Completing my bachelor's degree has always been one of my long term goals. My health, living situation, and drive have been major road blocks along the way, but now finally i can take my hands off the wheel and coast to graduation. My degree is in Information Technology with a Specialization in Software Analysis and Design. Most of the people I go to school with are already employed in the field one way or another and just need a piece of paper to advance their career. Me, I only come from retail experience and what professional experience I do have, no one cares for it being that I have no certifications. When people hear I'm in IT they immediately assume I can do X, Y, and Z to their computer and fix it or create stunning websites on the fly or for free. Nope, I'm a dumbass on hardware. Utter dumbass, self admitted. Do I know terminology, yes. But my hands get sweaty pretty quick and wet hardware is not so sexy. My area of expertise is more regarding software, but not programming. Let me explain specifically what I mean by the class I'm currently in. Buy the end of it I'll get to my point so you have some context.
In our capstone class we were assigned the mother of all group projects. Each class is 5 weeks long and this was no different except we had to contribute each week individually and to the group. The scenario was as follows:
A former dot com company, Verbania, Inc., shut down in 2001 because of the Internet bubble burst. It is attempting to reinvent and launch itself once again. It is looking for a complete information technology (IT) solution that includes hardware, software, networking, and security, among other requirements. Verbania’s core product will be a social networking Web site and mobile application that rivals the big names that currently represent social media. It is attempting to find the best features and consolidate them into its product. The company is looking to establish its headquarters in the Silicon Valley region in California. The executives at Verbania are looking for your company to propose a solution that will endure future Internet trends.
The basic user requirements for the social networking solution must include but are not limited to the following:
- Creating an account and a profile
- Creating discussion forums and posting
- Search capability for people
- Gaming component
- Calendar component for reminders
- Instant messaging and Voice Over Internet protocol (VOIP)-type calling between friends
- Secure account and email feature
- Availability seven days a week
The basic company requirements for the social networking solution must include but are not limited to the following:
- Collect, store, back up, and mine user data to better understand users.
- Integrate collected data with customer relationship management (CRM) to improve business and customer support processes.
- Analyze user patterns, behavior, and generated traffic to present to advertisers.
Requested functionality for the social networking application includes the following:
- Account setup and log-in functionality
- Creating a profile
- Adding or removing friends
- Posting to a discussion area
Pretty daunting right?
Other specializations in our IT cohort are Network Administration, Digital Investigations, and Information Assurance and Security.
I was coming in from the software end. My three group mates were networking/hardware guys. So we were evenly stacked and they were very heavy on the hardware end as far as specs and network topology goes. Each of us contributed equally to the project and we each pulled our own weight. One person was assigned to each area: networking, security, and hardware, software. Some groups had less tow work with so it was nice having all areas covered and all group members actively participating.
Week 4 was my area in software and it was my time to shine. Being the lone software expert in the group, I felt the weight on my shoulders. My group had done a stellar job on their ends and my end only had one week and then we got out grade. My end involved the functionality of the proposal. Here's the important part. i may specialize in software development, but coding is NOT my forte. NO CODING WAS REQUIRED FOR THIS. This made me happy because I knew that meant diagrams.
Attached below are the diagrams I created for the project. Which I'm damn fucking proud of:
We ended up with an A.
Now here's my point. I hated doing all that. I hated working with folks that dreaded any form of communication and refused to let down their ego. With the exception of this last group, that was the norm. The diagrams may be fancy, but they were too easy.
Data science has always fascinated me since I took an independent study course at my community college. Yes I could go out and pursue software development but I hate coding and I hate all that I learned in my program. Data science is a more solid career and having a graduate degree in my passion has always been my goal.
I have a domain set up for when I'm ready to post my portfolio. It's going to be stuff not normally seen due the casual eye. What spawned this passion was the recent outcry over children being separated from their families here at the U.S. border. There was a call to match a parent with child. What steamed me was our country's Homeland Security [expletive] could not answer for where a certain kind of child was. With all do respect to our government, Obama has released data that has been in statistics textbooks for ages. Ya'll seen Avengers: Infinity War? I have not, but I'm pretty damn sure there's a growing need for more people studying data science than being entertained by Marvel and the media.