Tools of the Trade: Minh Mai

As a relatively new firm doing “magical things” with computers and math (as one client put it), we wanted to highlight some of the tools we use on a daily basis.  We like to think of ourselves as analytical MacGuyvers, producing models from a gerbil powered calculator or targeted TV buys using an old copy of  TV Guide and a TV remote, with only one battery.  But the truth is that each team member has a different technology setup, often utilizing  cutting-edge technology and software unique to how they process and output specific deliverables.

From time to time we’ll be posting closer looks at what the members of of our analytics and digital analysis departments use on a daily basis. Be sure to stop by often to connect and learn more about the team.

This week we are highlighting our talented Junior Analyst, Minh Mai.

Minh, thanks for sitting down with us. What kind of computer setup do you use at the office?

I currently run two 27″ monitors (ASUS) off of my Mythologic 15′ laptop with a Core i7, 32GB of RAM and 2x1TB SSD. In addition, I’ve connected a Logitech M510 Wireless Mouse and a Logitech G105 keyboard. This setup helps me to run multiple programs on my monitors, while maintaining a constant eye on email and personal websites via my laptop. Oh, and I also couldn’t live without my AIAIAI TMA-1 headphones!

Impressive setup. So with all that hardware, what kinds of software do you find yourself using on a daily basis?

Well, on any given day, I’m either analyzing data with RStudio or the iPython Notebook, building interactive visualization in Javascript with Atom, creating shapefiles and GeoJSON file with PostGIS or QGIS, or getting my code production-ready with Github.

Okay sounds like you have quite the toolset. But, out of all tools you just mentioned, what would be the one piece of software you can’t live without?

Definitely RStudio. As much as I’m trying to get into Python, I will always have a soft spot for R.

What’s the one piece of hardware you wish you had?

I would like to upgrade my current Aiaiai TMA-1 to the Aiaiai TMA-2 (my custom configuration: S03-H03-E04-C06). Other than that, there’s not much; my specs are pretty top of the line. Maybe I’ll ask for a standing desk.

We’ll put that on the short list of items for the next office supply run. Since you know your way around a computer, what’s your favorite hot key combination?

Definitely F1 for my Yakuake terminal emulator. I changed the default key from F12 to F1 (since I’m left handed).

Alright, enough about work. When you are not working on various client projects or helping build automated tools for the team, what do you like to do? Specifically, do you use your tailored setup for fun?

League of Legends and Clash of Clans are my guilty gaming pleasures, until the new Final Fantasy VII remake or Starcraft: Legacy of the Void comes out. Other than that, I’m on Instagram getting new ideas for tattoos or taking pictures of food or on Github building out my personal data science portfolio (currently, pretty sparse).

To learn more about Minh and connect with him around the web, visit his official bio here: