Anna Nicanorova - The Life Hunter

Anna Nicanorova - The Life Hunter

Anna Nicanorova is multifaceted woman, both data scientist @annalect, co-founder of books+whiskey meetup, buspreneur, art-hunter, tenderfoot alpinist, armchair cosmologist.

3 outstanding experiences/steps that brought you where you are today ?

The first life changing experience was when I applied to Top 3 schools when I was to 20. I applied and I was admitted. From this moment, I believed everything was possible.

A second changing moment is when my code started working. It didn't work the first day, either the second day. I found a problem and I made it worked. Realizing that you can do is the best moment ever. You feel invincible.

I climbed the highest mountains in the world, Kilimanjaro. When you start far away from the mountain, you think you are not going to make it. It is not pleasant. You walk for 3 or 4 hours, you carry huge backpacks. It is not pleasant. And then a couple days later, you are up on it.

How do you spent you time today ?

I try to pick 2 or 3 projects at the same time in the year, most of the projects takes time. I make a month list and a year list. I just try to make sure that I do it regularly, every day.

In my job, I am the director of Labs, innovation and rapid prototyping. We do data software development in very short time, from 2 days to 2 months. If it is gonna be a data software.
We also organize hackathon events, internal hackathons and company hackathons. We did one with Twitter, then with Google. We get our designers, data scientists, digital officers in teams. We say “Here is your tasks, you have 24 hours. They just need to build it.” What is interesting is that people don't act as they are assigned for, people switch jobs. People who you taught won't be productive, are the best.

I learnt how to code in my free time, and very involved in wiring my own house with hardware.
I also spend time on Community building : it makes me happy to give back.
And sailing classes G24

What was the most challenging decision ?

Every single day is challenging. Either makes a decision or somebody else take a decision on your behalf. You need to pick one and make it now otherwise, others will do it for you.
Small decisions matter. When you come home, you have options : go on facebook, or practice code or go running. If you make the right, it is what will makes your life successful and fullfilling.
You can't be a great developer. A little bit of work today and tomorrow. Small decisions that have an impact. An hour of your time in a day makes the difference.

3 actions you didn't think were possible or people didn't think it was possible and still, you have done?

All the time. Everything. I like the quote : “It is impossible until it is done.”
That is why, the only thing to do is to start by a small step. You put your big goal on your side.
It is like climbing. Every single day you push yourself and finally, you realize you are on top of it. I think coding for me, was impossible. I spent a couple of hours on it everyday and I finally did it.

It is not gonna by sexy. Nobody likes to carry kilos. But I made myself think as “I need/I have to do the gym”. So, I try to abstract myself as much as possible and transform it in I something enjoyable.

Of course people don't see small things. The small things makes a difference. We have to make the shit done. If its becoming a little challenging, people used to be discouraged by doubt. A lot of people like to stress out.

Instead of thinking it is impossible, concentrate on things you can do today. Everyday matters. I cross every single day on my calendar. There are no week-ends, no holidays, only days. It is 365 of opportunities.

I am big believer in quantified self. I visualize the number of places I go (coffee shops, galaries), meet-ups, meetings, books, nbr of hours on the computer, my emails. I realized what you think you do and what you actually do is so different. I read less than I tought I did. I get an annual report for quantifying myself. I met a guy who would concentrate to do only one thing in a day. He did it because of this health problems. Its hard to make a change when everything is fine.

What make the success of what you do ?

Everyday matters. You don't know how many days you will have more. What you know is that you have 16 hours today. What will you make out of it ? How will I dedicated my time ? It is 3 hours of a movie. If you watch a movie in your day. A cookie is 265 calories multiply by a week … it is huge. Achieving small actions are heroic. But of course, it is not what the others reward. Have you ever heard somebody in a diet telling “Hourrah! I ate a salad today!”

Propos receuillis par Diane Lenne le 10/07/2015 @NYC