import Leana as data_scientist

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:

  1. Why I didn’t want to be a Data Scientist
  2. Why I decided I did want to be a Data Scientist, and
  3. 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…

A.I.!

MACHINE LEARNING!

DEEP LEARNING!

NEURAL NET!

… 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???

Enter: Education.

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:

Published by lecritch

My name is Leana and I guess I would say music has always been quite a significant part of my life. I started piano when I was approximately 5 years old and started learning tenor sax when I was 9. I love both these instruments almost as much as I love my cats (now that's saying something). I mostly studied classical repertoire on piano but always loved jazz and this festered in my sax playing. From about the age of 12 I started experiencing an aching feeling in my wrists which I played through until I was 18, by which time I could no longer sit at the piano without experiencing pain. So I'm writing these blogs for a few reasons: 1. To help me organise my thoughts during my recovery process 2. To maybe provide some music students with advice if they're having similar issues 3. To create further awareness amongst musicians about music related injuries 4. To address common issues that most music students see as 'normal' but might actually be negatively contributing to some part of their playing. 5. To help people actually understand what I'm doing with my time (I don't just watch Sex and the City with my cats 24/7 believe it or not!) 5. To spread the word of Taubman! I really don't want my 'blogging' to become something fabricated or stereotypically lame though so I'm steering clear of the word 'journey' - I'm not on Australian Idol. Please read and I hope you enjoy...

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