I’ve gone to conferences, conventions, and general get togethers in many industries from outdoor recreation, to theatrical entertainment, multimedia technology, science fiction and comic book fan conventions. I’ve come to realize each is fundamentally the same. We come together in these enclaves of common interest not to see others or the latest gadgets (though that is a lot of fun), but to see ourselves as part of a larger community, to feel we belong to something larger than ourselves and bask in the belonging, if even for a minute.
The Strata + Hadoop World conference this past week was no different. As a recent convert from the community of data analyst hacks to the profession of data scientist, I came to see what place, if any, I had in this world of people who are take in the lonely, neglected data points and fashion them into the most amazing insights into the human condition and our modern society. I equate it to artists working with found objects, where beauty is created out of the detritus of modern life. Both disciplines seek to prove we are often defined less by what we do than what we leave behind.
So, thank you Strata + Hadoop World for showing me my hopeful place as an apprentice among masters, waiting to take the stage to demonstrate my own craft and inspire others (while enjoying great food and drink).