Which data scientist have you decided to be?
The first and most important quality of a data scientist is the ability to understand its own context and the ability to make a conscious choice about what they want to be: a “bricklayer” or a “challenger”.
The “bricklayers” are the majority of data scientists which compose the backbone of the industry. They carry out daily tasks and, with some experience over time, they carry them out brilliantly.
The “challengers”, on the other hand, are capable of carrying out the same daily tasks, however they are perfectly aware of the nitty-gritty details of the domain and are daring to question, extract and challenge its first principles, and they make sure this leads to innovation.
Each of these data scientist types require different sets of qualities.
The “bricklayers” need to be
- technically skilled
- able to recognize good mentors
- have the ability to acquire and retain skills that will be very valuable tomorrow, not only today
The “challengers” need to be (aside from being all that the seasoned “bricklayers” are)
- brave (able to ask any question and also be able to find the question to any answer)
- thinking in terms of first principles and be able to juggle and combine innovative “magic potions” based on new combinations of those extracts
- always be aware of the huge gap between personal ethics and collective ethics and how they map into shaping the surrounding world today
- great communicators with the “bricklayers” and be able to convert first principles concepts to analogies, if needed
In my experience, it is impossible to be both types of data scientist at the same time, so the first step to becoming a great data scientist is, indeed, to make the conscious choice and go “all in”.
Which one have you chosen to be?
By: Feodor Georgiev