How to Become a Data Scientist in 6 Months a Hacker’s Approach to Career Planning

I’ve been digging around for some good presentations, giving a listen to some videos from PyData London 2016. Out of the videos I watched, I chose this talk by Tetiana Ivanova. This is a good talk for those looking to get into working as a data scientist. Here’s a few notes I made while watching the video.

Why did Tetiana hack here career? Well, first off, she was a mathematician she wanted to get out of that world of academia and make a change.

…more, including references and links, below the video…

Why does our society support higher education? Tetiana points emphasizes a number of things that that interline in a person’s life such as social pressure, historical changes, prestige, and status signaling to dictate their career options and provide choices in direction. I found this fascinating as I’ve read about, and routinely notice that higher education at an established and known school is largely about prestige and status signaling more than the actual education itself. As we see all the time in society, people will gain a position of status and power all too often based on the prestige and status arbitrarily associated with them because they went to this school or that school or some Ivy League fancy pants school.

But wrap all that up, and Tetiana outlines an important detail, “Prestige is exploitable!”

There’s also some hard realities Tetiana bullet points in a slide that I found worthy of note.

  • Set a realistic time frame.
  • Don’t trust yourself with sticking to deadlines.
  • Make a study plan.
  • Prepare for uncertainty.

I can’t draw enough emphasis to this list. There are also two points that I’d like to point out even more detail.

First is “don’t trust yourself with sticking to deadlines“. The second is “prepare for uncertainty“. If you expect to meet all your deadlines, you are going to dramatically increase your need to prepare for uncertainty. Because you will simply not meet all of your deadlines. For many of us we won’t meet most of our deadlines, let alone all of the deadlines.

Tetiana continues to cover a number of details around willpower, self management and self organization, and an insightful take on the topic of nerd networking. Watch the talk, it’s a good one and will provide a lot of insight, from a clearly introspective and intelligent individual, into clearing and stepping into a data science – or possibly other – career path!

References:

Where are the Part Time ~20-30 hrs Dev Gigs?

Over the years one of the things that I’ve seen missing in disproportionate amounts are many opportunities for part time work in the software development industry. There are two things about this fact that makes me kind of chuckle at the absurdity behind them.

  1. Much of the time there isn’t any part time work because so much of management and the existing group think is that more hours equal more productivity and more product. This is, however, very wrong.
  2. If software developers did work fewer hours, they actually have a high possibility that they’d become more productive, not less.

Shock, gasp, horror, no, tell me it isn’t so, you mean an entire industry is wrong about the human psychology behind an occupation?! Yup. The perverse thing is this isn’t exactly the first time. It appears, we humans are really bad at determining the best psychological state to be in for a particular occupation. We tend to get better at managing this, but overall we humans don’t have a great track record.

What I’d like to see, and I’m by no means assuming anybody would listen, but if leadership out there is, here are my thoughts. They’re free, I’m putting them right here on this blog, and I’m not even asking for any pennies for my thoughts. Disseminate and use as you would like!

The Part Time Coder Position$40-80k Dependent on Experience & Contribution Ability

Description: Available for meetings, pairing and coding for 4 hours per day, either on a declared morning or evening schedule to sync up with the team. Spending 4-5 hours per day total either meeting or working on project code. No excess meetings, domain planning or other business meetings necessary, core focus is coding and communication with the team and team lead that are working on the coding project.

Requisite Job Requirements:
• Possibly spend a full time week or two to get up to speed on practices, such as kanban usage, task tracking or whatever else is in use for project management.
• Be familiar with software development in general, with the expectation being of several years of experience with some stack that is similar to the primary stack that is being used.
• Be able to communicate, determine need for communication (especially if remote), and up-manage as well as determine self-direction with minimal interaction. i.e. ability to use the right comms for the right messages as often as possible.
• Be able to apply algorithms, patterns, and related thinking to provide solutions to the problem domain space that is being approached.

Other Peripheral Requirements:
• Ability to provide rough guesstimates on where and what effort something will take, pending reasonable time given to determine such things. Also management, as always, should keep in mind, estimates are always wrong. Just sayin’.

So where is this position availability? How about throwing some of those out there and see how or what could be done with some roles like that? It could be very useful. If you’re interested in putting some positions like this into place, I’d be happy to help consult or determine what you’d need.

Recruiters: I pose this question and write this blog entry knowing of no less than a dozen people that would work in software development, are exceptional software developers, but don’t because they’re either A: well off and have no need or desire to work full time or B: want to spend considerable amount of time living life and don’t have huge expenses, so they’d be really happy with a part time job. Neither of these people have any desire to work more than about ~20 hours a week. It’s a workforce that hasn’t even been touched on and overall, the businesses in the tech sector are seriously missing out

Could you answer a few questions about hackathons for me?

Hacking Hackathons

Hacking Hackathons

Recently I was talking to Jeff Martens of CPUsage about Hackathons. A few questions came up about what would make a hackathon fun, exciting and worth your time. Here’s a few questions, that I’d love to have a conversation about…

  • What type of hacking would you or do you prefer to do at a Hackathon? Hardware Hacking? Software Hacking?
  • How important are the prizes?
  • What should the prizes or rewards be?
  • How many people should attend that would actually make the Hackthon fun?
  • Have you attended, and if so, what was the coolest thing about the hackathon to you?
  • Are hackathons better as 1 day or 2 days or more?
  • Should hackathons be during the week or the weekend?

