How to Build a Data Science Team with Jon Morra

Released Thursday, 23rd July 2020
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Data science has increasingly become an integral part of the technical makeup of organizations. However, most CTOs don’t have experience building a data science component from scratch. Jon Morra got his start in data science at eHarmony when most technical teams did not have any researchers. He joins Peter today on CTO Connection to offer advice on how to build a research team from the ground up.
Jon discusses why you want to bring on researchers who are generalists and why it is imperative that you have a clear problem you want to solve before assembling a team. He also explains why you should look at problems as oracles and offers guidance on the hiring process for data scientists. Listen to get ideas on starting a research team for your organization. 
  • (01:26) - Jon's path to becoming Chief Data Scientist at ZEFR
  • (02:40) - Balancing competing priorities at eHarmony
  • (04:30) - Where to start building up a data science team
  • (08:16) - Approaches for making the first hire
  • (11:14) - Beyond full stack
  • (13:07) - Filling the gaps
  • (16:18) - Thirsty to learn
  • (17:56) - Promoting to manager
  • (19:41) - Minimizing business risk
  • (22:16) - Defining success
  • (24:11) - Where should the team live within an org?
  • (27:42) - Initial goals and expectations
  • (29:32) - What is senior?
  • (32:16) - Managing senior data scientists
Special thanks to our global partner – Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS offers a broad set of global cloud-based products to equip technology leaders to build better and more powerful solutions, reach out to if you’re interested to learn more about their offerings.
CTO Connection is where you can learn from the experiences of successful engineering leaders at fast-growth tech startups. Whether you want to learn more about hiring, motivating or managing an engineering team, if you're technical and manage engineers, the CTO Connection podcast is a great resource for learning from your peers!
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Podcast episode production by Dante32.

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35m 34s
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