TECH @ 84.51°
Our best-in-class data science solutions
We take great pride in the work we do
Whether it's finding just the right coupons for each Kroger shopper, analyzing product purchase cycles to keep the shelves stocked, or personalizing the customer experience on Kroger.com - our contributions make a difference to the Kroger customer.
We think it’s time to start sharing our own work with the world. This is our blog – welcome to Tech @ 84.51˚.
Every year, thousands of people contribute to open source projects. Take, for example, Tensorflow, the expansive machine learning framework for scalable computation. On GitHub, this project’s repository has more than 30,000 commits, with over 1,000 distinct contributors. From a traditional business perspective, it’s difficult to understand the motivation behind laboring over challenging technical problems, only to give the solutions away for free.
In this regard, Tensorflow is far from unique. Open-source projects are everywhere, spreading across many fields and industries. In fact, the Linux family of operating systems, the de-facto OS for most technical jobs, is entirely open-source. One might believe that this sharing mentality is limited to idealistic programmers with too much free time, but in fact, it extends to major corporations. Google originally developed Tensorflow for internal use, before releasing it to the wider community. Hadoop started at Yahoo and Google, Java at Sun Microsystems, and Atom at GitHub. This desire to share hasn’t stopped at code – companies increasingly see the value in producing public blogs that describe their projects and explain their methodologies in detail.
Why? There are clearly several motivations at play. First, helping the wider community earns public goodwill; more tangibly, it attracts smart people who want to work on interesting projects. This helps build a reputation as a premier employer, where like-minded people come together to solve stimulating problems. Similarly, sharing with the community often elicits community feedback; hearing and incorporating this outside perspective can help companies develop more holistic solutions. Last, advertising the challenges being tackled internally can remind the public of the interesting work that a company does, and hint that more innovation is waiting just around the corner.
At 84.51˚, we believe that we are working on these types of interesting questions. As a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Kroger Company, we strive to develop best-in-class data science solutions that make customers’ lives easier. Sometimes, however, our best science is the most difficult to notice – putting the customer first means creating a web or in-store experience that is convenient and enjoyable, without giving constant reminders of how difficult of a job that can be.