You are listening to the HumAIn Podcast. HumAIn is your first look at the startups and industry titans that are leading and disrupting artificial intelligence, data science, future of work and developer education. I am your host, David Yakobovitch, and you are listening to HumAIn. If you like this episode, remember to subscribe and leave a review. Now on to the show.

David Yakobovitch

Thanks for joining us back at the HumAIn Podcast today, we have a special guest this is Saleema Vellani¹ she works in innovation and is a founder she’s very much involved in the innovation economy, the design thinking economy and helping technical individuals, whether they’re in software engineering, human centered design, or data science applying.

Design thinking to their workflows she’s a new author coming out with an exciting new book in the next few months and today we’re going to learn about how we can humanize processes with design thinking.

Saleema thanks for joining us. 

Saleema Vellani 

Thank you so much for having me

David Yakobovitch

As the technical world is always evolving every single day and as we move into a remote culture and an in-person culture, one thing we’ve seen a lot is how do we humanize processes and how do we apply design thinking? Just a couple of years ago, design thinking was not something people would think about in data science, but today when you’re working technical it’s one of the first things that happens.

How do you be private and ethical and responsible and transparent? There’s so much to unpack, but before we go technical, before we dive in deep, I want to hear about your story around #innovation and design thinking. 

Saleema Vellani 

Design thinking has really blown up, but both in the technical world, as well as in a lot of, especially in a lot of traditional or non-technical industries and how I got started was really, that’s basically the story of my life that’s basically how I’ve always lived since I was 21 years old and was a volunteer in Brazil to start up this, I got passed to start up this language school when I went down to Rio de Janeiro after college, when I couldn’t find a job and it was interesting because I was embracing a lot of the principles and the actual #designthinking process, which we don’t always have to follow the exact process step by step it is about iterations and cycles and so, but basically it was really about understanding a problem and that’s something that is we talk about customer development.

We talk about lean startups and all these different methodologies and then now design thinking is really big, but really understanding who you’re solving a problem for is important and the way it started was really with the language, school, understanding who are potential customers what’s the problem we need to solve and it’s funny because we started out teaching a bunch of languages and this was actually a nonprofit at the time now it’s a social enterprise and now it’s actually the number one, language school in Brazil and has won multiple awards but at the time it was this little tiny language school in an office space and we were.

Just like, what can we do? Let’s teach languages. We were a bunch of volunteers really let’s teach the languages that we know we targeted everything, Brazilians, foreigners, and we were just doing everything and then we realized very quickly that if we’re targeting everything, we’re not going to be able to scale this up because we started seeing that there were a lot of different demands from students there are different levels of languages with students. 

And it was becoming really hard to have no shows or group classes that were becoming private classes because other students weren’t showing up and we realized we need to really niche we need to really carve our own niche and focus on what was working and we realized the problem was that there were a lot of people coming to Brazil, foreigners that needed to learn Portuguese, they wanted to learn Portuguese, and they were really passionate about supporting the orphanage or doing something related to a social cause and we identify that problem.

We dig deeper, we talked to these customers, we talked to, we interviewed a bunch of people and realize that would be your niche and when we focused on that, the business really took off and that’s basically what happened with other businesses that I’ve done, but it was just a very simple example of really understanding the problem and we eliminated all the other languages we stopped targeting Brazilians and we focused on Portuguese for foreigners and basically blew up from there, which is pretty cool and that’s like the very I’d say like the roots of my career.

David Yakobovitch

So excellent and obrigado for everyone listening from South America here today it’s so interesting. What you just shared certainly me is how incredible it is that businesses are not just about technical, but they’re about business models. I’ve had a lot of these conversations recently about how do you scale businesses and everyone thinks you need the best software, the best #technology, but often it’s how do you think about your customers and your clients? 

And in this story you were sharing in Brazil, you were very focused on one niche, and then when you were willing to step back and see from a different angle, you discovered new opportunities and then that generated a lot of success. I wonder how we can translate that to the tech economy today with startups and with companies looking to scale.

