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That consulting thing

People regularly ask, “how’s that consulting thing going?” It’s a fair question, and I don’t mind answering. The short answer is that it’s going better than I ever expected. Conditions were basically perfect when I created my LLC in 2013: I had been employed by…

25 Rules For Sons

A few days ago, one of my professional contacts shared a list titled “rules for sons” on LinkedIn. It was filled with advice like, “the man at a BBQ grill is the closest thing to a king,” and “carry two handkerchiefs. The one in your…

The network is slow: Part 1

Let me start off by agreeing that yes, the network is slow. I’ve moved a fair amount of data over the years. Even when it’s only a terabyte or two, the network always seems uncomfortably slow. We never seem to get the performance we sketched…

Biology is weird

Biology is weird. The data are weird, not least because models evolve rapidly. Today’s textbook headline is tomorrow’s “in some cases,” and next year’s “we used to think.” It can be hard for non-biologists, particularly tech/math/algorithm/data science/machine learning/AI folks, to really internalize the level of…

Fixing the Electronic Medical Mess

In my previous blog post, I talked about the fact that medical records are a dumpster fire from a scientific data perspective. Apparently this resonated for people. This post begins to sketch some ideas for how we might start to correct the problem at its…

The Electronic Medical Mess

I posted a quick tweet this morning about the state of data in health care. Over the years, I’ve worked with at least half a dozen projects where earnest, intelligent, diligent folks have tried to unlock the potential stored in mid to large scale batches…

Letting the genome out of the bottle

About eleven years ago, in January of 2008, the New England Journal of Medicine published a perspective piece on direct to consumer genetic tests, “Letting the Genome out of the Bottle, Will We Get Our Wish.” The article begins by describing an “overweight” patient who…

Thank you!

About 20 months ago, I left a fantastic job at the Broad Institute to strike out on my own as an independent consultant. At the time, I was nervous. I was pretty sure that I could manage the nuts and bolts of running a small…

Bias

This is a personal story about workplace bias. In my first management gig, between 2004 and 2013, I built an all male team. “Keep the company mostly male” was never a goal. In fact, if anyone had said that kind of crap out loud –…

Manufacturing improvements apply to HPC

The Strategy Board My former colleagues at the Broad Institute recently published a marvelous case study. They describe, in a delightfully brisk and jargon-free way, some of the process improvements they used to radically increase the productivity of the genome sequencing pipeline. This post is…