The Fifth Elephant is one of India’s largest data science conferences with speakers from organizations such as Anaconda, Flipkart, Clustr, Gojek and more.

At the event, the Atlan team interviewed some of the best speakers. This interview is with Peter Wang, co-founder and CTO at Anaconda. We asked Peter the qualities that data scientists should have and tips on staying updated on all things data.

Check out the complete interview with Peter here.

Getting candid with Peter Wang, co-founder and CTO at Anaconda

Interview transcript

Hi, I’m Peter, and I’m the co-founder of Anaconda and my role there is the CTO. So, I run the open-source technology and community innovation group.

What are qualities that data scientists should have?

You have got to work on your communication skills. The technical skills are important, but communication skills are so important, so critical. 

If you’re not good at presenting, if you’re not good at summarizing the results, if you’re not able to understand or articulate why your business cares about a particular procedure or a particular class of data science problems, then take that very seriously! Invest in your own skills.

How can data scientists keep themselves updated?

15-20 years ago, it was Java, JavaBeans and J2EE. And then, you know, 15 years ago, 10 years ago, it was Web 2.0, web apps and then mobile, social, blockchain … you throw technologies left and right, but data science is different, fundamentally different.

Because, it represents a transformation of most businesses and how they think—how they understand themselves, how they understand the whole environment around them.
Moving from a very slow, usually Excel-based, you know, moving from that kind of cognitive mode to a very fast, machine-augmented, human-in-the-loop kind of decision process. So it’s a data transformation. And data scientists are the enablers to that transformation and we’re very early still, in this whole transformation process. 

So that being said, I would remind everyone that it is a marathon, not a sprint. 

That’s why I say take your time to learn new things, but also invest in understanding the depths of things because a lot of changes will happen. If you understand the depths, then you can actually know where things will go, because you understand the fundamentals.

Liked this video and wish to watch more such interviews? Subscribe to our Youtube channel and watch our videos as and when we publish them. Also check out our interview with Ishita Mathur, a data scientist at Gojek.

If you have any suggestions, leave them in the comments below.

Update: As of October 9, 2019, Peter Wang has stepped into the role of CEO at Anaconda.


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