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  • Writer's pictureHassan del Campo

Diving into Big Data for non-Swimmers

Updated: Nov 19, 2022

Diving into Big Data for non-Swimmers

If there's one thing I appreciate about the propaganda around data science and tech, it is its friendliness toward middle-career working professionals with diverse, non-technical backgrounds. It's almost too good to be true – especially when the onset of midlife crises that many of us will experience begins to bury seeds of doubt, fear, risk aversion, and lack of ambition. It's a nasty little weed that has prematurely silenced any attempts of dreaming out loud, should one dare to chase a dream. Or, God forbid, find a career with purpose.

I allowed myself to be persuaded. After all, data science uses all the key buzzwords that resonate with my inner monologues of designing a life where I get compensated for caring, being curious, being disciplined, and being creative. It is this sense of "being' that offers a quick reminder of Why I chose myself for this journey in the first place.

Yesterday, I wrapped up an introductory course on data visualization and today completed and/or started additional courses in SQL, Cloud Computing, and Data Science for Business. It's all part of a program attached to a fintech startup that's hoping to hire emerging data engineering talent out of a pool of trained, vetted, and curious participants. The reason why I'm up at 5 am PST, Wednesdays and Fridays, on Zoom trying to come up with thoughtful comments to the instructor's questions. The subject matter I find surprisingly interesting, more so than what I was expecting. But, I think it's blatantly clear that the CEO's agenda is to get venture capital into the startup while he builds out his executive team. This, I have no problem with. In fact, it's the type of arrangement that I had my eyes on. And now it's here. Well, almost.

The opportunity stressed "prior experience not necessary". I am curious to see how the program materializes as we go on to phase two. At the end of the training, when they begin to decide who to invite as an employee, can I confidently label myself a data engineer? Whether I'm chosen to continue with the company or not, I will have an education in the popular, in-demand field of data engineering – an area I had just begun to look into. Alas, the stars aligned again and for whatever reason, something will come of this. Meanwhile, I'll just enjoy taking my time and learning how to swim.

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