The DC2 mission statement emphasises that "Data Community DC is an organization committed to connecting and promoting the work of data professionals...", ultimately we see DC2 becoming a hub for data scientists interested in exploring new material, advancing their skills, collaborating, starting a business with data, mentoring others, teaching classes, changing careers, etc. Education is clearly a large part of any of these interests, and while DC2 has held a few workshops and is sponsored by organizations like Statistics.com, we knew we could do more and so we partnered with General Assembly and created a GA & DC2 scholarship specifically for members of Data Community DC.
For our first scholarship we landed on Front End Web Development and User Experience, which we naturally announced first at Data Viz DC. How does this relate to data science? As I was happy to rebut Mr. Gelman in our DC2 blogpost reply, sometimes I would love to have a little sandbox where I get to play with algorithms all day, but then again this is exactly what I've run away from in 2013 in becoming an independent data science consultant, I don't want a business plan I'm not a part of dictating what I can play with. Enter Web Dev and UX. As Harlan Harris, organizer of DSDC, mentions in his venn diagram on what makes a data scientist, which Tony Ojeda later emphasizes, programming is a natural and necessary part of being a data scientist. In other words, there's this thing called the interwebs that has more data than you can shake a stick at, and if you can't operate in that environment then as a data scientist you're asking someone else to do that heavy lifting for you.
Over the next month we'll be choosing the winners of the GA DC2 Scholarship, and if you'd like to see any other scholarships in the future please leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us.