#1: Andrew Cassidy — Predicting Bombs, Learning Online, & Working Anywhere

Episode 1 — Andrew Cassidy

In this pilot episode of the Data Journeys podcast, I’m joined by Andrew Cassidy. Andrew is a freelance Data Scientist, Software Engineer, & Online Educator. We originally met this past September, when he was my virtual mentor for Springboard’s Data Science Intensive bootcamp.

In 2011 Andrew graduated from the University of Virginia with a bachelors degree in Systems Engineering, and afterwards, went to work as a Data Scientist for a company called Commonwealth Computer Research in Charlottesville, VA. While there, he was heavily involved in contracting work with the US military, and for one project used logistic regression to predict the likelihood of bombs in Afghanistan (which he talks about in detail in the interview here). After 4 years at Commonwealth, he decided to go back to school for a Masters degree in Computer Science at Georgia Tech (which he interestingly enough completed almost entirely online while rock climbing and camping as a “digital nomad” throughout the United States). Finally, just this past summer after graduating from Georgia Tech, he decided to shift his attention to the freelance world, while also serving as an educator for online learning platforms like Springboard.

It’s amazing all that Andrew has done at just 28 years old, and we cover so much of it in this conversation… from explosive battlegrounds in Afghanistan to the sunny mountains of Boulder Colorado, we touch on topics like Andrew’s childhood, his principles for effectively learning Data Science, how he lands clients, the best/worst advice out there for up-and-comers, and even his strategies for dealing with overwhelm, lost focus, & the all-too-common imposter syndrome. We took a little while to get warmed up, so please be patient, but if you want to go straight to his stories about Afghanistan, feel free to skip to the 50:00 mark.

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