Rants from a great under-paid data scientist

Interesting blog post from a Berkely graduate (statistician) who was on the team that created Advil...

The guy graduated in the fifties, is very smart (wrote at least one great book that I bought, referenced in this article), but for whatever reasons, he is very bitter about his entire career. Here are a few extracts from his ranting - very funny - contrasting with the modern idea that anyone, barely or not qualified, can make tons of money quickly in data science: 

  • With too few exceptions, I've had to fight for my money in every consulting project I've taken on in the past twenty years.
  • A few years later, they were bankrupt, and Pfizer bought the shell.  Typical, including the buyout.  No, I did not get further consulting work from them.
  • With a large well-established firm, there is one and only one reason you are being hired.  The project is a disaster and every knowledgeable employee has already bailed. 
  • This firm is responsible for my adopting an ironclad rule, one every consultant ought share with prostitutes: Get Paid Up Front.
  • So I am hired to do programming or data management. Only as a seeming afterthought do they ask, “You can do a survival analysis, can’t you?
  • Each week, the testing group was discovering more and more errors at an accelerating rate.  “Never, the testing will never be complete” was the answer.
  • I learned Mike’s company had got their venture capital, had had it for a couple of weeks, only I hadn’t been paid. 
  • It took a weekend to wrest the data from Mike.   Half a dozen trips to his house—I was given the wrong files twice—endless waits, plus arguments with Mike’s boss over the delays and over my insistence that I be paid just for waiting. 
  • The check was for half the amount due and was written against some obscure one-branch bank an hour’s drive away.
  • Think about why companies call on a consultant’s services in the first place. (I know they told you they had a hiring freeze, but they lied.)

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