Fact checking with: Matt Chapman – Backend Developer at OBI4wan
In the series “Fact checking with…” we’re interviewing our colleagues at OBI4wan about their responsibilities, vision and the person behind the expert. Matt Chapman, Backend Developer at OBI4wan, is responsible for developing OBI’s Brand Monitor, which he constantly improves. Matt likes solving things: “Nothing gives me so much pleasure than fixing issues with my team that result in satisfied customers.”
What are your responsibilities as a backend developer?
Primarily I work on feature implementations for the Brand Monitor product, as well as bug fixes as required. The “backend” of a product is where we handle everything from authorisation for users, to gathering and manipulating data that is then presented to users in the “front end”. I am also responsible for operations for the Brand Monitor, carrying out maintenance and testing to keep our systems and hardware online and performing as efficiently as possible.
What challenges and opportunities do you consider to have an impact on organisations in this digital age?
As a backend engineer, the main challenge we face is without a doubt security. Especially with the introduction of GDPR, it is extremely important that the systems we use every day not only fulfil the function we expect, but also keep our personal information safe – OBI4wan is no different in this respect.
With regards to opportunities, artificial intelligence is certainly one of the most important changes in our field that we can (and should) pursue. The Brand Monitor is already an extremely powerful analytics platform – introducing smart technologies such as neural networks to classify documents, or artificial intelligence to provide insights with predictive power for our customers will provide huge benefits for our clients and help us continue to be on the bleeding edge of technology.
“Programming is writing, but in a different language.”
How do you see the future of OBI4wan in this market and how does OBI4wan distinguishes itself?
From a Brand Monitor perspective, the future is certainly very bright – there will always be a need for powerful analytics for reputation analysis, and I believe that the introduction of technologies like those I previously mentioned will allow us to keep Brand Monitor at the forefront of reputation management tools. From a company-wide perspective, I believe that continuing to build and focus on our chatbot platform will ensure that OBI4wan remains a force to be reckoned with in the webcare and reputation management markets. OBI4wan distinguishes itself through unrelenting customer focus – every feature I build and bug that I fix is prioritised exclusively on customer needs, which helps us maintain the level of service that our customers expect.
How do you make sure you stay on top of your game all day, every day?
In terms of AI, it would be really cool if the Brand Monitor can decide what information our customers need and define what to show them. We are planning to rebuild the heart of the Brand Monitor and OBI Engage, so they can better communicate together. This is a really big and important project for Q4 which I am really excited to start working on. Also I would like to implement something that can even better discover when an email alert is relevant. As a Backend Developer, I am constantly seeking to find new ways to get smarter and to get more useful insights. At OBI, we embrace smart technologies that provide extra value. We have a lot of data and tools and we are doing much more than just provide a pretty graphic. In my job you also have to be creative. Programming is actually writing, but in a different language.
“ I like to think of everything as a big Sudoku puzzle and love it when small parts fit together in the end.”
Who or what inspires you?
The reason i got in computing is my father, he is my big inspiration and I learned a lot from him. Solving problems is the main motivation in my daily work. I like to think of everything as a big Sudoku puzzle and love it when small parts fit together in the end. I often ask people “Can you do Sudoku?” If the answer is yes, you can do programming too! Nothing gives me more pleasure then fixing something within the team and it really works. I also like it when we reach the goals we have set up for ourselves, as a team. Hearing that the clients is happy is obviously our ultimate goal. For me, that’s the reason to come to work everyday.