Uber Senior Data Scientist
University of California, Berkeley Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Transportation Engineering
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How did you get to where you are today? What is your story? What incidents and experiences shaped your career path?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Jul 31 2020
It's a lot for having me. Let me give you some, like three of introduction to myself. So my name's Lay. Graduate from UC Berkeley in 2017 with a PhD in some engineering, and after that I joined the Uber directly on. But I'm country, a data scientist Uber needs focusing on over its marketplace. Prediction. My story is actually pretty simple. My dad wants me to become a medic medical doctor, and he wants me to go to medical school after high school. But at that time, I just wanted to execute my own wheel and explore a new city. So I just pick a random major and know exactly rhythm. But at that time, so it's very pretty random to me on which is transportation engineering. I had no idea what trust British engineer would do, but I thought it should be pretty straightforward because way interacted with transportation every day, right? So my common sense told me, and that's probably a pretty easy major. But it turns out that transportation engineering is a very challenging, very difficult problem and the major, So I become increasingly fascinated with this major that I apply it to him I'm a mess program and the PC program still focusing on introspection, transportation, engineering, Onda. After I graduated, I joined the transportation related company, which is uber, and now I'm still here.Yeah, you know, different. Different doctor.

What responsibilities and decisions does one handle in a job like yours? Tell us about weekly work hours, including the time spent on work travel and working from home.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Jul 31 2020
So I uber under the data science team, we have to sort of jobs related to data. One is a data scientist, and now there is a product analyst or before we call it a data analyst. My job is a data scientist, so we focus a lot building mottoes. Uh, he's any new features, running experiments, ionizing the results, Andi then making model or new, featured all decisions. Um, the typical work hours is about, like, 40 hours per week, but currently we all work from home, so that's sort of there could be more or less depends on your own schedule. But prior to that prior to Kobe, actually, we have very flexible schedules on working from home or in office. Off course they're working from home. Policy varies across teams, but we do encourage everybody to counter the obvious, because person to person chat is often the most effective way for us to communicate ideas. One thing I want to mention is that uber does give employees credits to take over rise and the uber on the or are we overeat. So that's a pretty cool employee benefits. So even though you live pretty far away from the company, you can take your rights

What tools (software programs, frameworks, models, algorithms, languages) are typically used in a role like yours?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Jul 31 2020
So I said data scientists, We need to deal with a huge amount of data. Right. So you need no Seiko to query data. You also need to know spark in order to be with data pipelines. Onda, uh, uber actually has an internal much learning Pyfrom. So most of our models are trained and deployed on their platform. Eso That's a really effective way for us to scale up their machine learning exercise. But most of our finances and the model part prototyping Adan through python. So you didn't know pie phone on the some. Maybe basic are, um Langridge. Um yeah, that's about it.different ones, so the pattern teaches us more like open source platform where everybody can benefit that, whereas for over internal platform is many used by it by us by uber's.

What are the challenges in a job like yours? What approaches are effective in dealing with these challenges? Discussing examples will help students learn better.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Jul 31 2020
Yeah, that's a really good question. Eso depends on what's your level, right? I So I said, junior Dale, scientists, You folks are execution. You do what others tell you to do, right? It's very similar. Teoh exam back in the school in the sense that you are given a problem and the Europe your task is to solve the problem. At this stage, you need to learn the basics of the off off the team, right? You know, you learn the contacts, you don't know what the business care about. You need to just observe what senior folks who do 200. Those difficult problems these days actually helps you lay the foundation for your future group paragraph. Um, one helpful or other vice I have is to fundamentally your company. Uh, that person can either be your teammates were people from outside of your your team. Actually, I'm very pretty lucky to have a person I said, no model and or a mentor in my team. So I admire him, and after I respect him is my mentor. Every time I tried with him, I can learn new stuff. I'm a muscle mentoring. Ah, few other folks from other teams. So actually people have Wilbur were very willing to share learnings and also helping each other grow. So that's where junior books I become more senior. There are less and less problems or are there less than as well defined the problems you need. You need to explore the areas and that you find in your problem by herself. So that's a tricky part. But also this Ah, interesting part. One thing you need to keep your mind that unity fine and providing solutions for the new problems on those new problems must be attached. The business objective, right? You cannot do like red and purer research. So that's a different from active MIA, in which you can explore our area In our interest industry, you have to your work must be attached, the business objectives. So that being said, that requires you to have ah, very deep understanding about your own domain. Onda. That's why learning basics in early stage of your career is very important

What are the job titles of people who someone in your role routinely works with, within and outside of the organization? What approaches are effective in working with them?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Jul 31 2020
we work very closely ways. Part of the managers and the suffer engineers. Sometimes we also interact with designers and the user researchers because I didn Today we want to ship a product that can provide the values to our users. Right. So, for example, uber eats is a food delivery platform, and we want our product to provide accident are ordering and delivery experience for users. So the successful part I actually require recourse us to think about it from different perspectives is not just only on the data side or from engineer side sometimes also requires from the product side or some user engagement side. Right. So that's why we need to collaborate with different stakeholders. We need to collaborate with PM Prime manger on engineers. Right. So, uh, we need to be very open Monday, and, uh, we encourage different opinions because we all come from different backgrounds. Some engineers, they have very sorry training engineered heart and, uh, me apartment managers. They may have a background in business. Right. So there some difference on that? We respect that difference. Hey said I'm judging to him. I always try to put myself in their shoes and understand OK, why they come up with these ideas and, you know, sometimes I may disagree with some of their penance, but I try to respect them on they're trying to by allying with them because we want to go. I think storm on the way out to shape a valuable product. So that's why we need to incorporate on opinions on ideas.

