At Optibus, we are proud to bring together some of the brightest and most passionate minds in the transportation technology industry. To showcase the incredible talent within our team and offer valuable insights to aspiring R&D Engineers, we are thrilled to present the Optibus R&D Interview Series.
In this exclusive series, we provide a platform for our R&D engineers to share their personal experiences, motivations, and the fascinating aspects of their daily work at Optibus. We aim to showcase the exciting projects and initiatives our R&D engineers are involved in, highlighting the challenges they face and the innovative solutions they create. We also examine the profound impact of AI technology on their work, exploring how it enhances productivity and shapes the future of transportation.
Today, Avinoam Kugler, Algorithm Developer, shares some of his insights with us.
What is your job at Optibus and what is a typical work day like? What are some interesting aspects of your daily work?
I work as a developer in one of our Algorithm Teams that focuses on Crew Work Schedule Optimization. Our main job involves working on a complex optimization problem called Mixed Integer Programming (MIP). My day usually includes improving the model for new situations, building infrastructure for production, testing, and looking ahead to future innovations. Sometimes, I also provide expert advice to new clients and territories on how to approach brand-new use cases. I can say that my work keeps me engaged and interested throughout the day.
Why did you choose to work at Optibus? What attracted you to the company and its mission?
Optibus sort of found me. I had heard about Optibus before through some friends from university who started working here, but I decided to travel a bit after graduation. What really drew me in was the fact that Optibus has a positive impact on city life and the environment. When I first became interested, they weren't hiring, but fate intervened. I met a lovely lady on a flight back from Europe who turned out to be our CEO, Amos's grandmother*. She introduced me to him, and a few weeks later, Optibus started recruiting again, right around the time of their Series B announcement. I got the chance to interview for the Solutions Engineer position, and that's how I ended up here.
*Amos Haggiag is Optibus’ CEO and Co-Founder
What do you enjoy most about working at Optibus?
I really appreciate the brilliant people I get to work with at Optibus. The Algorithm team has some of the smartest and nicest people I've ever met. Some of them are even known worldwide for their achievements in optimization. The problems we tackle are deep, interesting, and always evolving, which means there's never a dull moment.
In your opinion, what sets Optibus apart from other companies? How does it create a unique and fulfilling environment for R&D engineers ?
I think it's the combination of meaningful work, a good work-life balance, and the freedom to learn new things and switch roles within the company. Our product not only benefits our customers but also has a positive impact on the community and the environment, which motivates us to do great work. The company is understanding about flexible work schedules and locations. It is also allowing engineers to explore different career paths and technologies within the company.
What do you think makes Optibus a great place for R&D engineers to grow and build a long-term career?
One of the key things is the ease of moving between teams when you want to explore different career paths. For example, I transitioned from a Solutions Engineer role to an Algorithm Developer role, which showcases the flexibility here. There's also the 10% program, where engineers can spend 10% of their time on projects that aren't on the official roadmap but can benefit Optibus in various ways. I used this program recently to work on some infrastructure topics that weren't directly related to my daily tasks but were helpful to our team.
Any hobbies in life?
Outside of work, I love sports, especially swimming and calisthenics. I'm also a big fan of music, video games, and anything related to design and directing. These are my go-to hobbies when I'm not at the office.
We hope you enjoyed this interview. Stay tuned as we release each interview, unraveling the secrets behind the success and innovation that drives Optibus forward in the transportation technology landscape. If you want to be a part of it: Come join our team! Learn more at https://www.optibus.com/jobs