I got an interesting career question related to data scientists  today, and I thought of sharing with the LinkedIn community and seek some feedback too.

“What is the ONE single skill that the data scientist should focus on honing?”

I’m glad people ask me tough question that will make me think more about data science as a career. For me, the single most important skill I will FOCUS on  and IMPROVE upon is actually “Learning”. We are in a Knowledge Economy  where lifelong learning is going to be important, especially algorithms, and tools keeps being updated or replaced, we need to learn EFFICIENTLY.

I have a few learning tips on top of the answer and here they are:

1) Know how to Google (or stick to one search engine)

Think about the search term carefully, so that you can look for what you want. With a more targeted search term and training #Google search engine with the ‘right’ clicks, Google (or can be DuckDuckGo as  well) will be “trained” to provide what you are looking, turning it into  a virtuous cycle.

2) Understand the assumptions behind the lessons.

Everyone  has limited time, so being able to read between the lines, understand  what are the assumptions made by the instructor, blog writer,  StackOverflow contributor can help a lot in your understanding. For  instance, why the blog writer propose a tool in this circumstances  instead of another tool that you are familiar with. Critical Thinking  helps!

3) Learn to Unlearn

After learning the assumptions,  you can then understand when its time to give up on certain tools or  concept or best practices and move on to other tools or algorithms  instead. Through this we can keep ourselves updated and also keep our  capacity of knowledge and skills to the latest.

These are some  tips I followed. I hope it is useful to you.  If you have any learning  tips, please feel free to share them in the comments. If you find this  post useful, consider sharing it. :)

What are your thoughts? Will love to hear them!

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