I’m Jamie Whitehorn, and I’ve been working in IT for the last 25 years or so.
I’m currently studying an MSc in Data Science at the University of Dundee in the UK. I will be finishing the MSc very shortly so I’m currently looking for a job in Data Science. If you know of anything, please do get in touch with me – my contact details are in the CV’s below.
Infographic CV – Jamie Whitehorn (1st July 2014)
(Infographics convey a lot of information, quickly, succinctly and in an engaging manner, and thus are one of the cornerstones of data science)
Functional CV – Jamie Whitehorn (1st July 2014)
A more conventional format of my CV
Originally I was a biologist with a degree in Genetics. I’d been playing with computers ever since the days on the Sinclair ZX-80, and did a lot of work on the BBC micro, including analysing my results at University. When it came time to move out into the real world, I found I could earn a lot more money if I went into IT rather than stayed in biology. And by a lot I mean double – literally. Sad but true, and beside that computers were fun.
So I started out as a programmer working in PL/1, COBOL, FORTRAN etc. From there I moved up the ladder from programmer to analyst, to designer, to consultant and eventually to trouble-shooter. Trouble-shooter sounds very glamorous, but the reality is it involves a lot of late nights and a lot of time away from home. Getting a call at 3pm on a Friday asking if you know where your passport is, is not a good sign for your weekend 😉
About 10 years or so ago I took another course change, though not as radical as the first, and started working with hardware rather than software. I started with servers, worked my way through clusters and HA systems and ended up at Storage. Storage is fun – people always need more of it 🙂 It’s a bit difficult to estimate, but they reckon in 2011 there was something like 4 zettabytes of storage on the planet, and that was 3 years ago. A zettabyte is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes or one billion 1TB drives. That’s a lot of disk drives!! And it’s only going to get bigger.
So looking at all that data I started thinking about what you could do if you could analyse it. Not bits of it, but all of it. If you start looking at “the big picture” with data you can start to see some really interesting things. For example in the last flu outbreak, Google was able to track the progress of the outbreak two weeks earlier than the CDC by tracking where people were searching for “flu” and looking for peaks. The CDC have to wait for medical staff to report an infection, Google looked for what people do when flu arrives in town.
This is Data Science. You take the data and look for the patterns and meaning behind the data. It’s a progression, from the data you get information, from information you get knowledge, and from knowledge, wisdom. For example 39 is a number but what does it mean? Add a °C, and 39°C tells you it’s a temperature, but is it high, low, normal? If you know it’s a body temperature, then you’ll know it’s high and the person has a fever. 39 = Data; 39°C = information, fever = knowledge.
So to pursue this I’m currently doing a self-funded MSc in Data Science at Dundee University in the UK. It’s a huge undertaking – there is some much to learn. In a way a person doing a degree in Data Science is a person who has signed up to become a Polymath. But more of that on the About This Site page 🙂