Saleema Vellani 

I’d say that the skill of being able to think like a designer now that doesn’t mean everyone needs to become a design thinking expert or an innovation expert, but just the skill of being able to connect dots that seem unrelated and that’s also referred to as associative thinking, there’s different theories around this, but really trying to connect things I that already exists in new ways that ability to think that way is one of the skills that’s going to be really important for the future of work we already are in the future of work so I’d say we already see we’re already even just my company, we’re already helping a lot of companies with up-skilling or re-skilling their employees.

We’re in the middle of this re-skilling revolution right now as stated by the world economic forum and it’s just really important to be able to think that way to solve problems it’s it can be hard to quantify or understand what are the direct results from that but embedding that in the culture of an organization is becoming increasingly important.

David Yakobovitch

So thinking about the rescale revolution, I love education and today I spent a lot of my time training and helping both technical individuals and non-technical individuals get to the next level. What do you think is missing today? Everyone says they need to learn, they want to learn new skills, whether it’s Python, they want to learn Agile, they want to learn design thinking, how can we together as a society better solve the re-skilling gap? 

Saleema Vellani 

It starts with the individual, which is actually what my book is about. Innovation starts with I and the mindset and developing that innovative, innovative way of thinking and being able to only share creativity and really just knowing yourself, know your sweet spot, what do you do? Or what can you offer to the world? Like a patent like that’s not obvious, concrete and novel and thinking about those things is really important but innovation actually happens with other people it starts with I. 

And it happens with others, with teams, with organizations, with communities with the people around you and really understanding who are the stakeholders that you need to really understand when you’re solving a problem and then making your impact on the world through that and so that with more and more with technical fields, it’s really important to be able to understand and use empathy, which is a skill that’s not just about putting yourself in someone else’s shoes it’s really about taking that down to first, understanding yourself and who are you, and that ability to make things more humane and understand humans really starts by understanding yourself.

David Yakobovitch

I love how you said that innovation starts with I and understanding yourself, especially when you’re a technical individual often ends up being about the code, but it doesn’t have to be you and I got to speak offline about design thinking for data science and I have a new, a medium publication on these five steps of design thinking that has been taking up a lot of my thoughts lately on how to improve data science workflows, and to help data scientists be more effective and industry I’ve learned that it’s not just about solving code, but it’s about who you work with. How do you communicate? What processes can you do together? Really these five steps of the #datascience workflow, I call them data, collecting data, refinement data, expansion data learning, and data maintenance, basically an end to end workflow.

But there’s a lot more than that similar to what you’ve shared, it’s about starting with eyes so you ask yourself questions like who can help me manage data? When can data be updated? Where is my data? How large is the data, what quantity and quality do I need and why is this relevant? And there’s many more questions than that, but I really dive deep into the who, what, when, where, why and how, because it starts with that.

You have to ask yourself questions and see the big picture and not get stuck just in the minutiae of working with code so that’s a little bit of what I’m working on with these five steps to design thinking for data science. What do you think about how you can start with, I not only with data scientists, but across all fields?

Saleema Vellani 

Just to elaborate on what you were talking about, we have a lot of people that are like data sciences, is it trending career? There’s a shortage of data scientists in the world so it’s a career that is going to be increasingly in demand and we also have a lot of inexperienced data scientists in the world cause there’s, a lot of people have just started out their careers and sometimes the way that we’re trained in these technical careers is really beginning with the mindset of what’s available. What data do we have available? And when we do that and just myself being a researcher and I was trained as an economist was what’s available. What do we have? What have we done in the past? 

And it can be really hard to uncover meaningful insights when we’re just thinking about what data is available, but the design thinking mindset can be applied and data scientists it with data science and data scientists because they can actually work backwards to understand, like what are the questions that we need to be asking? What questions would be strategically valuable to focus our research on and so  being able to question that and using design thinking principles, whether it’s starting from empathy to really framing the problem and that’s one of the hardest parts of design thinking is being able to frame the problem correctly, because oftentimes we’re thinking about the solutions without really understanding the problem.

