multiple datasets that you get a synergy of meaningful insights that provide real value.

What personality traits do you believe are critical for your role?

I think you need quite a bit of creativity and out-of-the-box thinking as there are a lot of different sources with insightful data that might not be as easy to integrate. I have to think of original ways to be able to fetch and implement data integration.

I think that it’s really important to work closely with the other departments. I have to provide solutions to different teams within the company that all have different needs, which I need to be able to anticipate beforehand.

It’s also really important when working in a startup, that you go beyond your job description and try to go the extra mile and help others when needed. This is what I love about working at Waycare, as I feel that everyone in the team acts like this and really helps each other out.

What tools help you the most at work?

I work mostly with Python and different pythonic tools to handle big data sets. I also work quite a lot with Amazon AWS and Kafka in order to create the infrastructure for connecting all of the various data sources into our system while keeping the security and isolation standards that we have in place.

What’s your favorite part of the day?

An old habit I have had, since my early days in the army, is my 3 pm Turkish coffee break, where I get to catch up with colleges and clear my head.

What’s your favorite thing about Tel Aviv?

Tel Aviv has an amazing vibe. There are always many people outside sitting at cafes, bars, beaches and making the most out of the great weather, and of course – great food! The work hard play hard mentality really applies here.

Who do you interact with the most at work? Why?

Shai Suzan, who’s the CIO of Waycare and the mediator between most of the data providers and myself. Every new data partnership comes with the necessary research and understanding of the quality of the data which we are doing together, in order to provide our customers with the most valuable information and insights.

I also work closely with the other departments – analytics, algorithms and backend – to provide them with optimal data structures that they use for our systems.

Are there any topics you think that I missed?

What makes my job really interesting is the fact that I get to work with many different companies and sources of information which exposes me to cutting-edge technologies in mobility and transportation. This can be really fascinating. This is a part of the job that I really love.

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