Engineering the Future of Software
Feb 25–26, 2018: Training
Feb 26–28, 2018: Tutorials & Conference
New York, NY

(Machine) learning to detect fraudsters (sponsored by ThoughtWorks)

Sarah LeBlanc (ThoughtWorks), Hany Elemary (ThoughtWorks)
2:15pm–3:05pm Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Location: Beekman Parlor
Average rating: ***..
(3.50, 2 ratings)

Prerequisite knowledge

  • A basic understanding of continuous integration and continuous delivery (useful but not required)

What you'll learn

  • Learn how to put machine learning fraud detection models into production, using data science algorithms to drive effective models


A client recently tasked Sarah LeBlanc and Hany Elemary with an interesting and challenging problem; detecting credit card application fraud at a global financial institution. The client’s current practice of relying on third-party vendors to manage these models was slow, expensive, and time consuming. Much like hackers, fraudsters are always changing behavior. To keep up with their tricks, the detection algorithms (models) need to be updated continuously. The longer these models go without updating, the less effective they become, losing money and valuable customers to undetected fraudsters.

Sarah and Hany’s task was to devise a process to improve their fraud detection with a sophisticated machine learning workflow that empowers data scientists to rapidly and iteratively design and develop new models and put them into production. Sarah and Hany explain how to put machine learning fraud detection models into production, using data science algorithms to drive effective models. Along the way, they explain how a global corporation is creating an extensible platform for more than just application fraud.

Sponsored by ThoughtWorks

Photo of Sarah LeBlanc

Sarah LeBlanc


Sarah LeBlanc is a software consultant at ThoughtWorks, where she works on projects focusing on using machine learning for fraud and anomaly detection; she recently helped a global financial institution create a platform and its first product, a new system for consumer loans. Sarah finds the most joy in coaching and mentoring other developers and learning from her fantastic team members but is not averse to debating coworkers (and gracefully accepting defeat in the face of sufficient evidence). Sarah continues to recognize the merits of coffee lids.

Photo of Hany Elemary

Hany Elemary


Hany Elemary is a software consultant at ThoughtWorks, where he solves challenging business problems through clean, testable design and architecture. Over the past 11 years, Hany has worked on a number of different layers of the technology stack for highly trafficked applications. Most recently, he authored a video series, TDD with React and Redux in an Isomorphic Application. When he’s not chained to his computer, Hany enjoys traveling to new places and sipping on coffee with no lid, as he firmly believes the lid compromises the integrity of the coffee’s flavor profile.