Interviews

Published on November 13th, 2017 | by Brandon H

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Terry Bandy – Senior Data Scientist

Terry Bandy is a Senior Data Scientist, with a passion for numbers. Bandy grew up on the east coast, and was identified as gifted at a young age. Through out boarding school and then undergraduate, he followed a combination of passions including math, logic, technology, and business. This unique set of passions led him to start his first business when he was only twenty years old, while still a full-time student at Tufts University. Five years into growing his business, which was based on website design and analytics, he sold it to an up-and-coming tech company in California. Bandy moved west to help manage the company.

Bandy earned his Masters in Business Intelligence while maintaining his curiosity about the intersection of tech, math, and business. Bandy settled down in San Francisco full time after meeting his now wife, Melissa. He and his wife started a family, and Bandy moved in the direction of freelance work so that he could spend time with his family.

Over the years, Bandy’s reputation as a Data Scientist grew, and with that reputation came more success with his freelance endeavors. Today, Terry Bandy only takes on clients that he enjoys working with, and strives to maintain a healthy balance between work and play. He is passionate about helping his clients use the power of big data to solve concrete problems within their businesses. Bandy also enjoys the outdoors and is an avid hiker. He travels frequently and likes to find ways to spend time with his family while still pursuing his passions, such as tech, travel, health, and the outdoors.

What are your favorite books?

I am an avid reader, and I only like to read books that expand my mind in some way. Some people read to escape, but I like to think of it as enhancement, rather than escape. My goal is to gain a new perspective. One of my favorite books is a little graphic novel called “Logicomix”, about falling down the rabbit-hole that numbers can lead us down, in a quest towards truth. It deals with a problem that all mathematicians are trying to solve: What is truth? One of the authors is a man I really respect, Christos Papadimitriou, who is a professor of theoretical computer sciences at Berkeley. He did a phenomenal job with his contributions to the book.

What is your favorite T.V. show?

My favorite TV show currently is the cartoon “Rick and Morty”. My sons and I love watching it, and even my wife will join us once in a while when it is on, and get in a good laugh. The show is great — the writers get into really philosophical and theoretical territory, like infinite universes and the worth of intelligence. I find it fascinating.

Describe your typical day.

A typical day for me starts out at about five or six am. I try not to set an alarm, because I find that it is best for my body to wake up at the end of a sleep cycle, instead of in the middle of it. Once I’m awake, I start my morning routine, which takes about half an hour to an hour. I meditate, take some notes, read something that inspires me, do a little intention setting, and then stretch for a moment. Then I eat breakfast.

I am usually working by seven or eight, depending on what my family is doing, and how long I spend hanging out in the kitchen and chatting with them. I don’t consider talking with my family as wasted time — I think of it as the most important thing that I do each day. Once I sit down in my home office, I get sort of lost in my work. The work day tends to go by very quickly, and I have to discipline myself to stop by five or six.

My working hours are spend mining numbers, talking with my clients, or working on presentations regarding my findings. I find all of it entirely fascinating, and sometimes it is hard to stop. But I pull myself away, and try to get out in to nature. Then, it’s dinner, family time, and then bed.

What’s one thing you’ve learned since starting your career?

One thing that I have learned since starting my career is that working for yourself never really gets easier. When I was in my undergrad years, at Tufts, I thought that starting a business was really terrifying. I was responsible for myself. I thought that feeling would fade, but now that I have been self employed for over twenty years, I find that I still face moments of fear, where I wish that someone else would take over and I would simply report to them. I think that this is a deep psychological need that humans face, and I have worked on stepping into ownership and mastery despite my fears and doubts.

What was your first job?

My first job was as a dishwasher at a little restaurant called Luca Bistro, in Concord, NH. I was at boarding school at the time, and wanted to buy new shoes for basketball season. My father thought I didn’t need them, so I decided to earn the money myself. I worked for about three weeks, and ultimately decided that dish-washing wasn’t for me. I didn’t like the way the water tended to get into my shoes.

 

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