Data Science

Dated 21 August 2017

In just about a week’s time, I will be starting my bootcamp at General Assembly. Enrolled in their Data Science Immersive program, I will be among the 25 students in its inaugural batch at the Singapore campus.

This move has been in the works for a long time, starting in February 2017 and culminating in my tendering in June 2017. Throughout these four months, there were a few recurring things that went on in my mind which I will attempt to pen down here.

1. Why Change Jobs (Again)? Is the company not paying you well? Is your boss not good? …. <insert random gripe about the company here>

Simplistically, you can pin it down to being “YOLO”, or that I am just a being “millennial”-ish. All those are plausible explanations but they only tell part of the story.

Push factors came from me being dissatisfied with my old job. My old role, advertised as a writer position, was boring and repetitive where most of the time was spent manually copying and pasting excel information onto powerpoint presentations owing to poor and archaic IT infrastructure. But the last straw came when the two bosses failed to realise their errors when handling a large team. Their flaw was in allowing favouritism to show so blatantly and their inability to allow writers a conducive environment to develop their knowledge and hone their craft. This was capped off with nonchalant disregard for the value of people in the team, with remarks like “you can always leave if you want to, we can easily hire tomorrow since we have 10-20 applicants for each position”. It is no surprise that people starting leaving because they simply could not find any purpose in staying.

Moving to a new team helped to alleviate things, but in my new role I had always felt that I was not adding enough value to the team, and was always wondering whether I was producing work that nobody would ever read, much less take on seriously. Coupled with the thinking that all I was doing was being a glorified database extractor and compiler of information, my mind began to wander. Prior to this, I had been semi-interested in programming, having bought a few MOOCs from Udemy and attempting to be self-taught in Python (more on this later).

2. Why Data Science?
On to the pull factor – data science, one of the hottest buzzwords in today’s media, is a field that was virtually unheard of 5 years ago. I have been following the news on data science for a while now and am in awe of the breadth and depth of its reach. No matter the industry, the use of data and its accompanying analytics can yield so many new insights that benefit countless human lives. I am very excited to be able to jump onto the proverbial bandwagon to see where it leads me in the future.