What to look for in your first Decision Scientist hire

Over the past 4 years, I’ve been asked many times to describe what we look for in our decision scientists (aka data scientists with optimization and operations research backgrounds or industrial/systems engineers).

:sweat_smile: naming izhard

:chart_with_upwards_trend: The field (and it’s use cases) are growing as data and predictive models make their way into nearly every company. So what should you look for when hiring an engineer to build your routing, scheduling, or matching model?

:point_down: Here’s our list! Hit us up in the comments with what you think


  • MS or PhD in Operations Research or a related field
  • Experience with integer or constraint programming
  • Experience in real-time modeling
  • Experience implementing or using meta-heuristics / meta-heuristic tool sets
  • Experience using SAT, CP or MIP modeling tools
  • Familiarity with software development best practices (e.g. agile methodologies and git workflows)
  • Programming experience in Go, Python, Java, or a similar language
  • Familiarity with R or Python for analysis
  • Knowledge of standard experiment frameworks and statistical tests


  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • Experience guiding stakeholder decisions with data
  • Experience communicating results of complex algorithms
  • Comfortable working with stakeholders to apply optimization technology to their use case
  • Experience breaking down a complex business process
  • Willingness to guide KPI definition and output views with stakeholders

Not required, but a plus:

  • Remote work experience (our :rabbit:s are all over!)
  • Interest in decision diagrams and other optimization techniques
  • Experience scaling cloud services

Wow, impressive list …
For me are important questions found during solving of a problem and how deep was problem solved. To my surprise even famous people in OR like Laurent Perron or Petr Vilim have very different questions and depth of solving.

Thanks for checking out our list! There is certainly a difference between developing solvers vs models that leverage solvers for business impact. What do you find as the most important skills for the role?