Contact information

️20 West Street, #23DE, New York NY 10014
917-‍940-‍8790
Swedish citizen, green card holder
mail‍@‍erikbern.com
erikbern
erikbern
@fulhack
 

Introduction

I am currently working on various startup ideas. Until recently, I was the Chief Technology Officer at Better where I managed a team of about 300 engineers. In the last 10+ years, I have focused on engineering management, recruiting, building consumer technology, machine learning, and math. My professional experience goes back to 1999, which was my first professional gig as a software engineer.

 

Work experience

Better
Chief Technology Officer
Feb 2015 – Jan 2021
New York City
  • Joined as one of the first 10 employees.
  • Took the engineering team from 2 people to 300.
  • Dide an estimated 2,000+ interviews in the process of growing the team.
  • Migrated the legacy tech stack to AWS, Postgres, Python, and microservices.
  • Wrote code together with the team, building many critical components in Python and Node.js.
  • Built and introduced much of the core foundation for the data platform.
  • Introduced several machine learning models, including some with big impact on user acquisition and conversion.
  • Was in charge of a 5-layer engineering organization.
  • Managed and mentored engineers, promoted several people to managers and directors.
  • Rolled out a career ladder along with a performance management system and compensation framework.
  • Was actively involved in fundraising (series A to C), meeting investors, and presenting to the board.
  • Ran the product team for seven months in 2019 and hired 10 product managers.
 
Spotify
Engineering Manager
Feb 2009 – Feb 2011 (Stockholm),
Oct 2011 – Feb 2015 (New York City)

2011 – 2015 (New York City)

  • Built up the core of the music recommendation system (80% of the current system is still my algorithms, according to people still at Spotify).
  • Built an open sourced a data pipeline engine (Luigi) still used by Spotify and many other companies (Capital One, Foursquare, …).
  • Built an open sourced a library for approximate nearest neighbors (Annoy) still used by Spotify and other companies (Uber, Instacart, …).
  • Managed the music recommendation team, consisting of about 15 engineers.
  • Invented and implemented many large scale machine learning algorithms, processing terabytes of data daily.
  • Awarded three patents on recommender systems.
  • Brought in a deep learning researcher in 2014 and prototyped a content-based music recommendation system.
  • Tech lead for a larger group of engineers working on music recommendations, about 25 engineers in total.
  • Spoke at several conferences and meetups.
  • Left when Spotify was roughly 1,600 people.

2009 – 2011 (Stockholm)

  • Joined in 2008 to work on my Master's Thesis when Spotify was roughly 30 people.
  • Joined full-time in February 2009.
  • Built and managed a small data team with three people reporting to me
  • Reported directly to the CTO.
  • Laid the groundwork for a our data strategy at Spotify.
  • Ran the first A/B tests, price sensitivity analyses, any many other analyses.
  • Built a system to simulate and quantify the ad inventory, and identified an opportunity to optimize ad delivery that saved several $MM/year.
  • Worked closely with the business team and sent them analyses going directly to labels and investors.
  • Left in Feb 2011, came back in Oct 2011 (after a brief stint at Graham Capital).
 
Graham Capital
High Frequency Trading, Associate
Mar 2011 – Sep 2011
Norwalk, CT
  • One half of a team managing a $700M+ portfolio.
  • Implemented high frequency trading strategies in C++ and C#, mostly for commodities and currency futures.
  • Researched new strategies in Python and R.
 
Google
Software Engineer Intern
Sep 2006 – April 2007
Zurich, Switzerland
  • Took time off from university to work at Google for seven months.
  • Worked on embedded systems for Google's infrastructure.
  • Worked on large-scale data extraction for Google Maps.
 

Education

Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)
Sep 2003 — Mar 2009
Stockholm, Sweden
M.Sc. in Engineering Physics
  • Spent six months at TU Berlin as an exchange student.
  • Master's thesis ”Implementing a Scalable Music Recommender System“ was awarded best Master's Thesis in Sweden by Naturvetarna (a union).
  • Represented university at the ACM international collegiate programming championship twice – in San Antonio 2006 and Tokyo 2007.
  • Won the Nordic programming championship six times.
 
Danderyds Matematikgymnasium (high school)
Sep 2000 — Jun 2003
Sweden
 

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