Lillian Piersen is the founder of Data-Mania.com, where she shares practical ways to acquire skills and experience needed to become a data scientist, and best practices for landing a job. Follow Lillian on her blog, Data-Mania, and Instagram.
When did you first start coding?
I learned to code for the first time when I was 8 years old, but didn’t pick it up again until 2012. I taught myself to code in Python and R and learned different science methodology. I started in environmental engineering then move into data science, without having to go back to school.
Tell me more about your business: Data-Mania.
I train working professionals how to do data science. I am passionate about those interested in data science - but lack a four year degree in the discipline - get started in the field. I share practical ways to acquire the skills and experience needed to become a data scientist, and best practices for landing a job.
What are some of the benefits you have received in creating your own business?
When I entered the data science field, I was excited for the abundant opportunity and flexibility to no longer work 9-5. To keep overhead low when I was first on my own, I went and lived in Chiang Mai, Thailand for a season. I did a lot of traveling for the first few years (Thailand, London, NYC, Las Vegas, Dallas, Australia, Peru), but then I met the love of my life (a fellow coding ninja). We have since gotten married, bought a family home, and were blessed with a baby girl. We both work remotely from our island home in SEA. This business has given me the freedom to create the life I choose.
What are some encouraging words you would love to share with other moms looking to start their own tech company?
We shouldn’t let traditional stereotypical expectations make us sacrifice our careers. 50/50 responsibility is 100% fair between parents. Don’t guilt yourselves if you are able to hold up your own end financially. Giving up your career for your children puts you in a dependent position on your husband and increased financial stress. It’s a balancing act that is very specific for each person’s situation.
What is the most important lesson you hope your daughter learns in the years to come as she watches you?
I want my daughter to learn from me; that, as women, we are independent. We support ourselves and our families by working. Being pretty and pretending to be a princess may be fun, but it’s our skills and talents that we should focus on.