Categories: General staff profiles

Day In The Life: The Work-From-Home Hustle Of A Mozilla Data Scientist

This is a cross-post from The Well, in partnership with Jopwell.

Teon L Brooks, PhD
Data Scientist, Mozilla
Brooklyn, NY
Twitter: @teonbrooks

7:45am: My alarm goes off, and I roll out of bed. I always start my morning with a freshly ground and brewed espresso made with my espresso machine (in case you can’t tell, I’m a full-blown coffee enthusiast with an Instagram account dedicated to cortados to prove it). As I sip, I browse through my calendar on my phone and eat a light breakfast of cereal and fruit. I lace up my sneakers and head out the door for a quick run. After running 2 miles around my Brooklyn neighborhood, I head back home and take a quick shower. This morning ritual helps me clear my mind and prepares me for my daily responsibilities as a data scientist at Mozilla. We’re interested in making sure the users have the tools to navigate the web effectively, safely, and enjoyably. We’re trying to extend the product offerings beyond the browser, while simultaneously making sure the browser is the best experience possible.

9:30am: Time to get to work! Since I am a “remotee,” I work from home. I don’t have to worry about commuting, which is heavenly. One of Mozilla’s core strengths is that we’re a distributed team. I work in New York, and my team is anywhere from San Francisco to Switzerland. I love to travel so this is a big perk. I’ve had the chance to work in Toronto and Paris, among many other places. Mozilla’s infrastructure makes it all work seamlessly!

10:00am: Before I get to work, I typically check my work email and Slack then follow up on outstanding communications. I’m actually part of two larger teams: One is the product development team which has about 10 people, and our data science team that has about 15. After checking in with both teams, I’ll look at my task list and begin prioritizing the projects I will work on for the rest of the day. At Mozilla, data scientists are consulted on two to three different projects throughout any given day. We launch new projects often, and I focus primarily on developing the metrics for those products. An example would be the new Cloud Storage Experiment, which is a web extension that allows our users to link their browsers to their cloud storage. I designed the metrics for the project including measure user interaction and user satisfaction.

12:30pm: Lunch time! Today, I’m meeting some friends for a quick bite in Manhattan. It’s a gorgeous day, so I bike over the Williamsburg Bridge and meet them in Washington Square Park.

1:30pm: I brew another espresso (European-style!) and get back to work. In the afternoon, I’ll often design surveys via Survey Gizmo and ensure our survey ties back to the metrics of success our team aligned on prior to launch. The survey gauges metrics like overall product satisfaction and popular features. We also compare these answers to actual usage practices. While I’m working, I’ll also follow along with discussions on Slack, Gitter, IRC, and hop on video calls for occasional meetings.

5:30pm: I wrap up work around 5:30 or 6 and start catching up on the news. I like to listen to NPR One app, or I just veg out on the couch.

6:00pm: About three to four times a week, I try to go to the gym to lift weights. I’ve recently gotten into powerlifting. I have been spending most of my time in the gym perfecting my technique and slowly increasing weight.

7:30pm: I love cooking dinner! One of my go-to dinner dishes is roasted lamb with fresh greens, avocado, and quinoa.

8:00pm: If I am in for the evening, I check in on some of my side projects. I am trained as a cognitive scientist, and I am currently working with a group of awesome software developers and researchers to develop a hands-on curriculum, called BrainWaves. The training is intended to teach neuroscience to high schoolers, particularly those underserved in NYC. I’ll meet with the team to discuss fundraising, grant writing, and the process of becoming an official nonprofit, CIEL. If I’m not working on BrainWaves, I’m out and about in NYC. I love dance so you will occasionally find me at a ballet or taking a Latin ballroom or ballet class, or just catching up with friends over drinks.

11:30pm: I begin to wind down, hydrate, and try to go to sleep around midnight.

Image courtesy of Teon L. Brooks, PhD