By definition, I am a newb in the field of data science. I do not have a solid STEM background, mostly because I feel like I never that the opportunity to. By that I mean that my K-12 education did not have the resources that my fellow classmates and I could take in and nurture that love for STEM that I saw many times in college. Nonetheless, that’s a story for another time; today I am going to share my story and hopefully it reaches someone out there that is thinking about a career into data, or a young person that is looking into the field but is unsure. Please excuse any run- on sentences or any other missing punctuation, I am writing what ever comes to mind and sometimes it sounds great in my head but not so much on paper (or blog, in this case).
As I mentioned, I did not have a great start in the tech field. I started my freshman year in college at The University of Texas at Austin as a Computer Science Major (CS). Coming out of a low- income and resource community that was East Austin, back in the day, I always felt behind. As a young person fresh out of high school, I think, like many people, I got intimated and never gave myself a chance in the field of CS. Very quickly I determined that I just did not want to do programming and I quit it entirely—well, flash forward 10 years to present day and I find myself going full- circle. Today, the field of analytics and data sciences has got my attention. I stumbled upon this passion serendipitously in a class that I loathed: Statisitcs. It was mandated in my degree course to take a math course, and I hated math. I left the CS field in 2009, and this was 2015, but I still hated math. I still had that fear of it. That fear of failure. It was one of the reasons why I transfered out of CS. However, this time it was different. I don’t know if it was because I was older and had picked up better study habits, or if it was because I just had a different mentality, whatever it was, I found myself really loving statistics. What was ever better was that this course applied those statistics to real world problems, it wasn’t just another theory class. After all my loses and insecurities, I saw math with a new perspective.
I know I kinda took you through a wild loop and added details that may or may not be interesting, but I just want those of you who are in a similar situation that I was in to know that you are not alone. If you are anything like me and you are determined to find you passion but you feel unsure of yourself sometimes, just remember the long- term benefits. I learned that all of my fear did nothing to stop me from wanting to work in the tech field, however, each time I did cave in to that fear, I had to start all over. That’s what I mean about thinking long term. Give yourself a change to struggle in this field, it is not an easy one but there are many other people out there too that are in the same position.
Enough rambling, if you would like me to keep elaborating on my journey to where I came from, I can also submit anecdotes frequently just so you can see how many mistakes I have made but how I have grown from them; whether it pertains to the field of data or just in general how I went from a kid who everyone thought would be a high school drop out and a druggy, to someone that just finished their Master’s at UT.
For future blogs, I will start posting more on my work in the industry and how I want to bring in my personal style to it. I know I am still a novice, so take it easy :D but I am also determined to learn something new everyday and grow in the field.