David Yakobovitch

Data scientists are always thinking, how do I automate this? How do I build this dashboard? How do I deploy this model? But we can look back then it’s software engineering. In the last 10 to 15 years, software engineering went through a design thinking evolution where no longer was it just let me build a feature let me update a feature let me get a product to a better steady state, but as we all know, the world got introduced to agile and agile frameworks where,  I noticed even today there’s sticky notes that are everywhere in the agile space and we’re able to get concrete in the real world to translate how solutions should be solved for problems it’s really all about innovation mindset and, I know you’re coming out with a new book this year around innovation, around digital transformation, and you got to speak to some pretty influential people out there in the industry, whether some of these insights that you’ve uncovered.

Saleema Vellani 

So I decided to do over 100 conduct over 100 interviews for my book, because I realized that first of all, writing a book I knew it was going to be hard and he was going to take long but it was harder and it took longer than I thought and I realized that I wanted it to go beyond myself. Cause, I have my story, I have my insights but I thought that including other people, like really being inclusive in that process and applying what I’m all about with inclusion, I just decided to do that and I realized actually, by doing that and this is something else I talk about, oftentimes our passion is discovered, is developed, not discovered and you do that by actually just doing stuff and implementing and taking action and so I did these 100 interviews and one of my interviews was with Alex Osterwalder.

Some of you don’t know, he’s the guy that and Switzerland that created the business model canvas and wrote books such as business model generation and he talks about business value proposition and all these different tools and things that he creates a lot of canvases and one of the insights I picked up from that was that most companies are at least 10 years behind innovation and it’s super important just with where we are in the world right now, we’re entering the fourth industrial revolution as we talked about we’re in this re-skilling revolution and a lot of businesses are stalling and they’re falling behind, or sometimes it’s hard to even see that you’re stalling when you’re so focused inside of the business and not on the business to develop that awareness until it’s too late and you’ve been replaced or you’ve been automated.

I’ve experienced that myself with one of my companies, we exited right on time with the online translation business, but Google Translate really took us over and we were doing really well for a couple of years and we exited rate at a time just before Google Translate, became much better and started automatically translating websites and at that point, our business was basically gone so we exited at the right time, but imagine a lot of companies aren’t even able to develop that awareness until it’s too late and so right now it’s a really important time and so the insights I got from the interview, I was just like, I could totally relate to it with my own experiences as an entrepreneur, as an entrepreneur and just a lot of the things that he said I could relate to just even things like being terrified of public speaking and just a lot of things that were just human like that innovation is uncomfortable and you have to be able to be comfortable with being uncomfortable in order to make stuff happen and sometimes people might not believe in your ideas, but  just keep going at it and sometimes those ideas are what really makes a big impact in the world and turn into huge success. 

David Yakobovitch

Solely mo what you’ve shared really resonates with me back when I was finishing undergrad college, I actually worked in transcription. I was transcribing live audio recordings from doctors and from lawyers and from financial Bankers on wall street and it was all a manual process and now we fast forward to 2020, and you look with the new Google Translate features with Google MENA and their chatbots we see Amazon Transcribe and other software that can instantly convert audio to text so industries always being disrupted and they’re always being changing one of the things that is so interesting is the concept future of work has been going around for the last few years and it’s almost like it’s stale. It’s like, are we there yet? Are we not there? Like, where are we? The future work is now, it’s here and it’s important that we not only understand that, but we consider what the solutions we can do to be a part of that future work. I know earlier in our conversation, you mentioned the re-skill revolution, you could start learning new technologies. We can have an innovation mindset. We can be a part of design thinking, but what else can we do to be part of the future of work?

Saleema Vellani 

So basically what I’m all about like I have this, this method called the ripple impact method and it starts with innovation starts with. I it’s really about developing the self-awareness and knowing who you are, knowing how you show up and how the world sees you oftentimes, the way we see ourselves is very different than the way others see us and be able to receive that feedback from people like asking people, like how do I show up? What are ways I can improve? What are my growth areas? Having that level of self-awareness is becoming increasingly important, especially with the future of work. 

We are in the future of work, like you said and there are more skills needed around being able to understand people, understand humans, a lot of things that robots and machines just can’t replace and so really owning in on those people’s skills, emotional intelligence and after developing that self-awareness, it becomes easier to empathize with other people and empathy is another skill that’s increasingly important. 

