Matthew Kelcey - Former Research Engineer at Google Brain #114


Mat works part time at ThoughtWorks where he is the Principal Consultant for Machine Learning in Australia. He divides the rest of his time between advisory / mentoring work for early stage companies as well as maintaining his small farm.

Prior to ThoughtWorks, Mat was a senior research engineer in the Google Brain team where he worked across robotics & natural language understanding. Mat has held a mix of roles across his 20 year career ranging from machine learning research to engineering for large scale distributed systems; in both internet scale companies (such as Google & Amazon) as well as startups (such as Distra & Wavii)

If you are enjoying our content please leave us a rating and review or consider supporting us

A note from Grant

Matt Kelcey is our first guest to join us from Australia where he resides on his farm near Melbourne. Matt has built a career over the years that has spanned the globe, spanned a number of industries and spanned a number of topics. Over the years, he’s stayed deeply focused on doing technical work, holding down titles like software engineer and senior software engineer.

Matt has worked in search, machine learning, big data and deep learning for the likes of Sensis in Australia, Wavii, Google, Lonely Planet, Amazon AWS and these days Thought Works. He’s also a prolific blogger and open source contributor who regularly shares his experiments and ideas in machine learning with the world. Please stay tuned as we connect halfway around the world with Matt Kelcey and hear his journey through the tech world.

-Grant Ingersoll


“I actually didn’t start at Google Brain. I came into a team called machine intelligence through the acquisition and I moved to Brain later. Its not easy to get into Google Brain internally even at Google. I had to really push and make a role for myself”

“When you think about management you think about helping other people do work and there’s lots of different ways that can be done. I love much more the idea of influence and so even though I’ve never been a ‘manager’, I have managed to influence lots of people.”

“I started to get jobs more based on people reaching out to me rather then the other way around and that was totally based on my blog. Even though my blog is pretty rubbish and costs me a dollar a month.”

—Mat Kelcey

Key Milestones

  1. Matt started work on artificial intelligence and machine learning back in the AI winter.  What inspired Matt to get a degree in AI at University?
  2. Throughout his career Matt somehow avoided management. Was this intentional?
  3. Matt worked specifically on the Google Brain team as a research engineer. What was that experience like?
  4. When did Matt have imposter syndrome throughout his career?

Additional Resources

Check out Matt’s Medium articles -

Matt’s personal blog -

Connect with Matt Kelcey

Connect with Grant Ingersoll