When I was working at Etsy, I benefited from a very robust A/B testing system. Etsy had been doing A/B testing for more than 6 years. By the time I left, Etsy’s in-house experimentation system, called Catapult, had more than 5 data engineers working on it full-time. Every morning, I was greeted with a homepage that listed all the experiments that Etsy had run in the prior four years. When you clicked on one, you got a summary of what the experiment was testing (usually written by the product manager).

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When interviewing for any position, you should be evaluating the company just as much as they are evaluating you. While you can research the company beforehand on glassdoor and similar sites, interviews are the best place to get a deeper understanding of the company and ask important questions. Companies will never straight up tell you they are bad to work for, so you have to look for the signs yourself.

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Following Dave Robinson’s sage tweet to write a blog post when you’ve given the same advice three times, this post is a collection of my thoughts and recommendations for people interested in applying to data science jobs in the US. Many of these principles also apply to tech jobs in general. A disclaimer: I have never worked as a recruiter or career coach. This knowledge comes from mainly from my study of Organizational Behavior (including negotiations and women in tech) in graduate school and my own career.

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In my last post, I discussed the importance of building your network and some strategies for effectively reaching out. I closed with emphasizing how helpful your peers or people one step ahead of you can be. But there’s a specific area where people with more resources, status, or experience can help you: sponsorship. What is sponsorship? When people discuss what they’re seeking from a more senior person in their field, they usually talk about “mentorship.

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So you’ve heard you’re supposed to network. That’s the key in getting a job or establishing a reputation in your broader field, right? And it’s true that the importance of having a good network is supported by a lot of social sciences research. But if the thought of networking makes you cringe, you’re not alone. Many people equate networking to sending out millions of unsolicited Linkedin requests with no message, handing out 20 business cards at a meetup once a week, or sending emails to prominent data scientists with the subject line “Can I pick your brain?

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Emily Robinson

Senior Data Scientist at Warby Parker

Senior Data Scientist

Park City, Utah