It’s just one of those skills that if you don’t have it, you should have empathy like it’s one of the skills, if you don’t have that really work on that because that’s something that is going to be more important and even in technical careers, and once you develop your self-awareness and your empathy, developing your resilience, being able to embrace failure and be okay with that and just be constantly learning because that ability to adapt to different situations it’s not about today things are changing very rapidly like people are switching careers rapidly, life changes there’s so many things happening in the world that being able to adapt to different situations is just going to be on the rise.

David Yakobovitch

I want to dive deeper into both empathy and resilience looking at empathy. I see it all as human relationships. How do we humanize the future? How do we work well with each other? And the truth is every process is about human relationships. I even foresee in 2040 where there’ll be robots everywhere there’ll be taking over the sky we’ll be having these flying drones we’re still gonna have people fixing these drones we’re still going to be having people maintain and control centers where there’s massive surveillance we’re still going to be having people approving and moving processes forward. There needs to be empathy, but not only with technology but thinking what is going on with the other person. 

Maybe they’re having a hard week, maybe something’s going on Coronavirus so things could be happening and we need to be aware how we can empathize and show up for others that’s so important on the empathy side, but even beyond that empathy has been talked about LinkedIn said it’s the most desirable skill in 2020 that you can show up for others and be empathetic, but the other one that you mentioned is resilience, and that’s not talked about that much we don’t talk that much about, how much resilience do you need, how long do you have to be resilient? What even is resilience? I look at it as commitment, discipline, persistence, perseverance, all put together but I also look at it as thinking outside the box, looking at the big picture.  it goes back to design thinking, what’s your take on resilience? . 

Saleema Vellani 

Resilience is really important for everyone to have and when it comes to innovation, entrepreneurship, design thinking, it’s that part where I oftentimes there’s this book by Seth Godin that I really enjoyed called the dip and it’s about the time where you’re hitting a dip you’re hitting a whether it’s going rock bottom and you’re not sure whether you should like go, you should keep working at it, what to do and it’s almost like crisis mode and that’s happened to me.

I’ve been through a few of these periods where your life crashes and you have to figure out like how to react to that and how do you want to actually be proactive so that you don’t go that deep down rock bottom but interestingly, that especially in the period of ideation, so design thinking there’s five steps there’s, or that’s according to it Stanford, there’s different methods out there, but the main one is basically start with empathy and really understand, through storytelling, through journey mapping through empathy, mapping, really understanding who you’re solving the problem four and then you define the problem, which I said was really challenging because you have to really frame the problem and ask the right questions and you can do that through, how might we questions? 

There’s a lot of there’s a lot on this you should take a crash course on design thinking if you haven’t already, or we’re just get certified in it, if you want to really use that skill and then the third step is ideation and ideation is where you’re brainstorming ideas and this is where you actually want to get out of here group think this doesn’t necessarily happen in team meetings and this is where  the innovation starts with, I is really important because you really have to be in that zone of creative flow and here are the resilience is key because it’s all about quantity and not necessarily quality of your ideas and this is something that data scientists can actually incorporate in their work by going for the quantity and not necessarily the quality and not thinking literally, and just using divergent thinking and being able to think out of the box. 

There’s endless possibilities and let’s not make any judgements yet and that’s where resilience is key because you need to be able to be okay that maybe this might fail it’s all about then going from the ideation phase into prototyping and actually start testing some of those ideas and solutions and then going back through the phase, the fifth step is test and going back through the iteration cycle where you’re, whether you’re going back to defining the problem again, or you’re ideating.

I feel like I’m teaching design thinking right now, but you’re really trying to iterate and failures actually failure is great cause then, that you can understand and learn from that and go back in the process and improve your solution and so the resilience is important because you have to be okay with failure and more and more companies are trying to adopt this culture where failure is and it starts by having a psychologically safe environment.

