by Doug Ashton, Mango Solutions @dougashton
Doug Ashton Data Science Radar – Nov 2015
1. Tell us a bit about your background in Data Science.
I was a physicist for 10 years where I used Monte Carlo simulations to solve problems in materials and networks. Anything with lots of interacting components was my domain. Since moving to Data Science I’ve found that the mathematics and tools of statistical physics had set me up perfectly. C++ was my primary tool for raw speed but R and Python were always part of my stack for analysis and plotting.
2. How would you describe what a Programmer is in your own words?
Code needs to make sense months after the project. Writing code to be understood is nearly as important as what it does.
3. Were you surprised at your Data Science Radar profile result? Please explain.
Yes a little, I’m fairly opinionated about coding style which probably explains it. I thought technology would rate higher.
4. Is knowing this information beneficial to shaping your career development plan? If so, how?
The radar in general makes you think about which axis you want to push out rather than getting a perfect circle. I’m more happy to let communicator go and push out the things I really care about.
5. How do you apply your skills as a Programmer at Mango Solutions?
We use the full DevOps stack on any size of analysis. By writing good docs, unit tests and continuation integration I feel much more confident delivering the final product.
6. If someone wanted to develop their Programmer skills further, what would you recommend?
Get on GitHub and see how other people are doing it. Use all the tools of unit testing and documentation. Make a pull request and see what happens! Always version control.
7. Which of your other highest scoring skills on the Radar compliments a Programmer skill set and why?
Technologist. These days you have to integrate with so many technologies you need to have a high level view of what’s available. Again, DevOps requires managing build servers and automated testing. You can’t just know one language.
8. Whats your favourite Programming Tool?
Git and GitHub. Getting into a rhythm of commits, branches, issue tracking and CI (via Travis) makes you so much better at your job. Equivalents such as GitLab and Jira/BitBucket and Jenkins also great choices.
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