…and as you can imagine, there’s a million other questions. What’s your take on hackathons? Got a few thoughts? Throw down a comment or two, much appreciation for your thoughts, next beer is on me!  😉

Write the Docs, Proper Portland Brew, Hack n’ Bike and Polyglot Conference 2013

Blog Entry Index:

I just wrapped up a long weekend of staycation. Monday kicked off Write the Docs this week and today, Tuesday, I’m getting back into the saddle.

Write the Docs

The Write the Docs Conference this week, a two day affair, has kicked off an expanding community around document creation. This conference is about what documentation is, how we create documentation as technical writers, writers, coders and others in the field.

Not only is it about those things it is about how people interact and why documentation is needed in projects. This is one of the things I find interesting, as it seems obvious, but is entirely not obvious because of the battle between good documentation, bad documentation or a complete lack of documentation. The later being the worse situation.

The Bloody War of Documentation!

At this conference it has been identified that the ideal documentation scenario is that building it starts before any software is even built. I do and don’t agree with this, because I know we must avoid BDUF (Big Design Up Front). But we must take this idea, of documentation first, in the appropriate context of how we’re speaking about documentation at the conference. Just as tests & behaviors identified up front, before the creation of the actual implementation is vital to solid, reliable, consistent, testable & high quality production software, good documentation is absolutely necessary.

There are some situations, the exceptions, such as with agencies that create software, in which the software is throwaway. I’m not and don’t think much of the conference is about those types of systems. What we’ve been speaking about at the conference is the systems, or ecosystems, in which software is built, maintained and used for many years. We’re talking about the APIs that are built and then used by dozens, hundreds or thousands of people. Think of Facebook, Github and Twitter. All of these have APIs that thousands upon thousands use everyday. They’re successful in large part, extremely so, because of stellar documentation. In the case of Facebook, there’s some love and hate to go around because they’ve gone between good documentation and bad documentation. However whenever it has been reliable, developers move forward with these APIs and have built billion dollar empires that employ hundreds of people and benefit thousands of people beyond that.

As developers that have been speaking at the conference, and developers in the audience, and this developer too all tend to agree, build that README file before you build a single other thing within the project. Keep that README updated, keep it marked up and easy to read, and make sure people know what your intent is as best you can. Simply put, document!

You might also have snarkily asked, does Write the Docs have docs,why yes, it does:

http://docs.writethedocs.org/ <- Give em’ a read, they’re solid docs.

Portland Proper Brew

Today while using my iPhone, catching up on news & events over the time I had my staycation I took a photo. On that photo I used Stitch to put together some arrows. Kind of a Portland Proper Brew (PPB) with documentation. (see what I did there!) It exemplifies a great way to start the day.

Everyday I bike (or ride the train or bus) in to downtown Porltand anywhere from 5-9 kilometers and swing into Barista on 3rd. Barista is one of the finest coffee shops, in Portland & the world. If you don’t believe me, drag your butt up here and check it out. Absolutely stellar baristas, the best coffee (Coava, Ritual, Sightglass, Stumptown & others), and pretty sweet digs to get going in the morning.

I’ll have more information on a new project I’ve kicked off. Right now it’s called Bike n’ Hack, which will be a scavenger style code hacking & bicycle riding urban awesome game. If you’re interested in hearing more about this, the project, the game & how everything will work be sure to contact me via twitter @adron or jump into the bike n’ hack github organization and the team will be adding more information about who, what, where, when and why this project is going to be a blast!

Polyglot Conference & the Zombie Apocalypse

I’ll be teaching a tutorial, “Introduction to Distributed Databases” at Polyglot Conference in Vancouver in May!  So it has begun & I’m here for you! Come and check out how to get a Riak deployment running in your survival bunker’s data center. Zombies or just your pointy hair boss scenarios of apocalypse we’ll discuss how consistent hashing, hinted handoff and gossipping can help your systems survive infestations! Here’s a basic outline of what I’ll cover…

Introducing Riak, a database designed to survive the Zombie Plague. Riak Architecture & 5 Minute History of Riak & Zombies.

Architecture deep dive:

  • Consistent Hashing, managing to track changes when your kill zone is littered with Zombies.
  • Intelligent Replication, managing your data against each of your bunkers.
  • Data Re-distribution, sometimes they overtake a bunker, how your data is re-distributed.
  • Short Erlang Introduction, a language fit for managing post-civil society.
  • Getting Erlang

Installing Riak on…

  • Ubuntu, RHEL & the Linux Variety.
  • OS-X, the only user centered computers to survive the apocolypse.
  • From source, maintained and modernized for humanities survival.
  • Upgrading Riak, when a bunker is retaken from the zomibes, it’s time to update your Riak.
  • Setting up

Devrel – A developer’s machine w/ Riak – how to manage without zombie bunkers.

  • 5 nodes, a basic cluster
  • Operating Riak
  • Starting, stopping, and restarting
  • Scaling up & out
  • Managing uptime & data integrity
  • Accessing & writing data

Polyglot client libraries

  • JavaScript/Node.js & Erlang for the zombie curing mad scientists.
  • C#/.NET & Java for the zombie creating corporations.
  • Others, for those trying to just survive the zombie apocolypse.

If you haven’t registered for the Polyglot Conference yet, get registered ASAP as it could sell out!

Some of the other tutorials that are happening, that I wish I could clone myself for…

That’s it for updates right now, more code & news later. Cheers!

OSCON: Energy + Awesome + Space Exploration + Hacking

I wanted to post these two keynotes from OSCON 2011. They really bring out the spirit of exploration, adventure, care, and doing things bigger than oneself, doing things that go beyond the cat picture of the day. These presentations, well, I’ll let them speak for themselves. Absolutely great!

…and her intervew…

…and if you heard about Steve quitting Google or getting fired from Hacker News, read his glorious post on the matter.