David Yakobovitch

I absolutely agree with that in a data science projects, when I work with students, I have a thing called the data science standards, which actually inspired my design thinking for data science and in the data science standards in that first step that you mentioned about defining the problem and IVA thing, I tell students once you have a data set, don’t just say I have a question, like let me reduce churn, like go in depth write out as many questions as you can that you think are going to be relevant about the problem and the solution that you’re trying to solve and that’s 20 questions and you end up only solving three of them. That’s fine but you’ve set up a pipeline of questions. 

You’ve gone through the brainstorming process and some of them may be relevant today or for a future project, or even you try solving one of the questions and you reach a dead end where you just cannot get the result you achieve, but the other questions are available for you so you can effectively solve something, whether it’s visualization, #machinelearning deployment so I strongly encourage that for data scientists. 

And I imagine that’s similar for all across fields I know we’re spending a lot of time today on design thinking, but everything here really goes back to digital transformation and innovation economy in the past few weeks,  of course we’ve been seeing how Coronavirus has been taking over the world in many respects, but one of the biggest shifts we’ve been seeing has been actually very positive and reinforcing if I could say there’s one positive thing from the Coronavirus, it has been enabling humans to work together. Again, it’s been enabling human interactions where we’re in these remote environments, whether it’s software like zoom or LinkedIn live we’re again, gauging with humans. We’re getting out of our comfort zone and being willing to try new things on what’s your take on the positive side of the coronavirus?

Saleema Vellani 

That it’s really an it’s actually enabling us to, like you said be more human and really understand what’s going on in the world and developing that global awareness, which is another insight that I got through my book interviews is really understanding what’s going on with different cultures, with different people just yesterday I had it scenario, if something happened where I was walking into a building and met with someone and they refuse to shake my hand, I put my hand out immediately. I was like, I had to check in with myself I’m like, I felt a bit offended like, why don’t they want to shake my hand day, my hands clean and it’s interesting cause I had to really think about, well they did say there’s a coronavirus and so not shaking hands right now and I was like, well what? 

Don’t take that personally. Like it’s okay and maybe, I don’t know what that person has gone through. I don’t know maybe their fears, their past their experiences and where they’re coming from, because it’s definitely not the same life that I’m living and so I’m a person that will generally still shake hands with people and I’ll do that but not necessarily, everyone feels comfortable with that and so that’s something I had to really check in with myself and develop that awareness of, Hey, like this is not don’t take this personally this is just what’s going on right now and I’ve never experienced that before here, where someone refused to shake my hand. And so it was sorta like,  It really forced me to check in with myself. And  these types of events that happen, , they really force us to look within ourselves, but also really understand what’s going on in the world.

David Yakobovitch

It’s incredible to think that it’s not just about having some gloves, a face mask and some Purell, but to realize everything is not about us when we’re rejected, it doesn’t mean that we’re being rejected, but there could be that circumstance out there and that’s how these show up it’s even how you shared before about that adaptability quotient, are you willing to adapt and in this innovation economy, there’s going to be so much adoption we have so many online tools that are used even in the data science workflow today communications no longer just email we have software like Slack and zoom. It’s incredible to see how workflows have shifted. We even have new software for collaboration like a sauna and Trello for workflow process management and now we’re moving into no code and low code environments with software like Airtable and Bubble. 

I want to take some time to shift the conversation to the #nocode movement. It’s been something that’s been growing in popularity in the last few months. We see almost every other week, a new startup coming out there with no code and low code and that reminds me of the geo city days when we had Lissa Explains it all when we had these HTML websites that you could click and drag and drop and we’ve seen that with websites, even more modernly with Squarespace and Wix and other platforms, but it goes to help me think that it’s all about design thinking.

No code solutions doesn’t really mean no code there’s code going on behind the scenes to modularize and make processes work but just because you’re not using React you’re not using JavaScript to build a website. It doesn’t mean design thinking has left. It’s ever more present and that’s so fascinating with these no code solutions for yourself as someone who’s in the industry, doing a lot of innovation, whether you think about the no code movement and if it’s a resurgence or how it’s going to impact design thinking.

Saleema Vellani 

So speaking about the no-code movement, it’s interesting because I want to actually elaborate on an example. I was actually talking to the director of data science and innovation at Accenture. His name is Aaron Hernandez and I was telling you about this interview and I was like this is really interesting.

