Reactions on telling others that you are a data scientist

rfuentealbarfuentealba Moderator, RapidMiner Certified Analyst, Member, University Professor Posts: 568 Unicorn
edited December 2018 in Help

Hi there,

10 years ago, if someone asked me what do I do for a living, the replies to being a computer software engineer were: "Great, I have this Windows XP, can you fix it?" or "So, you see the Matrix?"... It was funny the first time, but as the time passes it gets repeated and boring.

Today I decided I was going to tell my cab driver that I'm a data scientist. He asked for more explanation, I told him about predicting behaviours and he then offered me 1.000.000 CLP (some 1500 USD, IIRC) for a program that could "predict" the numbers of the lottery.

That feeling again, just like the first time.

So the question is: what were the most interesting reactions from non-scientists when you told them about your jobs? :D




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    sgenzersgenzer Administrator, Moderator, Employee, RapidMiner Certified Analyst, Community Manager, Member, University Professor, PM Moderator Posts: 2,959 Community Manager

    Here's my story:


    One day I was just doing my normal grocery shopping and I happened to be wearing my red RapidMiner t-shirt (yes I am geeky enough to wear them outside of data science conferences). For those who have not had the privilege of owning one, the back reads "Real Data Science, Fast and Simple". Of course.


    Anyway I was just doing my shopping and was in the feminine products aisle getting supplies for the other members of my household. It's not an aisle that I am still comfortable shopping in; I usually just grab things quickly and move on. But not this time. Just as I was putting a large box in my cart, I heard a loud voice behind me say clearly: "Oh excuse me! Can I ask you a question?"


    Fortunately those boxes are not heavy as I almost dropped it on my toe while turning around (and very red at the same time). I said, "um...sure?"


    "I saw your t-shirt...are you a data person?"


    "Um what? Oh, my t-shirt. Yeah. I'm a data scientist. I work for this data science software company RapidMiner. Why?"


    "Oh well my son has been telling me about Bitcoin and he has all these computers in his room and he says he uses all this data to trade and well I don't really understand it all but maybe you do this too?"


    That's my best "data scientist" story.




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    kypexinkypexin Moderator, RapidMiner Certified Analyst, Member Posts: 291 Unicorn

    I usually have some difficulties to explain what is data science to older generation. To parents, for example. 


    So I made up a simple plot: "Ma, my job is like an... accountant. I work with numbers. Many numbers. A lot of them. And I try to make these numbers bring some profit".


    So far, works well. 

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