Irene.next()

Following a six-year stint as Bocoup’s leader in data visualization, Irene Ros has struck out on a new path with Google. In this post, we’d like to celebrate her many contributions to Bocoup over the years.

Let’s get the obvious stuff out the way, first. Irene started Bocoup’s data visualization initiative with the declaration, “I will never write another CRUD app.” She assembled an impressive team of experts, and together they built an industry-renowned practice. In addition to setting the team’s direction, she actively contributed to its output. Along the way, Irene would apply her creativity to the sales process and secure funding through grant proposals (an avenue unique to the kind of research-driven projects which most interested her).

More than “just” excellent consulting work, she lead the production of a slew of tools, educational content, and publicly-available data visualizations. She fused her talents with our education offerings to create excellent courses in Backbone.js and D3.js. She developed tools like bl.ocksplorer, Miso Storyboard, Miso Dataset, and D3.chart. And we have Irene’s leadership to thank for public data visualizations like NPM by Numbers and StereoTropes.

Irene also worked in service of Bocoup’s commitment to promote the adoption of open technologies. With the Boston DataVis meetup, she gave area developers a place to meet and learn from each other. On a larger scale, she started Open Vis Conf and nurtured it into a landmark event for data visualization professionals around the world. It’s been a pleasure to watch that conference improve year after year, and we’re thrilled that Irene will continue to guide it into the future.

As impressive as her data visualization work may be, it’s only part of what made Irene such an important member of our team.

Bocoup was a different place when Irene joined us. From a technical standpoint, we started out with a narrow focus on the JavaScript programming language. Irene’s familiarity with Ruby was a boon in those early days, and she would continue to help us branch out through her experimentation with Python and R. When we interviewed her, Rick and I had to pause a lightsaber duel so he could conduct her technical interview (a detail Irene would graciously omit in later reminiscence). Irene helped us mature without compromising on culture. She was our resident falafel fanatic and avocado aficionado. She was generous with her time as well as her possessions. When I was between laptops, she lent me hers without a second thought (and didn’t bat an eye when I trashed it). Most importantly, she’s been a good friend to us all.

Thanks for everything, Irene! And good luck!

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