ODSC East 2016: 3 ways to become a better Data Scientist

This year’s 2016 ODSC East brings together the most influential data scientists, practitioners, innovators, and thought leaders in data science and big data, including many open source data science pioneers.

ODSC East 2016, May 20-22, Boston, MA

Let’s face it, being a data scientist is not a bad gig. It’s one of the best paying jobs around and exposes you to some very exciting projects. What has been described as one the best jobs of the 21st century will get you involved in everything from health prediction apps to driverless cars.

Note - A 3-day all access training and conference pass offers tremendous value but use the discount code ODSC-DC to get a further 15% off.

However, becoming a solid data scientist is a journey from apprentice to seasoned hand. At ODSC we believe you need three things to become a great data scientist: knowledge, open source tools, and exposure. We also believe you can have fun doing it. Read on, my skeptical friend.



As you churn through the learning mill ranging from university programs to MOOCs and bootcamps, spare a thought that at some point you will have to apply this knowledge. As an applied data science conference we have the world’s top data scientists telling you how they did it. They are the best in your field, have traveled the road, and you’d be foolish not to listen to them. These speakers are too numerous to list here but you will come away not only with insights but also inspired and sometimes amused. Don’t believe me? Check out this ODSC talk by top data scientist Owen Zang.

Open Source data science tools

Having a healthy skill set of open source tools helps any resume. Familiarity with Python, R, Julia, Stan, scikit-learn, Drill, Hadoop, Spark and so on are all things peers and employers look for.  Luckily these tools  are just a click away. But what can offer better bragging rights and insights than learning these tools from the rock stars who built them? These are some extremely talented individuals and you get to be in the same room as them.


Looking for a job when you need a job is never a good plan. Data science is a huge field and it takes time to network and find the first or next position that’s perfect for you. At ODSC East you can connect with over 2,000+ data science attendees and 400+ companies. At our dedicated career fair,  the companies you want to work for are hiring everyone from interns to chief data scientist. There is so much exciting work being done. Trust me, you don’t need an SVM model to know that talking to these companies in person is a much better idea than submitting your resume to the one way cul-de-sac of HR.

Becoming a data scientist is not just about ticking off a bunch of skill boxes. It’s your passion, your life work and a journey.  Events like ODSC East should be on that road. You’ll meet some of the brightest people on the planet working on some of the most exciting projects in the world. The data will alway be there. Take some time to connect with your fellow travelers and use ODSC-DC discount (15% off) as your toll pass :)

Sheamus McGovern, ODSC Chair.