The intersection of data science and design thinking and we talked about, just give me an example, like think about email spam and how long it would take to come up with their roles to cut, arise and filter out Spam and how we’ve seen the evolution of, for example, Gmail I don’t know how many of you use the different filters, automated filters, like the updates, promotion, social, etcetera in your inbox but it’s interesting cause it’s like machines are getting faster through data science and machine learning. 

They’re able to pick up things that we can and it’s really interesting cause a lot of these things on the backend, we’re not able to really see them with their eyes, but we’re all, we’re the ones that are experiencing it and so with design thinking, it’s important to understand the experience that humans or your customers go through and on the backend that a lot of the coding, a lot of that’s already being automated a lot of things are being replaced, the skill of coding, like it was a really big movement and now it’s sort of shifting this no-code movement and it’s interesting how things are moving so quickly so  that as machines and, bots and just coding is just like, there’s a lot already happening where it’s being automated and not necessarily, we don’t have to do it as humans as much anymore.

That’s going to be on the rise but I do think that the ability for people that are in technical fields, that are still doing the coding or working with the code or humanizing what’s going on with the code,  that they need to have this skill of design thinking now, I don’t think that.

They should be both a #datascientist or a coder and a person, or like a designer or a design thinking expert that’s you’re going to end up being a not great example of either one that you should be good at whatever you’re doing however that ability to think in that way, like a designer, even just enough so that you can humanize the code or humanized data science, that that’s, that’s going to be increasingly important. 

I was actually talking to as well another data science leader, his name is Demetrius Adler he’s the founder of data society and he was talking about this as well, that data science and design thinking really go hand in hand and so it’s important to understand from the design thinking perspective, how can we work with data science? Because that’s important as well for the field of design thinking but I also think that more importantly design thinking is going to be more and more important for data scientists and so it goes hand in hand, but  that it’s going to be more important for data scientists to be able to embrace the design thinking mindset.

David Yakobovitch

You have a new book coming out and you’ve shared with us a little bit of some of the individuals you’ve spoken with, especially around Business Model Canvas. I enjoy every few months I go to a Hackathon, I get to practice building products in 24 or 48 hours and often when I work in these Hackathons with teams of individuals, including designers and software engineers and data scientists and product managers, we put the Business Model Canvas, or even a Lean Model Canvas in front of us and we directly use it to inform our decisions when we build a product so it’s amazing to see, how it’s translating across everywhere in society, but even beyond the Business Model Canvas, you’ve mentioned, you have over a hundred interviews and conversations that have given you guidance and counsel, as you’ve been building this new book what are some of the other takeaways or hidden secrets you can share with us prior to your book launch?

Saleema Vellani 

I had some interesting conversations around job crafting and that with the future of work going back to that conversation, it’s just going to be more common for you to craft your own ideal job description. Since as workplaces are becoming more humane and try to really empathize and understand their talent, their employees in order to retain them, being able to craft your own job is going to be on the rise that being able to really understand what are the things that you can contribute, what are the things that you’re good at? What are the things that you’re passionate about? What does the world need and what is the world willing to pay you for? Which is basically a key guy.

If you’ve heard of that Japanese tool, honing in on that and finding your sweet spot is going to be increasingly important. I also heard a lot of different insights around, constant learning, the ability to just constantly be in learning mode and going to conferences, absorbing content, stuff like this, like LinkedIn lives or podcasts to speak, constantly learning, reading, whatever it is and there’s ways that that’s also becoming easier for us through apps like Blinkist. I’m a big fan of that, I use Blinkist for, I still love reading books, but  that blink is a great tool to listen to summaries of books that I wouldn’t otherwise purchase and so, these types of things where you’re just getting nuggets, like try to get at least one nugget per day and learn something new and make that part of your routine that’s really important to stay up to date with the trends cause it’s so easy to just become obsolete in today’s economy.  

