These can add up to something very significant or you may be lucky to stumble on a gold mine project but this is less common.
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The issue of politics already has a brilliant article dedicated to it: The most difficult thing in data science: politics and I urge you to read it. The first few sentences from that article pretty much sum up what I want to say:. If you seriously think that knowing lots of machine learning algorithms will make you the most valuable data scientist then go back to my first point above: expectation does not match reality. The truth is the people in the business with the most clout need to have a good perception of you.
That may mean that you have to constantly do ad hoc work such as getting numbers from a database to give to the right people at the right time, doing simple projects just so that the right people have the right perception of you. I had to do this a lot in my previous place. As frustrating as it can feel, it was a necessary part of the job. Other colleagues in technology assume you know everything data related.
Because you know all of this and you obviously have access to ALL of the data, you are expected to have the answers to ALL of the questions by……. Trying to tell everyone what you actually know and have control of can be hard.
This can be quite a difficult situation. When we see successful data products we often see expertly designed user interfaces with intelligent capabilities and most importantly, a useful output which, at the very least, is perceived by the users to solve a pertinent problem. Now if a data scientist spends their time only learning how to write and execute machine learning algorithms, then they can only be a small albeit necessary part of a team that leads to the success of a project that produces a valuable product.
This means that data science teams that work in isolation will struggle to provide value! Despite this, many companies still have data science teams that come up with their own projects and write code to try and solve a problem.
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In some cases this can suffice. So if the project is taken on by an isolated data science team it is most likely to fail or take a very long time because organizing isolated teams to work on collaborative project in large enterprises is not easy. It un fortunately depending on which way you look at it involves understanding how hierarchies and politics works in business. Finding a company that is aligned with your critical path should be a key goal when searching for a data science job that will satisfy your needs.
However, you may still need to readjust your expectations of what to expect from a data science role. If anyone has any additional comments, questions or objections, please feel free to comment because constructive discussion is necessary to help aspiring data scientists make well-informed decisions about their career path. If you find yourself wanting something month after month, year after year, yet nothing happens and you never come any closer to it, then maybe what you actually want is a fantasy , an idealization, an image and a false promise.
But I ask because that tells me far more about you than your desires and fantasies. Because you have to choose something. Pleasure is an easy question. And pretty much all of us have similar answers. The more interesting question is the pain. What is the pain that you want to sustain? That answer will actually get you somewhere.
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For most of my adolescence and young adulthood, I fantasized about being a musician — a rock star, in particular. Any badass guitar song I heard, I would always close my eyes and envision myself up on stage playing it to the screams of the crowd, people absolutely losing their minds to my sweet finger-noodling.
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This fantasy could keep me occupied for hours on end. The fantasizing continued up through college, even after I dropped out of music school and stopped playing seriously. I was biding my time before I could invest the proper amount of time and effort into getting out there and making it work.
First, I needed to finish school. Then, I needed to make money.
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Then, I needed to find the time. Then… and then nothing. Despite fantasizing about this for over half of my life, the reality never came. And because of that, I failed at it. I hardly tried at all. The daily drudgery of practicing, the logistics of finding a group and rehearsing, the pain of finding gigs and actually getting people to show up and give a shit. The broken strings, the blown tube amp, hauling 40 pounds of gear to and from rehearsals with no car. I just liked to imagine the top. End of story. I wanted the reward and not the struggle. I wanted the result and not the process.
I was in love not with the fight but only the victory. Who you are is defined by the values you are willing to struggle for. People who enjoy the struggles of a gym are the ones who get in good shape. People who enjoy long workweeks and the politics of the corporate ladder are the ones who move up it.
People who enjoy the stresses and uncertainty of the starving artist lifestyle are ultimately the ones who live it and make it. This is the most simple and basic component of life: our struggles determine our successes.
So choose your struggles wisely, my friend.
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