Firstly, thank you for continuing to read this post, despite the cringe title.
Secondly, if you were doing a search about ‘import statements’ and happened upon this article — I apologise, this isn’t what you’re looking for.
In case the joke didn’t take, my aim here is to introduce myself to the Data Science community and share how I got here!
To keep this short and sweet, I’m going to sum myself up in three sections:
- Why I didn’t want to be a Data Scientist
- Why I decided I did want to be a Data Scientist, and
- My life outside Data Science
Then I’ll sum things up and try to fit in a final meme.
1. Resisting Data Science:
When my techie husband suggested I pursue a career in Data Science, my initial resistance was about not wanting to be the subject of severe, perpetual eye rolling:
“Oh, you’re a millennial wanting to be a data scientist? How original…”
The alleged ‘sex appeal’, mostly driven by the high pay check and sexy words surrounding data science…
… was a huge turn off for me — I’m not motivated by hype.
Plus, I knew nothing about what a data scientist actually does, so how could I want to be one?
Next, there was the small factor that I’d never had any kind of technical experience. I’m a musician! Not a tech nerd. Computer programming was extremely intimidating and all the buzz about data scientists ‘training computers’ with CODE and ALGORITHMS didn’t ease this angst.
I have a passion for math. It became clear early on, during my math degree, that I had to learn to code if I wanted to do anything meaningful with math, so of course — I learnt to code.
To this day, I have a love-hate (mostly hate) relationship with coding.
My grunge against coding became a pretty big roadblock to pursuing data science…
2. Coming Around to Data Science:
So after reading that, why am I here!?
Well, it turns out, most people struggle with coding at the start. So I realised that could no longer be an excuse not to pursue it. I also (surprisingly) gained some competence on that front.
However, what about the very reasonable excuse of not knowing anything about data science???
Throughout my studies, I found I loved (and was good at) calculus, discrete mathematics and statistics. I also learnt that these subjects were key foundations to the data science field.
It was then, that I started to investigate the field further. After reading ‘Data Science’ by Brendan Tierney and John D. Kelleher, I started to get a feel for what data science really was and the realities of the job.
A key ‘aha’ moment for me was discovering that only about 15–20% of a data scientist’s work is the ‘sexy stuff’ — the other 80–85% consists of data cleaning, processing, understanding, analysis, business understanding and communication.
Now I was interested.
I haven’t mentioned it yet, but before all this, I was a professional pianist and music educator. I started my teaching studio when I was 15 and found I had a knack for communicating difficult concepts. Apart from my skill at the piano, I think my ability to effectively communicate to all types of people was what truely made me successful as a teacher. I developed a profound respect for education and knowledge.
How is this relevant to data science? Well, we all know the saying:
Knowledge is power.
I’ve also come across the saying:
Data is knowledge, knowledge is power.
However, I don’t think this is quite accurate —
Data is meaningless on its own. Data is just data.
Data requires a trained voice in order to transform it into knowledge. We, as data scientists, are that voice and I think that is a pretty powerful thing in itself.
Once I unpacked data science down to this fundamental, I realised I had to be apart of it.
3. data_scientist is just the alias — there’s a lot more going on under the hood of the Leana package:
Who am I outside of data science? I think this is a great opportunity to adopt some dot points:
- I was born in Brisbane, Australia
- I moved to Seattle, USA in 2018
- I started playing piano when I was ~5yo and pursued this as a career. I graduated from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music in 2016 with a Bachelor of Music, majoring in jazz piano.
- I’m obsessed with investing in real estate — I primarily buy out-of-state, multifamily rental properties. (See, I need a 6-figure data science salary to pay for this addiction).
- My greatest achievement in life is marrying my best friend, Jonathon (an insanely talented Software Engineer at Amazon — check out his github: @djjonno)
- I’m a proud cat mum to Ralph (Scottish fold — seriously cute)
- I love snowboarding, cooking, drinking cocktails, reading, board games and talking.
Alright folks, that’s me in a nutshell. I look forward to contributing to this exciting community!
Oh, I promised a final meme: