In the fall I saw this post by Shanif Dhanani about being a data scientist at a small company, and it is entirely on point, the whole way through. So much of that post resonates with my own experience of being a data scientist at a small company. And yes, I do keep saying “small company”; Stack Overflow is likely smaller than you think it is, 250 or so employees in total. I am the second data scientist here, joining David Robinson who was the first data science hire, on a data team that is five in total.
I cannot emphasize enough how much of my day-to-day work is communicating, collaborating with others, and answering not-entirely-specified questions. Data science is highly technical work, but the value of my technical work would be much lower if I could not communicate what it means in clear and compelling ways. My definition of communication here is pretty broad, and includes speaking, writing, and data visualization.
If you’re interested in a career in data science, this is food for thought.