OPINION

Everyone used to say that big data was the future. Was it wrong? What about now?

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Photo by Etienne Girardet on Unsplash

In my innocent days, when I had just started my Masters in Data Science, any Big Data topic would make me wiggle with excitement in my chair. I wanted a piece of the 3Vs. I wanted to analyze the crap out of the endless stream, model it, visualize it, transform it, crush it. Years later, the words ‘Big Data’ make me lift an eyebrow, awaiting another shower of buzzwords and vague expectations. Have Big Data lost its attraction or have I just become cynical?

The buzzword vs reality

I’ve recently become allergic to buzzwords. They are incredibly overrated and do not mean anything anymore…


It’s harder to hide your true priorities when a crisis arises, decisions are crucial and resources are limited.

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Photo by Amelie & Niklas Ohlrogge on Unsplash

In the month of November 2019, entirely unaware of what 2020 was reserving for us, I experienced a disease outbreak and a similar situation as the corona crisis, only on a much smaller case. It did not involve humans, only horses.

The outbreak of strangles (an upper respiratory tract infection) started in a small field, at the back of our barn. Immediately, we closed borders. Nobody could go out of the barn for the next 4 to 6 weeks as the incubation period can take up to 21 days. Soon after that, as the disease kept spreading, we went on…


Happiness is all about dirt, mud, flaws and incredibly loud laughter.

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Photo by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash

Fancy is overrated.

Horses have taught me that real love is in the poo, the crap you’ll clean up for the one you love, the mud you struggle to walk in, the hardship and the dirt. Real love strives in overcoming obstacles, not in covering each other with glitter, pretty words and in drinking cocktails on a beach.

Real love lives in the dirt.

Pretty Instagram pictures are not reality and they will never be. They capture one beautiful moment, sometimes fabricated for attention. It pleases the eye, it might create envy in others, but it does not come close to reality.

Being sophisticated is trying…


The intention of your loved ones can destroy your passion if you let it.

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Photo by Jan Kahánek on Unsplash

As a kid, I loved writing stories and sharing them. I used to have notebooks full of never-finished stories often involving animals, people turning into big cats -I was already a crazy cat lady then- and awkward character names I had somehow made up. My family did not mind the stories, but they did not find much value in there. They encouraged my love for books but only as long as my creative endeavors remained a hobby, not a priority.

I come from a rather sporty family that measures efforts in diplomas, competitions won and money earned. Their traditional thinking…


Or when AWS mistook The Witcher for a Serbian footballer.

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Photo by Rock'n Roll Monkey on Unsplash

According to Forbes, 83% of enterprise workloads will be in The Cloud by 2020, including 41% on public platforms such as AWS, Google Cloud Platform or Microsoft Azure. During one of my recent project as a data scientist, I had to start getting used to cloud computing, storage and deployment. Another good step in this direction might be to start experimenting with cloud services such as image recognition, character recognition and speech recognition, if not only to know the performance they offer.

Testing OCR services during a Hackathon

Testing cloud services offering Optical Character Recognition was the topic of a hackathon I attended a few weeks…


One solution to prevent your mind from running amok

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Photo by LinkedIn Sales Navigator on Unsplash

Anxiety is a mental plague only a few people manage to avoid nowadays. I found out how anxious I could be after getting my own horse and realizing how much anxiety was taking over my riding life. Later on, I started noticing how many things I was postponing due to being anxious about the outcome.

In my quest to becoming a less scared rider, writer, and human, I found Jane Pike, a mental coach for horse riders. While she is specialized in mental coaching for riders, all her advice is applicable to anything in life.

As I have said a…


Unless you want to kill your idea right then.

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Photo by Artsy Vibes on Unsplash

Any book idea you have in mind contains a certain magic. The more you think about this idea, the more you build up the magic, giving it details, feelings, sounds and smells. At some point in time, you will try to translate the magic into written words, maybe into a novel or a short story. It is a lengthy difficult process which happens piece by piece. It takes a lot of efforts, time and patience.

I recently read a book on writing, called “Write For Your Life: A Guide to Writing with Confidence and Joy”, written by Tania Kindersley. I…


What if being an avid reader would also make you a better writer?

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Photo by Dollar Gill on Unsplash

I’ve never stopped reading. Since I was a child, I’ve been captivated by books. I could spend hours lost in them and I would finish reading them faster than any other kid my age. I even remember forcing myself to slow down and stop after a certain number of pages so I could enjoy the book a little longer.

While I always considered reading an amazing activity in itself, I now have a tendency to replace my reading time with writing time, as if the latter was…


Let’s build a house together… using git.

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Photo by Yancy Min on Unsplash

When I started using Version Control in my projects, the concept was difficult to understand. I saw many people, including myself, running commands such as git pull, git push and applying processes that I did not understand. Why did I need to both commit and push? Why did every new feature require a new branch? After working several months in a project using Git daily, the concept became very clear to me and I could finally understand the full potential for collaboration using Version Controlling, and more specifically, Git.

During the last two weeks of December, I was asked to…


Many people wish for a different career path and want to transition to a Data Scientist position but is it just a question of hard work and motivation?

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Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash

After I published my article about my switch from Business Development to Data Science and my article regarding what my data science Master did not teach me, many people reached out to me for advice about their own career switch. Some of them were worried about their ability to transition to Data Science while others asked about which online course was the best. While I obviously do not have all the answers, I thought I would share my own experience on the topic and a few pieces of advice for people looking to make such a change in their career.

Are online courses enough to get a job as a Data Scientist?

Julia Di Russo

Passionate Non Fiction & Fiction Writer | Data Scientist living in the Netherlands with a French passport | Devoted Horse Trainer.

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