I discovered the internet at about 10 years old at the turn of the millennium. Although high-speed internet was available at the time, my parents started me slow with a hideous form of dial-up that now brings back waves of nostalgia whenever I hear the robotic connection song, the theme of anticipation for my generation. I remember the first time I signed into MSN messenger (on some username variation of cute_princess90210 of course) and started chatting with my cousin. Mind. Equals. Blown.
I was mesmerized by real-time, instant, communication. I couldn’t comprehend how my finger tips could write words – normally reserved for middle school Literature essays and angsty teenage poetry – that would be seen halfway across the world the way my voice could be heard over the phone. Over time, I explored the ever-changing trends of the time: MySpace lost cool cred to Facebook early on, we learned that “www.google.com” was insufficient as a source citation, and high-contrast selfies decorated with web 2.0 animations and midi ringtone background music became our virtual business cards.
Every ebb and flow of digital technology has left me thirsty for more. I always want to know what the next big thing is, be right at the corner when things start to shift. So I was absolutely thrilled when I came across Tableau while on my job hunt and (unfortunately) after I had just submitted my master’s degree dissertation. I say unfortunately because the three-month trek through SPSS to create data visualizations was a bit of a challenge, and a major kick to the gut after I realized we could have done most of it on Tableau in a fraction of the time.
Now I find myself receiving another major kick to the gut, but one fuelled on adrenaline and excited anticipation. My generation has struggled in today’s competitive job market, and I feel incredibly fortunate to be employed in a city like London. But the cherry on top is that I am entering a field I hold genuine appreciation for. I have found passion at an age when many are just starting to understand what makes their hearts tick. I’m still green, I’m still a kid trying to figure it all out, I still have no idea what I’m doing. But I’m being given my tools and they are bright and colourful and incredibly innovative. I am allowing myself to muddle my way through a technology that is rocking the BI world. I am allowing myself to be part of the revolution. As James Eiloart, a lovely gentleman I was fortunate enough to hear speak yesterday, states: Tableau is “market-defining technology […] The revolution has begun.”
And to that I can only echo, it’s time, it’s time, it’s time.