Meet our Awesome Speakers – Amala Rangnekar, Jock Busuttil, and Radu Ionescu joining us on the Product Management Stage

5 June 2018 devTalks

Ladies and gentlemen we would like to share with you short interviews with 3 of our awesome speakers from Product Management Stage: Amala Rangnekar – Applications Engineer @Oracle, Jock Busuttil – Founder @Product People & Radu Tudor Ionescu – Associate Professor @University of Bucharest.

Take the chance to meet them at DevTalks Bucharest!

Amala Rangnekar – Applications Engineer @Oracle

1. First, we would like to thank you for accepting our invitation to DevTalks 2018. What convinced you to be our guest speaker?

Devtalks is a great initiative to gather technology enthusiasts from all over the world in one place with a common agenda; to learn and grow. I have been following devtalks on social media and always wanted to attend it some day. When I was invited to be a guest  speaker at such a great event, I felt honored and thrilled.

2. What do you like most about being an Applications Engineer at Oracle?

I am passionate about software development and enjoy problem solving, designing and  programming as part of my day to day job. As an Applications Engineer at Oracle, I get to do all of these for a live product on the Cloud, which is very exciting. What I like most about this job is the fact that I get to apply my knowledge and skills, and at the same time face new challenges each day that inspire me to think creatively and expand my skillset.

3. With every action, we want to raise awareness of the importance of  women in technology and empower them through code and diversity. Why do you think women in tech should attend more IT events?

Even in today’s day and age, there is a great disparity in the gender ratio in technology. This gets worse as we climb up the ladder, with very few women in top executive positions. Statistically, having a stable gender ratio in any company/field has proven to be highly beneficial for the overall culture and productivity. Not to mention we have other problems like the gender pay gap, unconscious bias and cases of harrassment at work, too.

I am a Hackbright(women’s coding academy) mentor since the past 1.5 years and guide women who are new to tech as part of my role. I am also one of the volunteers in the ‘Oracle Women’s Leadership’ group where we organize events to bring together the community’ for the cause of women empowerment. This cause is close to my heart and I believe we can  create changes, one step at a time. One very important step towards this, I feel, is women attending more IT events. This way they can not only network but also help each other grow and succeed in their personal and professional endeavors.


Jock Busuttil – Founder @Product People

1. You are the Founding Director of Product People. What can you tell us about it?

I started Product People back in 2012 after working as a product manager in a few different companies. I felt I was just doing the same thing and that I’d stopped learning, so I decided to start learning again by working with many more companies through my own product management consultancy.

Since 2012, I’ve helped and trained hundreds of product managers in many different organisations, including the UK government, BBC, University of Cambridge, Mind The Product, BNP Paribas and Unmortgage.

2. You are also the author of The Practitioner’s Guide to Product Management. How did you come up with the idea to write the book? 

I was kindly asked if I would like to write the book by General Assembly (recently acquired by Adecco). They simply asked me what had been the five lessons about product management I’d had to learn the hard way. To answer that question, I wrote about the strange route I took to product management, and the mistakes I’d made that ultimately made me a better product manager in the end.

It’s perfect for people just starting out in product management so they can avoid making the same mistakes I did!

3. What is the biggest challenge working in Product Management? 

There’s always too little time to do all the things I want to do! When I’m not working with clients, I’m trying to do more writing and learning about all the new things that shape how product managers need to work today. This is why I try to avoid big, long, expensive meetings with too many people in them.

4. Do you have a message for the DevTalks’ audience?

Enjoy the conference (and the rare chance to take time off), make new friends and business contacts, and challenge each other to continually improve the art and science of product management. Remember, there’s no single right way to do product management, no magic methodology that always works. Learn what approaches work and which don’t, for you and your team, and don’t be afraid to continually change and improve your process.


Radu Tudor Ionescu – Associate Professor @University of Bucharest

1. What did you like most about DevTalks and how did you decide to apply to join us as a speaker at this edition? 

From my point of view, DevTalks is one of the greatest conferences in the IT industry in Romania. However, I think there is great gap between the academic and the industry worlds in Romania. To close this gap, I think that the DevTalks conference should welcome participants from academia as well. Since I am with one foot in the academic world and the other foot in the industry, I considered that my participation would be a step in this direction.


2. You are also an Associate Professor at the University of Bucharest. Where this passion comes from and what is your motivation? 

Yes, I am Associate Professor at the University of Bucharest and Co-founder & CTO at SecurifAI. My passion is actually doing research in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI), but I am also interested in applying the AI technology to solve real-world problems. My talk on “Video analysis beyond deep learning” is going to provide a good example of state-of-the-art AI technology applied in video surveillance and security.


3. Do you have a message for the DevTalks’ audience?

It is hard to think of message for what I expected to be a very broad audience, formed of people with different backgrounds. What I can say for sure is that, during my talk, people will hear about a hot topic in computer science these days, namely deep learning. Deep learning is an approach for training neural network architectures on lots and lots of examples in a end-to-end fashion. Deep learning models achieve impressive accuracy levels and they have been applied in many practical situations, from autonomous driving and personal assistants to medical imaging. Although there are many frameworks and pre-trained models for mainstream tasks, e.g. object detection and recognition in images, deep learning models can be applied in straightforward manner for specific tasks, without expert knowledge. In my talk, I would like to share my experience on how available deep learning models can be adapted for specific tasks in the area of video surveillance, namely abandoned luggage detection and abnormal event detection. The main goal of my talk is to show that deep learning models are indeed useful, but not without requiring some adaptation and modeling.