Bootstrapping Data Science and Diversity

The JuliaLang Survey results highlighted lack of Black representation in the Julia community. Learning Data Science on your own can be intimidating, especially coming from a nontraditional career path, and formal tutoring is expensive. Luckily, Julia’s community is willing to help! We are a mentor and mentee who met on Julia Discourse in 2018 and have been working together since. Our experience shows the value of mentorship when bootstrapping your data science career—and how fun and rewarding it

The 21st century is powered by Big Data, and learning the techniques to extract insights from it will empower individuals and their communities. The JuliaCon 2019 Community Survey Results highlighted a lack of minority representation inside the Julia community. This problem is not just isolated within the Julia community, but is present across the Tech Industry, where Blacks often represent less than ~5% of the workforce. Learning Data Science on your own is hard and can just be flat out discouraging, and formal tutorship programs are often prohibitively expensive. Luckily, the Julia community has many talented scientists who are willing to help! In this talk, we will share our experience as a mentor and mentee who met on the Julia Discourse in 2018 and have been meeting regularly since then to discuss the programming, statistical, and professional aspects of data science in Julia. We provide advice and encouragement to anyone else in the Julia community looking to embark on a similar journey. Help is out there, and in some cases, you may even discover a lifelong mentor and friend.