TECH DIGGING

Behind The Scenes - Charbel El Hachem, Data Engineer At Believe

Charbel El Hachem
Photo cover by: Believe
Published Oct 14, 2021
4 min read

Freshly recruited as a data engineer in the Believe Data Platform Team located in the company Parisian headquarters, Charbel is a not a newbie as he has been working in the tech field since 2016, gaining skills in the car and banking industry. Now, he masters all kind of skills to help artists and labels on a daily basis.

 

How would you define the job of a data engineer?

Every data engineer's asset is the data and its quality. The job is about protecting this asset and ensuring that every transformation on the data is proved, tested, well-documented and justified from a business perspective. One important aspect of this job, in particular at Believe, is the important volume of data handled, making it mandatory to use big data technologies.


What is your professional background and how did you end up here?

I started as a data analyst/scientist working on Web analytics for an online magazine. I quickly realized how much I was attracted to tech and stimulated by all the recent innovations and technologies related to data. 
My first real data engineer job started in January 2020 as a consultant, I was working on sourcing financial data for a well-known luxury group.
I then joined Believe in April 2021, with the hope of applying what I know to a domain that is as attractive as the technical aspects of the job. Now I am more than satisfied, since I didn't realize until today how much the music industry is booming.

Every data engineer's asset is the data and its quality. The job is about protecting this asset and ensuring that every transformation on the data is proved, tested, well-documented and justified from a business perspective. One important aspect of this job, in particular at Believe, is the important volume of data handled, making it mandatory to use big data technologies.

Charbel El Hachem Data Engineer, Believe

What benefits can the music industry gain from data?

The data that encircles the music industry tell us the story about how there is a music style and genre for everyone. It helps breaking the traditional boundaries and assumptions about music by real numbers and observations on how artists and their audience connect. With the right usage, the data could even enable artists to make better music and the audience to have the best musical experience.

How would you convince artists to be more mindful of data?

It is a tough question, since there is this misconception that data and art are
contradictory, as science and art would be. But it shouldn’t be the case since artists
really want to reach as much people as they can since that would satisfy their inner
love for music. And data can help them achieve this goal.
 

The data that encircles the music industry tell us the story about how there is a music style and genre for everyone. It helps breaking the traditional boundaries and assumptions about music by real numbers and observations on how artists and their audience connect.

Charbel El Hachem Data Engineer, Believe

What is a typical workday like for you?

Mostly the job consists of coding data pipelines, so this takes a big part
of my day. We commonly refer to this part as “the build”. Another aspect is ensuring
that the clients have access to the latest datasets and to make sure the platform
is running smoothly. This part - referred to as “the run” - is about analyzing problems and potential bugs. It can also take a variable part of the daily work, depending on the platform's health.

Do you have some advice for young people who want to work in music tech?

Be interested in music, learn about distribution, production and online streaming. The rest is knowledge common to every data engineer's tool kit, which is mostly coding, cloud computing, big data, etc...