DSPT – A Commmunity for Data People, by Data People

published by Susana Paço - 8 April, 2019

The question that comes to mind to many of you when entering the Data Science Portugal more often than not is “Why? What are your goals DSPT? What do you stand for?”.

Let me try to answer it 😉

The history of the community reveals a lot about its goals. In September 2016 a group of data enthusiasts were getting frustrated about the events that were appearing in Portugal about data science. Almost all of them were so marketing focused that sometimes you finished the event knowing even less than in the beginning. They wanted to learn more and no solutions existed at the time in Portugal. “Could the academia solve this problem?” they thought, but quickly realised that colleges and universities had a rhythm way slower than the one data science currently has. But one community with no specific alliances to any university or company could solve it. A community to spread the knowledge they crave.

The meetups began between Porto and Aveiro and the community started to grow. Right from the beginning the ideals that unite the community started to arise. Ideals that every single one of the elements of the organization team lives by and tries to uphold:

  • Providing a safe haven for data enthusiasts, open and informal – many of the data science professionals see themselves almost isolated in their companies as we are a small community and DSPT strives to be the place were we find our peers and discuss learnings and experiences;
  • Never define what data science is, rather show what can be done with data science – Data Science is such a new and vast area that trying to restrain it will only lead to frustration and anger between people. DSPT aims to show how diverse the area is by showing it, rather than define it. From big to small companies, portuguese and foreigner, academia and industry, if the project is interesting, DSPT will try its best to bring it to the community;
  • Be a reference in the area – most of us within the community at some time were confused about which pathway to take. Data Science is so vast that everyone can get lost in it. DSPT aims to be light on the pathway, acting as a friendly guide for everyone in their data science pathways, no matter the background, no matter the experience;
  • Above all, to have fun and enjoy Data Science – the last ideal but not the least. In a world of grey industry why not have a colourful community? This community is a come as you are and have fun type. Laughs are a must when learning and we will never discriminate anyone. Beginner? Welcome. Intermediate? Come right in. Expert? Wow. Tell us your story.

We exist to provide the middle ground between academia and industry, to be a group of friends when you need. To spread Data Science instead of defining it or restraining it. To take the Portuguese Data Science community to new heights.

The shared  love of data science and the love of an informal community took the community to a full fledged association in February 2018,  to be active in 5 cities and to host its first full day conference, all in 2018.

Where will the future take us? No one knows, but every single one of us will be here, working to make DSPT bigger, better, more interesting and funnier ! Will you work with us?