Promotion trajectory for Data Science?

Twitch yikesman
Oct 13 15 Comments

I'm a DS at Twitch.

I have 6 YOE. My peers in other companies are managers, while I'm still an IC. Twitch is a shitshow for data science, so I'm not moving up.

Sr, Lead, and Staff positions elsewhere seem to require specific domain knowledge, like fraud or healthcare.

For advanced DS out there: how did you transition to higher roles while changing jobs and/or domains? Is domain knowledge a "nice to have," and if so, how do I sell that? Seems like the technical and personal skills are harder to teach, but I don't know if hiring managers see it that way.

If you've wrestled with this problem, please share.

TC: 250k

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TOP 15 Comments
  • New zFCU53
    Former data scientist, use your skills to learn how to invest.
    Oct 13 4
    • Twitch yikesman
      OP
      I invest aggressively, but that's not something I want to do for a living. I'm more asking how I can advance in my day job.

      Why did you leave data science, and what do you do now? I've been toying with switching to front-end engineering.
      Oct 13
    • New zFCU53
      Your job’s a dead end

      Also, is focus on the possibility of earning 5%. Per week.
      Oct 13
    • Google ΜLE
      What do you like about front-end engineering that is more appealing than data science in a mid-level role? It would probably sacrifice a lot of career progress
      Oct 13
    • Twitch yikesman
      OP
      @zFC point taken. I don't trade naked, so I can't reach 5% yet.

      @MLE yeah, it would be a setback. But it pays better than DS, and it requires less product knowledge or ownership, so it seems like a better ROI.
      Oct 13
  • Amazon / Data JohnnyUta
    So I tried data science and just wasn’t that good with it. What was good at, is turning business use cases in solvable and deliverable products using data science.

    Ever think about Product Management? It’s interesting because many PMs know a little about data science but still try to build unrealistic products. I’ve found a really cool niche and you should try it out.

    Don’t even ask or try to get that title. Just literally run point on project from the perspective of a product manager. If it’s something you like, look to make a change.

    Best of luck. Have fun and be safe.
    Oct 13 0
  • E*Trade / Finance cbEV72
    The matter with domain knowledge is that pure stats will bring some results only in the field where they were not used before. After the initial progress stats stop working. At this point you’ll need to dig into the domain and become the domain expert which you probably DONOT want. You must stop being statistician, in a way, sell your soul in order to advance.
    Oct 13 5
    • Google ΜLE
      Mathematical statistics is a formal framework that applies under certain assumptions. If it "stops working" that's only because one isn't using the appropriate tools correctly.

      On the other hand, domain knowledge has value because it provides understanding regarding the nature of data and points at impactful, meaningful questions to work toward.
      Oct 13
    • E*Trade / Finance cbEV72
      I mean by stops working the diminished returns. Sorry for not being clear.

      Case in point is finance and investing: try making money with data science in equity markets. The stats have been applied here forever, so you need to bury yourself into nitty gritty to squeeze out any profit through math
      Oct 13
    • Microsoft udi
      There's a downside. Domain knowledge pigeon hole in terms of opportunities. Is that good?

      I mean if you are pigeon holed in cloud and ML that's great. But for others like me, I'm working with let's say a traditionally poo-poo part of tech seen as a cost center... Do I want to be king of ML in a shitty field?
      Oct 13
    • E*Trade / Finance cbEV72
      I’m not saying it’s good. I’m only saying you’ll have to dig into the domain to progress by being useful. Otherwise you’ll have to keep jumping the places until you become old and nobody hires you
      Oct 13
    • Microsoft udi
      Let's say I bite. When do you think that transition should take place? E5/L5? E6/L6?
      Oct 13
  • Axtria whoopss
    I don't have much advice for you but I want to let you know I share similar experience, and facing the same problem as you described.
    Oct 13 0
  • Vrbo MJon50
    What’s the difference between data scientist and applied scientist at twitch?
    Oct 16 1
    • Twitch yikesman
      OP
      AS get paid more (common in Amazon). They write production code, equivalent to ML SDE anywhere else.

      DS is more cleaning data, building metrics, dashboards. Very similar to Analyst.
      Oct 16

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