ODSC East 2024 ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

Highlights from my book signing and talk at this year's event in Boston.

3 min read

Back in 2021, ODSC (Open Data Science Conference) invited me to present a workshop on pandas virtually at their Europe. This was my first conference presentation ever, and, despite presenting virtually, I was terrified. Thankfully, I made it through and eventually developed a passion for it, overcoming my fear.

Ever since that first event, I have maintained a strong relationship with the ODSC team and frequently participate in their events in Boston (East), London (Europe), and San Francisco (West). After a long stretch of doing workshops at these events, I tried out giving a talk for the first time in November 2023. I opted to do the same for this event. I talked about my Data Morph project, which is an educational tool for illustrating the importance of visualizing your data (instead of just relying on summary statistics). The slides have lots of fun visuals from Data Morph, so it is was a crowd-pleaser ๐Ÿ˜€

ODSC East 2024 speaker card

Source: ODSC

During the conference, I also had a book signing for Hands-On Data Analysis with Pandas (2nd Edition) in the expo hall. It never ceases to amaze me how many people turn out to meet me, regardless of how long the line is.1,2 The books always run out well before the line finishes, but I always stay around to chat with everyone, and sign other items, if they wish (thankfully, no body parts ๐Ÿ˜‚). Some people ask to take pictures with me as well.

I find the conversations with each individual to be quite interesting. Some people come to share where they are on their data science journey and what they are hoping to learn in the near future, and then ask me for some advice. Others are interested in my journey and ask questions about my background and experiences.

line for my book signing event

Massive line to meet me at the book signing ๐Ÿ˜€ Source: ODSC

While each book signing is different, I do get a lot of the same questions (so much so that I actually made an FAQ ๐Ÿ˜‚). Every once in a while, however, I will get a novel one. Here are my favorites from this session:

  • "How did you get here?" โ€“ "By plane," I joked ๐Ÿ˜‚ I think the spirit of the question was more about how I got to be where I am today, so, subsequently, I shared my background.3
  • "Do you ever experience imposter syndrome?" โ€“ I told them that I do, which they found surprising. I also shared the saying that the only people that don't experience imposter syndrome are the imposters.

A few of the people in line for my book signing this time also mentioned that they loved seeing a woman making a name for herself in the space. It's heartwarming to think that I'm a role model now.

Outside of the conference, I also checked out the recently opened Central Perk Coffee Co., which brought on some serious Friends nostalgia. The inside was decorated as you would image a modern-day version of Central Perk in the show, orange couches and all.

Central Perk Coffee Co. exterior

Source: Central Perk Coffee Co.

As far as food goes, the bouillabaisse at Atlantic Fish Company was the highlight of this trip. I'm a big fan of seafood, and somehow this was the first time I had bouillabaisse (it definitely won't be the last ๐Ÿ˜‹).

Until next time Boston!

  1. We also mention that there is a limited number of books, and it doesn't seem deter people.
  2. While more and more people tell me they have read or are reading my book, I have yet to have someone bring their copy of the book to the event. Although, I guess I can't blame them for not wanting to lug that around โ€“ at 788 pages, it is heavy!
  3. Sometimes, I am asked "why are you here?" Without waxing philosophical, my response is usually that I was presenting at the conference.

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