What Inspired Me to Become A Data Scientist (a not-totally-serious post)
(As an aside: while I was studying biology in college, I got very interested in the study and application of bioinformatics. Whether it is that interest that ultimately led me to data science, or what I theorize below, is really up for debate.)
The X-Files was my favorite television show for a long time, and my first real foray into science fiction. I immediately fell in love with the entire universe defined by Mulder, Scully, the Cigarette-Smoking Man, and Mulder’s goofy but technically-astute associates the Lone Gunmen. Watching the show, I wished desperately not to be an FBI agent, but to be among the ranks of those conspiracy-theorizing, database-hacking, tinfoil-hat-wearing men. They were capable of taking broad requests for information, turning those requests into specific, actionable plans, and returning with meaningful answers. I wanted to be able to find patterns in information like that, to be able to not only have the answers at my fingertips but the capability to find answers where others could not.
I had much the same reaction when reading Stieg Larsson’s Millenium trilogy — Lisbeth Salander was basically my hero. Her skill set was unparalleled, she was uncompromising in her values, and basically kicked ass across the board.
In thinking of why I was first interested in data science, my mind goes not to career changes or booming tech industries, but these fictional mavens.