4/18/2018

And in other news, Tennis

I picked up a tennis racket in 6th grade.  Been playing ever since.  The last year, I played at one of the local clubs.  Got included in some weekly doubles matches, which was nice, as many players there from years ago when I played competitive.

Although I won the winter singles league 4.5, I got waxed in the club champion tournament, glad I entered though, gave a good fight.

I decided to cancel the membership recently, as I wasn't getting much time of the courts, and it was kind of expensive.  I got a call to play at the city club from a player I've known for a while.  We played a good first set, tied at 3-3 went on to win.  Next set, same thing, tied 3-3, then went on to loose.  Suppose I simply tightened up towards the end.

Reason being, I'm not in great shape, not competitive shape.  These guys play a few times a week.  And its a new generation, as none of them remembered me from before, which is good and bad perhaps.  Afterwords, I learned that several players are 5.0 or were 5.0 so splitting sets wasn't all too bad for first time.  One guy said I serve like a right handed McEnroe, never heard that before.

The tennis community really is a small world.  After sitting out for a decade, then playing at a club for a year, its still good just to get out of the house and bang the ball for a while, as I work out of the house and never leave except for doctor appointments, errands, food shopping, restaurants and attending soccer matches.  So its one thing I can do solo, get good exercise and socialize.  This club, you pay per match, so its cost effective and they have good players, maybe I'll play again, hopefully!

And there you have it~!

How Did You Get Here

In all fairness, I didn't talk much.  Usually under my breath, some sarcastic remark, finding humor in everything.  When growing up, when the newspaper arrived, I reached for the comic section first, with age, Business section was next.

I remember, college, pledging the fraternity, we'd get assignments to clean the fraternity house, they assigned me "spec patrol" every time.  Pick up specs of dirt from the carpet, that's how much they believed in my abilities, hard to mess up spec patrol.

Upon graduation, with a degree in Anthropology, no business experience, during a recession, I had no prospects for a good career.

So I took temp jobs at minimum wage day jobs, until landing a part time job, as my mother knew the hiring manager where she worked.  It wasn't until a few years later, after a few jobs, my manager sat me down as I was transferring to new job within the company.  Enjoyed working with you, you may not believe this, you are the smartest person I've ever met.  No kidding.

That initial jolt of confidence, fueled the storms of low wages, low impact, low on the totem pole for years.  At some point, I wasn't the one asking questions, I was answering them.  People were looking to me solve their problems.  And salary began to reflect.

When asked to teach on online course, I first disregarded.  I have no experience teaching courses, I usually don't speak in pubic, and what would I teach.  After getting past the jitters, I created the entire 4 hour course in less than a week, from initial design, to structuring the outline topics, to installing software and filming.  Granted I didn't sell a ton of courses, yet it was another boost to the confidence.

Earlier this year, I was promoted to Lead Data Analytics Consultant, and that's where I'm at today.  Although I know the various cutting edge technologies, I never got real world experience, in regards to Azure, AWS, Machine Learning, IoT, Artificial Intelligence, BlockChain, although I have one Big Data project under the belt.

My current contract consists of writing SQL statements against Hive database in AWS.  It's sort of the bread and butter of career, getting numbers to match.  It's sort of like picking out specs of data amongst the carpet, sort of like spec patrol.  See, they did know my career path way back in college, just took me a few decades to realize.  Epiphany.

I've had this blog for about 10 years, I wrote auto-biography a few years back on Amazon, except I pulled it off the market, I once interviewed at Facebook and Amazon, yet stopped mid-way as they required relocation, and I got married later in life.  Having started with computers in 1983, things sure have changed quite a bit, yet, in some ways, they haven't.  Still requires logic and command prompts.

And there you have it~!

Massive Data Breech of Significant Proportions

There's a lot of commotion in the news, justly so, regarding data privacy.  Many corporations are selling data.  Some of this data could be considered private, as in medical, as in perhaps Hippa data.  That's sort of a no-no.

You have to look back at the Equifax data breech, to realize the implications.  Before doing reports, I approved loans, as in reading credit reports for Equifax, TransUnion and TRW.

Credit reports tell us everything about a person, their shopping habits, payment records, previous address', any bankrupcy/foreclosure/unpaid student debt, etc., in a nice, easy to read format.  I could ask the customer their basic demographics over the phone, enter into the mainframe terminal at my desk, and pull the credit report, have a decision with an average talk time of under 2 minutes.  That's average, meaning many calls were under 2 minutes.

What does the app + credit report tell us.  It tells us their potential repayment probability, plus, throw in some good old fashion experience plus hunches, into the credit decision to approve or decline, you'll receive a letter in the mail in to 7 to 10 business days explaining the reason why.  

Of course, there were over-rides to the system, but not many, maybe 10%.  So we agreed with the computer model 90% of the time.  And the model bounced up the demographic info such as age, address, length of time on job along with credit report and spit out an answer almost immediately.  It would compare against a model of past customers and their payment history.  We do the same thing now, yet its called data science.

My boss said, from reading the customer's credit report, you should know if they drink whiskey, beer or milk.  In other words, we should have a good picture in our minds of who this person is based on the credit report and demographics.

Back to the main story, with a data breech of credit reports, that data can be constructed to form a financial picture of every person in that data set, not to mention all the credit card info, loan info, social security numbers, address and previous address, alias, you name it.

Its a massive breech of significant proportions.  And that data is swimming through the hands of dark web, being sold and resold.  How about that, food for thought.


And so it goes~!