Why we do weekly Data Office Hours

And Why You Should Implement Them As Well

Posted by Nicolas Buzzano

on June 10, 2022 · 3 mins read

Data Office Hours (DOH) : Origin Story

From cavemen showing off their cave paintings to poetry clubs, to the first literary workshops to school science fairs, conferences, and different meetups, humans have historically gotten together to share knowledge, answer questions, and have a good time.

We may not be as fancy or fascinating as the Greek, the Romans, or many civilizations and cultures that did this before us (at least it’s not for us to say). We do, however, find data engineering and data science fascinating. We talk, work on, breathe and daydream about data-related projects. After all, we’re data nerds with a natural tendency toward discussing and sharing talks, papers, and projects on all kinds of topics. That’s reflected in all of our Slack channels, where we regularly share content, ask questions and learn every day.

The question remained: If we enjoy this so much and have so much to talk about, then why not formalize it into an official periodic event?

Cue Data Office Hours.

What Are Data Office Hours?

So what is it? Data Office Hours (DOH) is a weekly meeting held by Mutters for Mutters, where anyone willing can join in to listen to or talk about different data-related topics. There are no limits within the general scope of Data: anything from data science to data engineering is game, be it tending toward theory or practice. Sometimes the meeting is also used to go over different tools (new or old) or even business-related topics.

But it’s become much more than just a meeting. DOH has become a unique get-together where we can just be nerds. A place where no questions are dumb, where we can learn, and most importantly, spread knowledge internally in our organization. The best part? There are no rules. Our only restraint is we try to choose a topic and main speaker beforehand.

DOH has no boundaries, its a space for all Mutters, no matter their seniority or responsability, where anyone can talk about data science and engineering.

What I love most about DOH is the relaxed environment: everyone can ask questions, propose ideas or engage in discussions. It’s fantastic to see how much we have learned since we started organizing these meets.

  • Diego Calb - Data Developer

Why is Data Office Hours Relevant?

Although a big part of it is creating a relaxed environment to exchange ideas while drinking a coffee ☕, mate 🧉, or eating some cookies, DOH has a lot of beneficial side effects. To name a few:

Abstraction

DOH offers the opportunity to get away from your day-to-day routine work or commonly used tools and listen to what other people are reading about, investigating, or working on. In a way, it offers a break from routine and your current comfort zone.

Practical Solutions

More often than not, these talks can generate ideas or solutions to real-life issues a Mutter might be having on a client project, inspiring that Mutter to investigate alternatives.

Team Bonding

Data Office Hour’s is one more instance for the team to gather together. Many new friendships and unlikely partnerships are born during these meetings. Maybe you will find a common interest with a fellow Mutter and end up investigating or working on a topic together.

Onboarding

It’s an opportunity for Mutters who are just joining the team to get to know everyone in a relaxed environment and learn about new tools and techniques as they do so. It’s not an obligatory part of the onboarding process, but we highly recommend participating in a DOH!

What Does DOH Look Like?

Like technology and the field of data itself, DOH is being developed as we go, and it may face changes in the future. However, currently we regularly switch between the three following kinds of formats:

Masterclass

Like the name suggests, in this scenario, one or two mutters will act as a guru on a specific topic of their expertise, teaching the rest of the group about something.

Experts Panel

A panel of experts gathers to discuss predefined topics. Mutters’ can ask as many questions as they want to that panel through the DOH Slack channel. These questions are covered asynchronously.

Interviews

Similar to the masterclass with a twist. In this scenario someone in the group interviews the gurus on a specific topic they master.

DOH is a safe place where we can show what we know and, better yet, what we don’t know. The relaxed, laidback environment generates honest and constructive feedback. I’ve used tons of what I’ve learned in DOH for day-to-day work.

  • Hugo Viotti - Data Engineer

P.S.

Can’t make it to a DOH? No worries. We keep a journal with a detailed summary of each talk just in case anyone wants to go back in time and choose an intersting DOH to check out. Oh, we forgot to mention: like all other meets and presentations at Mutt Data, there are also a lot of memes. Kudos to all our creative meme artists for making our events so much fun.

Wrapping Up

We hope you’ve found this post useful, and at least mildly entertaining. If you like what you’ve read so far, got some mad dev skills and like applying machine-learning to solve tough business challenges, send us your resume here or visit our lever account for current job openings!

Hope to see you in our next DOH, we’re saving a spot just for you! Interested in finding out more about Mutt Data and what we do? Curious about what being a Mutter looks like? We’ve got you covered. Check out our team section on our blog to get to know us better.


Team Culture Hiring Talent