October 11, 2023

Pattern Data Spotlight: Dakota VandenToorn

Author: Pawan Murthy

Meet Dakota VandenToorn, our Senior Software Engineer at Pattern Data. Dakota plays a pivotal role behind our backend systems and A.I. model development, specifically the creation and deployment of machine learning models. In this Q&A, Dakota discusses his journey to Pattern Data, his enthusiasm for A.I. innovation, and how he traversed the icy roads of West Michigan winters in his first car. 

What is your role at Pattern Data?

I’m a senior software engineer at Pattern Data. My main responsibility is to develop and maintain the backend systems that power our products. This involves writing code in Scala and Nodejs Express, designing APIs, implementing business logic, and managing databases. I also work on prompt engineering for our company’s A.I. initiatives, helping to build and deploy machine learning models that provide value to our customers.

How did you find yourself at Pattern Data, and what about this company attracted you? 

I came across Pattern Data while looking for a challenging and innovative company to work for. What attracted me the most was the company’s focus on using A.I. to solve complex business problems. Moreover, the team’s passion for innovation, continuous learning, and development of new technologies impressed me. I was excited to be part of such a dynamic and forward-thinking team.

Can you provide an example of a challenge that you and/or your team overcame?

As part of our platform at Pattern Data, we offer customized exports for our clients to meet their specific needs. Recently, we had the opportunity to work on a case as an intermediary, which presented a unique challenge for us. We needed to quickly iterate on our export capabilities to ensure that they were fully customizable to our client’s requirements.

Despite the urgency of the situation, our team was able to quickly develop and implement a solution that met the client’s needs with impressive speed and accuracy. Since then, the client has been successfully using our exports to support their work on their case. Overall, we are proud of our ability to deliver customized solutions that exceed our clients’ expectations, even under difficult circumstances.

What excites you the most about the future of Pattern Data? 

What excites me the most is the company’s continued focus on using A.I. to solve real-world business problems. Specifically, I’m excited about the potential for our A.I. technologies to help automate routine and time-consuming tasks, provide more accurate and personalized recommendations to customers, and help businesses make more informed decisions. I believe that these capabilities have the potential to transform the legal industry and create new opportunities for growth and innovation.

What was your first car and your thoughts about it?

The first car I owned was actually a hand-me-down from my father, a Lincoln Town car with over 200,000 miles on it. Despite its age and mileage, I found the car to be incredibly dependable and low-maintenance, which made it a great choice for me as a first-time car owner. However, I did experience some difficulties during snowy winters in West Michigan, where the car struggled to navigate through the snow and ice. Overall, though, I have fond memories of that car and am grateful for the reliability it provided me during my early driving days.

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