Technology and Project Management are universal languages and themes, but they express themselves differently in different environments, different economies and different cultures. Those different expressions are what make meetings, conferences and engagements in other locations so interesting and why, given the opportunity to attend more than one on a single trip, I jumped at the chance.
You have to disbelieve the client. When a mid-sized client tells you “this is the solution, when can we do it?” it’s not the same as a large corporate client telling you that they’ve selected a software package and now need implementation advice. The latter have both the expertise and experience to have made a rational decision and you can feel safe moving forward. The former has probably fallen for somebody’s sales pitch, or is engaged in what one of my mentors called “management by magazine.”
I was asked to join the team running the National Transportation Data Challenge, not as a data scientist, but as a project manager to help keep all the big data people on track and moving forward. It’s an interesting use of my skillset and after a slow start I’ve been devoting more and more of my time to it. After lots of work behind the scenes, we showcased the Challenge to a more general public last week at JupyterCon in New York.