Women in FinTech: Dr. YY Huang

I worked with Dr. Huang at RapidMiner for a few years and found her to be an amazing and talented data scientist. She was recently interviewed by Quantopian for their Women In Tech program and I learned something new about her that I didn’t know. She started university at age 15!

In her interview she charts her path through university to her first job. She’s an inspiration and role model to women who want to start and thrive in the FinTech field. She has such a bright future ahead of her and I’m really happy for her.

Why I Left RapidMiner

For those that are wondering why I left RapidMiner, my dream job, there are no gory details to share.

The simple reason is I got burnt out. My time at RapidMiner was some of the best learning and growth years in my entire professional career. I solved problems, made presentations to C-suite people, and worked with some of the best talent. The flipside of this was that it wasn’t easy and it sure as hell wasn’t a smooth ride. I worked through some of the most tumultuous years at RapidMiner. We had 3 years of management changes and radical 180 degree strategy changes while I was there. All this ‘chaos’ eventually took it’s toll on me.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no ill will towards anyone. I really miss my colleagues and friends, but I made my decision to leave in early May 2017. I had no real plan at that moment, I just needed some ‘me’ time. I quit in July 2017 and took a few weeks off to be with my family.

As luck would have it, my town’s Municipal Engineer approached me and asked if I’d like to work on a town project. He knew that in my former life as an Engineer, I had a lot of stormwater management design experience and this project needed some big stormwater analysis. I decided to take this job and simultaneously start a Data Science consultancy too. I ended up doing Engineering and RapidMiner/Data Science consultancy from August 2017 work till right about September 2018. What happened in September 2018? Well that deserves its own post for another time.

I started taking on RapidMiner related consulting work and doing my stormwater analysis. I was living the life of a consultant, working strange hours, worrying about invoices, worrying about where the next job will come, etc. Luckily I picked up more Engineering work from my Municipal Engineer to keep me afloat as I navigated through the lean times.

In August of 2018, my stormwater project ended up getting approved by the NJDEP and Highlands Council as a Major Development in New Jersey. This was a first in Highlands and NJDEP history, a brand new Community Center and Shelter got the green light to be constructed, all because we engineered a better stormwater management system. Although my work will never be seen – it’s all underground – I can take solace that I will be recharging 133% of clean rainwater over the development area into a depleting aquifer. I know that this project will be a benefit to the Community and the environment, and that makes me happy.

Making a positive impact can be really hard at times but the reward is immeasurable.

So there you have it. Nothing to see. It was time to move on to the next adventure. I can take solace that all the RapidMiner adventures and friends will always be a part of me. As Ingo from RapidMiner would say, “onward and upward.”

Let’s go.

Throwback to Gartner 2017

I was going through some old files when I stumbled across these old Gartner 2017 photos. What a great trip down memory lane with the RapidMiner team. We had so much fun down there.

Gartner 2017 image 1

Oh man, somewhere there’s a video of a colleague swimming in the fountain after a long night of drinking.

Gartner 2017 image 2

Plus there was so much intrigue. I was being wined and dined by a competitor that night too.

Gartner 2017 image 3

Times like these make for a life well lived.