My “Trip to Bountiful” in Data Science
With a nod to Geraldine Page’s Oscar-winning performance in The Trip to Bountiful, a 30-year old movie I saw for the first time this past week (thank you, Turner Classic Movies), I’m starting my own trip to my career “bountiful”. You’re welcome to travel with me all or part of the way. I’m going nonetheless.
As with any journey, one never knows what perils or pleasures one will encounter along the way. I have no illusions of idealistic grandeur with hordes of followers waiting breathlessly for my next blog post. My teenage son, the self-appointed illusion smasher, will burst that bubble should the need arise. Teenagers have that certain way to keep you grounded like when they say, “Dad, you had ONE job…” But I digress.
My goal and purpose is to document my experience with traversing from one career path to another. This current path traversal — I’ve had many — is from mobile application development to data science.
Mobile development has matured to the point where creativity is undervalued. I see it happen all the time. When corporations adopt the new whizbang tech, it becomes undervalued, commonplace, and decidedly unsexy. Such is the current trend in mobile applications. There’s no money to be made by the individual. Indie publishers can’t compete financially with the enterprise. Most, if not all, apps are now free with the dreadful “in-app purchase” model. Otherwise known as the bait-n-switch of the mobile world.
I live on technology’s edge. I always have. It’s fraught with danger and the landscape is littered with the corpses of those who failed (many of which are husks of my own failed attempts). In American parlance, the “bleeding edge” is the technological Wild West. Exit mobile dev; enter data science.
Data science has a potential I never before imagined. Think of it from a scientific perspective. In physics, the black hole information paradox says information cannot be destroyed. Information is data with context. Thus, data cannot be destroyed. EVERYTHING IS DATA. See where this is going? The ultimate data science project would be to analyze the entire universe as data. Since we can’t do that, yet, we have to scale back our ambitions to this single planet in a single star system in a single galaxy. We’ve got our work cut out for us.
What would be your ultimate question to the universe of data?