David Yakobovitch

It’s amazing with so much information today from podcasts to articles to live streams how do you even keep up with information? One thing I do that I found to be very successful and I recommend to all our listeners is I have a separate email box for all my newsletters that I subscribed to then the email box where I’m needing to send emails and correspondence for work and clients and, people who I’m mentoring by having this separation of email boxes for me in my experience has enabled me to stay focused and to make sure I’m accomplishing goals and then I can check in on content without feeling as overwhelmed, because I feel that we’re having so much overwhelm and mental health challenges as a result of all this content. Anyway, that’s one tool I found to be successful. What are some other tools that you mentioned Blinkist, but other tools that you found to be successful or strategies as we’re moving into this future of work?

Saleema Vellani 

Another insight, I guess I can share was with the future of work in one of my interviews, we talked about there’s this rise of entrepreneurship like everyone wants to be an entrepreneur, not everyone, but more than ever before, a lot of people are trying to participate in the gig economy, being entrepreneur and even the concept of an entrepreneur has evolved so much like what does it mean? There’s like there’s Instagram influencers, there’s all sorts of there’s social entrepreneurs. 

They’re like gig workers feel answers there’s just so many people out there trying to have that autonomy there are a lot of companies as well that are adjusting a lot of their policies and their processes to attract and to give people the ability to work on a passion project like Google and their 20% will, for example but  that with this rise of,  entrepreneurship and especially social entrepreneurship, it’s going to be really, important to learn how to collaborate and figure out how do you really solve a problem together with other people being able to embrace coopertition work closely with your competitors, even if it’s for a period of time for both of you to grow and learn from each other and leverage that partnership that that’s really important it’s I see it as a challenge that a lot of people are struggling to and myself included, I’ve experienced how do you actually make this work? 

Because a lot of people are trying to grow their own babies. They’re trying to do their own things. They’re trying to build their own brands. At the end of the day, it’s important to build your personal brand because at the end of the day, people will remember who you are, what impact you had? How did you make someone feel? Not so much the words and everything else out there. Like you said, content right now, we’re going through so much in the content world that it’s hard to keep up, but focusing on the feeling and the impact that that’s important as well as figuring out how to collaborate with other people.

David Yakobovitch

And that completely translates to the data science world as well for those who are practitioning data scientists today Kaggle has become the de facto platform where people go on to do these online Hackathons and they’re competing and often you’ll follow these hackathons on Kaggle and everyone will be stuck on the problem trying to break through, trying to hide their code from each other but then in the actual Kaggle competitions where people shared our code, you see breakthroughs, maybe someone took an algorithm and they got that 1% increase and then everyone else starts implementing the code so Kaggle lets you have both public and private information, but I’ve seen a lot of people who share an open source, their public information, the code they’re doing it doesn’t just give them benefits It gives the whole platform benefits and what Kaggle’s done, which is so surprising is they said every competition is winners and typically the winners are those who perform the best they get the highest level of performance on whatever the competition’s looking for, machine learning usually. 

But I said, look now winners are not just those who get the best results there are people who share their code and help the most people so you could actually be a Kaggle grand master for having public code and open sourcing your information so everyone can learn and you can democratize the data science journey that’s so meaningful and we’ve heard a lot about that today from yourself with your new book and for everything around design thinking, not only with data scientists, but the whole industry, when can we expect to see your book drop on the shelves?

Saleema Vellani 

So my book will be out in at the end of summer and so I would say probably September is the release time and there’s a lot of pre-launch efforts happening. We’re doing a crowdfunding campaign. We’re taking a really collaborative approach to it. Our team here is just really preparing in order to amplify our interviewees and be really inclusive in the process of all of this, since we’re all about really building a community and delivering value and so we’re in the process of doing that right now. 

David Yakobovitch

Well, I am looking forward to a first copy or an early copy preview of the book. 

Saleema thank you so much for joining us on the HumAIn Podcast. 

Saleema Vellani 

Thank you so much for having me on the show.

David Yakobovitch

Thank you for listening to this episode of the HumAIn Podcast. What do you think? Did the show measure up to your thoughts on artificial intelligence, data science, future of work and developer education? Listeners, I want to hear from you so that I can offer you the most relevant trend setting and educational content on the market. 

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Works Cited

¹Saleema Vellani

Companies Cited

Ripple Impact