Ask Me Anything sessions have become popular on social media, but are mainly aimed at celebrities. I have been holding something of a slow-motion, ongoing “Ask Me Anything” session by having anyone who contacts me to sign up for a 30-minute free Zoom consultation so they can – well – ask me anything they want.
Limits to Free Consultations
I admit, these free sessions are not ideal in terms of helping the learner. Although I am always able to generally diagnose the learner’s problem and point them in the direction of appropriate resources, I cannot really get into their exact problem and try to solve it.
For example, let’s say a learner has a problem with some code they are writing to transform and analyze data. It will definitely take more capacity than a 30-minute Zoom meeting for me to actually take a look at their code and their dataset, and figure out what might be the problem.
As another common example, let’s say a learner has a complicated career question for me. Maybe something awkward comes up at work, and they have to explain the whole scenario to me in order for me to understand it and give advice. That will definitely take more than a 30-minute Zoom meeting.
Of course, if learner wants to pay for one-to-one coaching on Zoom, they are welcome to sign up for my online coaching services, and if they want ongoing group mentoring, they can join my online group mentoring program. Coaching service and mentoring program participation are perfect options for career-minded data scientists who have extra time in their schedule to engage in these activities.
Need Support – But Don’t Have Time for Coaching/Mentoring?
Many of my learners are in “maintenance mode” – they have a lot of skills, but are always running into new challenges, and trying to apply their skills to these new challenges. Sometimes they do not have any problem with it, but other times, they contact me because they need advice.
That’s why I created my monthly Ask Me Anything service. For one low monthly membership fee, members can submit data science questions they have for one of at least four live Ask Me Anything (AMA) Zoom sessions held every month.
Here is a description of the AMA sessions:
- At least four AMA sessions will be held per month. Each will last at least one hour. I will try to schedule these sessions to be convenient for members.
- Prior to each AMA session, members will be provided a Zoom link to attend the session.
- Members will also be given a link to a form to submit their questions for any upcoming AMA session in advance.
- During each AMA session, I will start by asking who in the audience submitted questions. I will answer those questions for them in real time. If there is time at the end of the hour, I can handle new questions posed by audience members.
- Each AMA session will last at least one hour, but may last longer. If a lot of members show up and continue to have questions, I may choose to extend the session, or add another session.
- Want to be in the audience for an AMA session, but your schedule forces you to miss it? No problem! All sessions will be recorded on Zoom. I will edit them to provide mainly the answer part of the video, and post these videos on my YouTube channel.
Ask Me Anything Topics
I will literally answer questions about any topics you want on data science or public health. As I mentioned, I have been answering random learner questions for over 10 years about data science and public health – so I say, “Bring it on!”
Need ideas for questions? Here are common question themes:
- Coding questions: Why am I getting this error? Why are my statistics coming out so weird? Am I doing this right?
- Career questions: I’ve been offered this particular job – should I take it? Of the several jobs I’ve been offered, how do I figure out which one to take? How do I work with a talent recruiter? How should I go about an efficient job search?
- Software questions: Should I learn a certain software? Should I use a certain software for a project? Is this the right software for the intended application?
- Statistics questions: Does it matter if I do not have very much sample for the analysis I’m trying to do? I did my analysis, but how do I interpret it? My boss is asking me to do statistics on some data – which ones should I choose? What is the right statistic for this study design?
- Study design questions: My boss is asking why users are not doing a certain behavior – how do we figure that out? I have a dataset – how should I design a study around it?
- Management and leadership questions: I’m being bullied at work – what do I do? Our boss is telling us to do something unethical – what do I do? My team is having a conflict, and I’m the leader – what do I do?
Updated September 28, 2023.
Ask me anything about data science or public health every month! Subscribe to my “Ask Me Anything” membership, and get all your questions answered in real time!