My internship just got real – @otfrom asked me to get coffees
— Anna Pawlicka (@AnnaPawlicka) August 1, 2013
With the recent rise of big data and open data I feel very lucky to have been in the middle of it. During my first week of the internship I was introduced to the CDEC Open Health Data Platform idea, given a bunch of files, some examples of maps and Cascalog queries, and off I went.
It took me a couple of hours to work through Paul Lam’s “Cascalog for the Impatient” – enough to start writing my own queries. Cascalog, and Clojure for that matter, are amazing. You get to do stuff fast, clean and in a functional way. I used it to scrub the data and calculate diabetes prevalence stats. If a recent graduate whose only experience is in Java, is able to do that in a few days, then everyone who is dismissing the power of Clojure should go and ponder over their technology choices Feel free to have a look at the GitHub repo, all code is open source.
Since then I have crated more maps, more charts and more queries. And during that time I have always been myself: I came to code, Mastodon C allowed me to do just that. It has been like working in this unreal world where I wake up in the morning wanting to go to work, and where every day helps me to live my life in a more rewarding way. Being able to use my skills to help someone and see their positive reaction – priceless.
Thank you to all Mastodonians for guiding the way for me throughout the entire summer.
Fran (@fhr), for being a friendly, approachable boss, for introducing me to Women in Data, for inspiring me to overcome my fears of public speaking and balancing out the sci-fi references.
Bruce (@otfrom), for always having a positive attitude and constantly helping to point me in the right direction, for introducing me to the world of Clojure and for the long list of all sci-fi films/books I’m yet to watch/read.
Neale (@sw1nn), for the Iron Maiden talks, for always willing to help out, for inspiring me through your passion for technology and keeping lunch breaks interesting thanks to your amazing skill of remembering facts.
Steve (@sf105) and Merici (@merici), it’s been a pleasure to work with you both, even if only briefly. Thank you for advice on professional career and for the froyo!
It has been a wonderful experience to be part of a company that does meaningful things. If I were asked again what I wanted to be when I grow up, my answer would be: a
Giant Robot Mastodonian: professional, expert and geeky. You guys rock!