Data Science is not scary
What I learned about the data science community
I’m a Front-End Developer by day, creating user-friendly web apps and bringing visual and interactive lives to data.
So when I attended PyData Seattle 2017, I was not “one of them.”
Many people I’ve talked to must have wondered what I was doing there (don’t worry, they were all nice people).
They are right, a lot of talks that even claimed to be for “novice” went over my head as everything I heard was foreign concepts.
When some of the speakers started to break down mathematical formula behind machine learning algorithms, I remembered why I only took one math class in college.
Yet, I still enjoyed listening to a diverse set of people who were passionate about solving problems.
Ends vs. Means
In the recent years of the Front-End development world, I feel greater pressure to keep up with the latest techniques and frameworks that pop up every single month.
My point is this: it’s easy to focus on the means than the ends.
So I had to take a break from my day to day work and learn something outside of my expertise.
Although many speakers did cover tools and techniques, they also presented problems they were trying to solve through data science.
Few of them were about humanitarian projects that lead to help other people and institutions around the world.
It’s refreshing to see a group of engineers who set out to solve real-world problems rather than wasting their time arguing about the best framework online.
My ranting aside, I felt a little ignition in my engineering heart to learn more about data science and solve a real-world problem as part of my skill sets.
Don’t let the fear discourage you
Yes, I was intimidated by the intricacies of machine learning, deep learning, neural networks, you name it.
It does make sense why I met more Ph.D. scientists than any other conferences I usually attend
But I felt a warm welcome from the community of data scientists and engineers in the field.
So I realized that the world data science is not scary at all
What’s scary is the fear of failing to understand something that prevents us from making progress towards a better future.
So if you are interested in what data science is all about, find one of the local communities and get to know amazing people there.
One day, you could be working with them to change someone’s life for the better.