This blog post serves two purposes for my reader: an insight from an experience I recently had and a challenge for you to invoke my insight for yourself.
I went to a networking event a week ago hosted my a Meetup group called San Diego Tech Founders. It is comprised of a lot of smart people in San Diego who are interested in startups. They range from people trying to get exposed to the startup community, like me, to people who have successfully had their companies acquired by bigger companies. Talk about networking opportunities.
This event in particular involved listening to Melani Gordon, the cofounder of TapHunter, speak about the process of creating and building a product from start to finish. As interesting as the talk was, my main takeaway happened when the entire group mingled over beers afterwards. I happened to get introduced to a man who was a data scientist for a local startup. Budding data scientist (me) meets professional data scientist (my new mentor), which leads to awesome career development opportunities.
Colin, the data scientist, gave me a task at the end of the night to help me start proving my knowledge to future employers. He told me to pick a messy data set from data.gov and do some analysis. He calls it a Passion Project. The idea is so simple, but so perfect for me. Pick a data set that I want to answer questions about, and build analysis around those questions.
My biggest takeaway from that impromptu meeting was to prove what I know by doing. That is the insight that I want to share with you. Now, the challenge. I invite you to pick a project like I am, and share what you learn too. I’ll report back in a future post. I hope you do the same, either in a comment on my site, or on a site of your own.