Resources Team

Introducing the Tacticians: Léa Lacoste, Senior Search Engineer

Hi Léa! What’s your job? 

I’m a Search Engineer working with Machine Learning and all-round dev. We’re still a small team with our own special subjects, but working very collaboratively and we all get involved in a bit of everything. My special subject is how we build our search capabilities and the tools we use to achieve that. My expertise from previous jobs is in search result ranking, text-matching and indexing and now I’m also working with Elastic Search, which is fun! 

Where did your journey to Tactic begin - is this your first startup?

I have worked in small companies before - not quite as early stage as this, but small and I liked the feel of that. Then I worked at Rakuten for a while, one of the biggest Internet companies in the world, as a Search and Data Engineer. It’s a giant and it does everything: e-commerce, financial services and technology, communications, publishing, telecoms… There are advantages to working somewhere big, but there were also things I missed. So I was open to moving somewhere smaller, but it didn’t necessarily have to be a start-up or scale-up.

And what did you originally find attractive about Tactic in particular?

When I first started talking to Jack the CTO, and the rest of the team, Tactic and its mission sounded really fun. What we do is fast and agile - something that’s hard to find in a big company. I wanted to have a positive impact: help them increase the speed of their searching, increase the relevancy of the results. I like the adrenaline of knowing that every day my work is visible: whether it’s great or not so great, I can’t hide.  

What are you excited to achieve at Tactic?

Well, my first focus is on increasing the search speed. I’ve hit the ground running on that and soon we should have a measurable impact, which will be really exciting and helpful as we keep planning our technical projects. It’s really important to measure progress as you go - search is a very delicate system to build and tweak.

What feature are you most excited about, current or future?

It’s low hanging fruit, but definitely going faster because it will be so impactful for the customers. Tactic’s system is very different than conventional search, so getting to know the customers’ needs and how to build the solution is super interesting in general, it transcends the individual features.

What’s your digital/physical working 'stack' like - as simple as sticky notes or working by a window, or as sophisticated as you like - and why?

My digital set-up probably isn’t very different from any other Engineer’s, but I definitely look after my posture with my physical ‘stack’! I use a separate keyboard and a platform to raise my laptop to eye level. 

Go-to emojis on Slack?

My workmates at Tactic make me laugh all day long, so I’m constantly using the laughing face! 😂

How do you switch off from work mode in the evenings and weekends?

At the end of the day I shut down my work browser, which is set up quite differently from the personal profiles on my computer. And I actually shut down my computer completely for at least an hour, to play cello, skateboard, make some bread, go bodyboarding if I’m at the beach… It’s good to do something more physical to switch modes! I do sometimes keep learning outside of work hours though - there’s always new stuff to read up on and I find it enjoyable.

If you could work remotely from anywhere in the world for a week, where would it be?

Most of the time I live in the suburbs of Paris, but I also have a place at the beach near Bordeaux - the town is called Lacanau Océan - and I love to spend time there when my kids are on school vacation. I’m lucky and there’s no place I’d ever rather be!

I need to stop doing this to myself, you all make me jealous of your amazing destinations. 

Dogs or cats?

I have two teenagers - isn’t that enough?!

Burgers or hot dogs?

I love a classic hot dog with mustard.

Mac or Windows?

Linux! 

Slack or Zoom?

I think both. Zoom is nice to see people and Slack is good for collaboration.

Film or TV?

I sometimes Netflix binge a good series.

City or countryside?

The beach! I like both. Paris is great for lifestyle, so I’m lucky to have one foot there, but I really do love my time at the beach and near the forest.

Spring, summer, autumn, winter?

I like them all! When I studied in San Diego I struggled with the lack of seasonality. I love the changing of the seasons - dark winter, early spring, the beginning of long summer days.

Interested in joining the Tactic team? Check out our open positions .

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