What indicators are used to track performance in a job like yours? Think of the indicators such as key performance indicators (KPIs), objectives & key results (OKRs), or so on.

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Jul 31 2020
a very specific. Okay, ours will keep you guys, but I can provide some general food work about how we evaluated performance Often play eso there too. General aspects One is from business impact side another is from the season citizenship side from the business impact. We've added a person based on what and how What what part is about? Okay, what business value you delivered? What impact would you revert? How much money you say it's for the company. For instance, I idea I develop a new model like I saved, like, millions of dollars for over. So that's about what part they also how part? Which is how you actually deliver that impact, how you achieved impact on whether through some more sophisticated model ings or through aligning different stakeholders. Uh, so because that's very important all right, you're not You're working by yourself. You have to align with different stakeholders. You need to finish the product as a team. So how you work with others also contributed to the way where you met with a person. So that's wrong. Business impact side. There's also assistance shape, side, which is how you are contributing Teoh team culture are you having a team to grow on? Are you Bring for instance, Are you organizing something immense? Are you sure you're learnings with a team? If you go to a conference after combat, Nick, are you willing to share what you learn from their conference? Right? Something like that. So, basically, how to, uh, counterweight about a culture of attitude?

What qualities does your team look for while hiring? What kind of questions does your team typically ask from candidates?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Jul 31 2020
um So I think in general we look at har skills and, uh, soft skills, right? And as hard skills me is, do you have a strong problem solving skills? So if you are being so keeping a problem able to solve it, um, so that also requires you to have some sort of the basic sense. Do you really understand this thing's business? For instance, uber right to understand how these harbor operates. To understand, however, East operates on what kind of mattress to we care about, right? So you have some sort of understanding about that. In terms off the technical requirements, you need to have some, um, sort of decent understanding about a stat, says the statistics Right. You need to know where she learning, you know, have some basic understanding about Cody regarding coding skills requirements is sometimes is sort of their basics. It's not as high as house often here, but you need to have some basic understanding of it. That's what that's about, Harsco Part the sub scoop hard. You need to demonstrate your combination communication skills because you need toe work. As a team, you need to hear others opinion you need toe work with others, so I'll go better communicate and show you our communication skills. It's very important during the interview. Um, so in terms off, better prepare for that. Actually, I do have some tea for Canada is to prepare from the technical side, which is I would definitely encourage everybody to read mawr blocks. Uh, I know some companies. Actually, they do publish their engineering blog's friend cities. Actually, uber has his own engineer blogged. Google has in 100 block Airbnb has one etcetera. So for those through that blog's actually different teams were published. What they're walking out on the what other challenges Right on. By routing those blog's, you can have a better sending about the problems, their salary and the business contacts about their team, and also what kind off techniques were modeling algorithms they are using to solve the problems. So by reading through the blocks, actually, you can have ah, really good understanding about the problems and also their solutions. I think I think that will give you a lot of contacts about a team you can either. Well, with

What is a future career path for professionals in your role? How long does it typically take to advance through various roles? How easy are such promotions to come by?

Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Jul 31 2020
on. Uh, I only have one experience. I the one technical on technology company. But eso I couldn't speak for other industries, but just for us, actually, they are typical two tracks. One is individual contributor track What we call, I see track another track. It is called a measure trying for Etsy Track you folks on technical work, you just you do need to manage the other people. You just focus on, uh, the technical side for the menu track. You have to manage a team. You have to care about people. So the different trying I should require different kind of skill sets. But I see track requires a lot of technical, deeper understanding about the death of the technical onder child. Request you how to deal with different people, the different countries. Actually, they have a different levels for those tracks. I would say it's so regarding the promotion, I'll say it's easier to be promoted while you are at a junior level, and it is getting harder and harder as you grow into ah, more Senior Rose because you're gonna have amore Riggers were tougher requirement. Sometimes there's also a 10 year country prisons. You have to be in this level for a year or two years in order to be considered to be promoted to the next level, and, uh, in terms of how quickly it could be promoted. That also depends on your level on also the impact your generated you feel, the Vabres say, like Hendrix, all comedians of dollars savings for your company. There should be no doubt about your promotion, right, because it's hard to argue against the real numbers, but, um, yeah, so I also its auto various and depends on the different companies.

How did the school prepare you for your career? Think about faculty, resources, alumni, exposure & networking. What were the best parts?

Based on experience at: Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Transportation Engineering, University of California, Berkeley
Summarized By: Jeff Musk on Fri Jul 31 2020
the university does provide career fair on something that working majorities. But I find it pretty general on. You have to be very targeted yourself. Actually, the most important parties you need to develop your own network. Eso the best way you took out an interview. Young company is to actually through the internal referral so either from your friends or your friend's friends. And I think my advice to students is to expand your network. Don't be shy. Just talked to a different different people. Be friends with them. They may give you some opportunities or some. Some opportunities may not be posted on the website. Some of them may just 1,000,000,000 turn opening, right? So I would say Try to get those internally for oh, off churches through your own that working