A Year at Stack Overflow

David Robinson (@drob) has a great post on his blog about his first year as a data scientist at Stack Overflow. This section in particular stood out for me:

I like using R to learn interesting things about our data, but my longer term goal is to make it easy for any of our engineers to do so….Towards this goal, I’ve been focusing on building reliable tools and frameworks that people can apply to a variety of problems, rather than “one-off” analysis scripts. (There’s an awesome post by Jeff Magnusson at StitchFix about some of these general challenges). My approach has been building internal R packages, similar to AirBnb’s strategy (though our data team is quite a bit younger and smaller than theirs). These internal packages can query databases and parsing our internal APIs, including making various security and infrastructure issues invisible to the user.

The world needs an army of David Robinsons.

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