“We Guide Limitless Curiosity to Achieve Data Solutions”
Bas de Jonge’s passion for the Biology, Natural History and the science of life ignited a career in data science that tackles complex systems improved and simplified by ever-evolving technologies. As Aurai’s Lead Data Scientist and Trainer, he collaborates with partners, clients, and trainees to maximize priorities and possibilities for advanced data information systems. This is his story.
Curiosity in The Natural and Digital World
My current career as a Data Science Trainer and Lead Data Scientist grew from an endless curiosity in nature; especially the many other animals that share our planet. My first love is ornithology, the science of birds and their flights across sky, water and land. With my Biology Degree completed, I worked as a public guide at the Naturalis natural history museum in Leiden, a dynamic laboratory containing 43 million biological specimens. Imagine the amount of organisms and taxonomy to explain! My own understanding deepened as I explained how field and lab biologists work and analyze using precise tools simplified by data technology. I became a supervisor but yearned to dive deeper into the science of our digital infrastructure and applications that underpin our daily lives.
Creating a Wealth of Knowledge
I began with a Young Maverick’s (YM) Data Science Traineeship in February of 2018 and then worked with partner companies and clients as a Junior Data Scientist. As YM grew, the opportunities grew and with that, my own expertise and capabilities also expanded. This process only accelerated once YM became Aurai. We tirelessly pursued the best models and possibilities while companies, NGOs, and government agencies required them. This created a wealth of case studies and practical technological application, and a reliable support network of business partners, scientists, engineers and industry specialists and generalists.
Integrating Into the Industry
During my work at Aurai, I’ve completed a variety of assignments for different clients, and quickly engaged and assimilated into their internal work structure. This internal work forms the basis of my current position: Lead Data Scientist. I am currently working on the Municipality of Hoeksche Waard’s implementation of projects and assignments, and involved with other Aurai projects and departments, especially training and education.
To Know and Communicate Your Expertise
One of the best parts of my job is in the development of training courses that partner with companies, and supervising large sections of the data scientists, data engineers and machine learning engineers throughout their many assignments. During my initial traineeship, I had an assignment within the area of text mining. There was little or no experience on this topic within YM, so I was immediately asked to give a training course on the subject in the next traineeship. This first teaching experience gave me a taste for more. Doing your own work is one thing. But conveying that knowledge requires a different skill set; to know and communicate the subject thoroughly.
Absorbing And Activating Data Skills
I always focus on the target audience when I provide or develop training. What do they want to learn? How can I ensure that the material is balanced with both depth and comprehension? Much of the planning requires editing out anything peripheral. The relevant subjects and technologies are mastered by giving enough time to absorb and activate the lessons and become confident in utilizing data science.
I’ve prepared and delivered training sessions and supervised group and individual projects across the data science, data engineering, and machine learning engineering traineeships. Each traineeship lasts 8 weeks – and is an intensive period for the (four to eight) trainees. Every traineeship is different, but every group arrives smart, eager-to-learn and ready to put the pedal to the metal. They start with a solid foundation that steadily improves throughout the training, with constant technical guidance.
Combining Diverse Strengths
Apart from the instruction, the trainees are paired with an experienced (lead) data scientist or data engineer to meet about past and future challenges and opportunities. Some challenges are very technical, like application failure or an error in the code; sometimes challenges are unavoidable setbacks at work or uncooperative colleagues. Each situation is unique, so flexibility is key. Combining junior scientists and engineers of different backgrounds and strengths together on real business cases, alongside seasoned mentors, develops a fully competent data professional.
More Data Scientists = More Data Solutions
Instead of hiring external data scientists, we can help businesses train their employees to maximize data science for their particular context. We customize many of the data professional development programs into workshops, training periods and seminars for clients. These can be long or short, but always fun. I give and develop the courses that revolve around data science or text mining. Delivering customized training courses for clients is particularly rewarding because of how quickly their employees benefit when acquiring data technology skills.
My diverse experience working on different projects within different industries has sharpened my teaching methods. The more I teach and work with new companies and students, the better I understand my profession and its potential. Data Science may seem intimidating, but our methods and applications are adaptable, and our comprehensive curriculum helps make the subject surmountable for anyone.
Everyone we train at Aurai makes a difference with each organization and business. The training courses are rigorous and advanced, so we support trainees (and all employees) to work in any organizational context, ready to face any challenge. We sustain this high level by continuously developing and improving the training courses and learning from each real-world application.
Interested in joining Aurai’s advanced data traineeships? Apply today!
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