Scyther Spotlight: Nikki Jacobson

A day in the life of a Cloud + Data Platform Engineer at Scythe

As Nikki Jacobson will tell you, our robots generate a mind-boggling amount of data. Mowing performance data, machine status data, data about data – and the list goes on. Nikki is the one at Scythe building the technical infrastructure that moves that data to the right places and turns it into insights for our team and our customers. 

What does a typical day at Scythe look like for you?

As a Cloud + Data Platform Engineer, I mostly work from home these days. A typical work day begins with logging into Slack to review any previous conversations and to-do items that I may have missed or that still need some care and feeding. I then check my calendar to see what the day looks like. If I was in the middle of some code or a project the previous day, then I open that up and look over where I was at and any notes I may have left for myself.

Then I start coding or working on standing up infrastructure or researching whatever the next part of the problem is. Some time in the middle of the day I take a break to eat lunch and walk my dogs. If I have meetings, and the weather permits, I will try to go outside for more walking. The end of the day varies depending on what I’m working on.  

What accomplishment from your time at Scythe are you most proud of?

I’m very proud of our data platform. Robots generate a lot of data. Take any number you can think of and double it. No, but really, data. Lots. It’s critical here at Scythe that we collect data from the robots and then turn it into information. We’re constantly striving to make our robots better and faster. We always want to know if a change that was made last week has moved the needle on a problem. Because robots are so complex, having a wealth of data that can be turned into information using all the tools at our disposal is important.

One of my favorite things is talking to other engineers about their problems or needs and then helping solve them by using our data platform in ways that saves them time and makes their lives easier.

Nikki and the team with an early stage prototype

Nikki and the team with an early stage prototype in 2019


What does our mission at Scythe mean to you?

I’m passionate about the mission here at Scythe. I love green spaces. I love the outdoors. I am a child of the mountains and the West and its great, wild spirit. Hiking through the foothills on a bright, blue spring day is about as perfect as it gets for me, so I share the company’s vision of a future where robots multiply our capacity to take care of the planet we live on and share with a multitude of other creatures.

What’s the best career advice you’ve received?

Just my advice to engineers or aspiring engineers in general:

Stay curious. Be curious about the people around you – their lives, who they are, how they think differently than you. Be curious about things that may not be directly related to the problem you’re trying to solve. Solutions come from a lot of surprising places. 

If I ever feel my excitement waning or myself getting burnt out, I find that reigniting my curiosity about something is a good way to get my brain back on track.

If you could build a robot to take care of any tasks in your daily life, what would you build it to do? 

Robot monkey butler, maybe? I don’t know about my daily life, but I would like to see robots involved in fighting wildfires and in reforestation efforts some day.


Offering a snapshot of life at Scythe, the Scyther Spotlight series showcases our team members and the work they do as we pursue our mission together. From software to hardware, manufacuring to customer operations, you'll get to see what our multi-disciplinary team members are up to and how they collaborate every day. 


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