This week we continue our interview series with Rik Bauwens, the lead developer at VRT Innovatie.
Hi Rik, could you please introduce yourself to our readers?
I work as the Lead Developer for VRT Innovation. We develop a lot of stuff, for a lot of different projects, in a lot of different areas. We also integrate with internal VRT systems as much as possible, to make the transition from a project idea to a working implementation for the teams at VRT as seamlessly as possible. Currently, we work with a team of 5 developers on several prototypes within these projects. It’s my job to translate these project ideas into workable prototypes and to manage this technically within the team.
How and why did you become part of the MARCONI project?
In fact, I wrote the first one-pager draft for the MARCONI project, based on learnings from previous projects and collaborations therein with radio makers. Together with my colleague Mike, we teamed up with some project partners from those previous projects to write it out into an actual proposal. This was later dubbed as Marconi, the inventor of radio, to illustrate the rebirth-v2-vision we pursue for radio making within this project.
What technical challenges are you tackling while working for MARCONI?
A lot. First of all, we’re going full force on interactivity. This means numerous integrations with third party platforms (e.g. Facebook, Twitter and other social media), but also with systems currently used by the various radio stations (for playlists, telephone handling, rundown management and so on). This also means tools and optimisations for the editorial team, such as conversational management with chatbots and smart analysis for filtering and linking content from various sources. Because we’ll be working a lot with end-users, privacy is also key; which is why we adopt the privacy-by-design principle for our developments from the very beginning. Lastly, we also want to do something with the content we collect, and use it cross platform. This again means integrations and curation. In the end, it’s our aim to land a comprehensive MARCONI platform, which can be quickly integrated in any kind of radio studio, using any kind of systems. We’ll also do a 6-month open pilot at the end of the project to help us achieve this.
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Care to connect? You can find Rik at Linkedin.