Meet the Rogo Team: James Checca, Data Engineer

ROG Blog Meet the Team 01
Gabriel Stengel

Welcome to the first installment of our “Meet the Team” series, in which we’ll be introducing Rogo employees to share a little bit about their background, why they joined Rogo, and what excites them most about coming to work. Interested in joining the Rogo team? See our openings here.

Meet the Rogo team: James Checca, Data Engineer

Quick Bio:

I am Rogo’s first Data Engineer! 

I grew up in Montclair, New Jersey, and attended Rutgers University: New Brunswick, where I majored in Computer Science and minored in Math and Physics. In college, I mostly spent my weekends either frequenting “basement shows” where the local live-music scene flourished, or competing in Super Smash Bros: Melee tournaments. I graduated in 2020 during the Covid lockdown, and started my first full time job as a Data Engineer at Citadel in February of 2021. I worked there until January 2023, sat out my garden leave, did some contract consulting work for a few months, and started at Rogo in January 2024.

Some random other things about me:

  • I am a 3rd degree black belt in Taekwondo
  • I have a metal plate and 12 screws in my left ankle from a skateboarding accident in 2016
  • In 4th and 5th grade I was the leader of a Drum Corps that played halftime shows for sports teams including but not limited to the Knicks, the Celtics, and the NY Giants. We also played the opening ceremony for the U.S. Open of Tennis in 2008, where we opened for the Jersey Boys and Earth Wind & Fire
  • I am color-blind


Q: What excites you the most about working at Rogo?

What excites me the most about working at Rogo is being able to work on diverse, difficult, and intellectually stimulating problems that exist on the cutting edge of the young, rapidly evolving, and increasingly accessible field of generative AI. It’s exciting for me to be on the forefront of an inflection point in technological history, and work on something that is proving to significantly impact the way people learn, work, and build things.


Q: What has surprised you the most about working at Rogo?

What’s (pleasantly) surprised me the most about working at Rogo is how much I like my colleagues. Not to say I haven’t liked past colleagues, or that I go into new jobs expecting to dislike my colleagues, but the adoration I have for my new team goes above and beyond what I’ve ever experienced in the past. 

Not only has everyone been super cool/relatable (which goes a really long way, especially on a small team), but every single person who works here is a BEAST at what they do. The talent density here is incredibly high, and it makes working at Rogo extremely fulfilling and intellectually invigorating.


Q: What’s your favorite part of the Rogo platform?

LLMs are mind-blowing in general, but I think my favorite part of the platform is PDF Chat. I’ve always been super interested in NLP and linguistics, and the fact that I can upload a huge file and then instantly have a “conversation” with it about its contents is really cool to me.


Q: Tell us about what you like to do outside of work.

In the past few months I’ve gotten really into bouldering. It’s great exercise, and I find the puzzle/problem solving aspect to be super engaging/fun/rewarding.

I’ve always loved video games, and spend a good amount of time (probably too much) on my PC when I’m at home.

I play a lot of different games, and the type of games I’m into changes quite a bit over time. A few examples of some of my favorite games of all time include but aren’t limited to: Super Smash Bros Melee (for the gamecube), Fallout 3, Elden Ring, Portal 2, CSGO, Hades, Celeste, and Diablo 4. Recently I’ve been playing a lot of Baldur’s Gate 3. 

I’m also a big fan of live music of any kind, and I like to snowboard.