I nervously waited for a good opportunity to approach my supervisor and break the news to him that I was leaving (resigning, quitting, whatever you want to call it). I had mulled it over and had the idea gurgling in my stomach for the last week which according to him was evident in my demeanor. “I’m leaving, this is my two weeks notice”, I said. His response, with a smile was “Where are you going?”. As my nerves calmed I firmly stated “I’m going to focus on Grad School, Full-time and dedicate my full-heart to my open-source projects”. Without hesitation, he scoffed with apprehension. nervousness and elation all at once that he “was 100% supportive of my decision” and at that moment I was 110% confident that this was the right beginning to my story and the necessary decision I needed to make to be happy. I absolutely didn’t need my supervisors approval but it sure did make it feel good that he (and my other team members) could acknowledge my true potential and how I needed to get there was to leave a job that was unrelated to my “dream career”. I say unrelated loosely but with a clear mind knowing this was the position I had accepted but my passions have evolved. My job was ok and I could rattle off a bucket of transferable skills and meld my resume to suit my future endeavors but I don’t personally believe that staying would have been the right decision for me to improve my skillset. I probably, in all honestly would have had a meltdown like Gloria.
In the interest of transparency and staying professional, I don’t have any need or desire to slander my previous employer or say I was mis-treated or that the glimmer of the glass ceiling was distracting for my career or that they were a little light on diversity in upper management, on the contrary and a more personal note, I can whole-heartedly say that for the past 1 1/2 years I’ve had good mentorship from everyone I worked with and opportunities to further develop albeit not the direction I wanted.
I’m going to be blunt here and reveal some truths (because I trust you Internet friends!):
I love writing code
I love the red-text errors. I love when the code is error-free. I love searching stackoverflow for solutions. I love changing the background image of my personal webpage and uncomfortable amount of times. I enjoy creating a product that addresses a need to those that are underserved. I adore open-source. I love digging through data of all sizes (small, medium, and dare I say it BIG DATA). I love the art and craft of statistics and making sense of numbers (take that! – report card from 3rd grade that sought define me as “not a mathematical word problems” – kind of student). I love being involved in genomics & Bioinformatics (I mean who would want to be involved in finding a cure for cancer). I love the witty twitter banter from the #rstats community. I can’t get enough it! So I guess with all those passions, skills, and interest I want to be a Data Scientist like all the other nerds out there!
My game plan is to enjoy being a grad student in a awesome Master’s Program in Predictive Analytics at DePaul University and continue my involvement in creating open-source analytical software tools for scientists! I’m also going to be attending conferences, podcasting, going to hackathons, and training for a 1k (should I call it a marathon even if its only 0.62 miles ?!). I’m sure there will be many times on the emotional roller coaster when I’ll feel like Sheldon:
But I’m sure i’ll have lots of euphoric thoughts like Santana:
So here I am in all my “unemployed”, full-time grad student glory seeking to become a better software developer, data scientist and more importantly a better human being.
…And I would be remiss If I didn’t mentioned that I have the full support of my amazing partner and family.