Starting Data Science path, don’t be afraid you’re not alone.
If anyone would have told me on June 15, 2020, that I will be writing two research papers on Deep learning six months later… I would have laughed! Joking, I ask them what’s Deep learning.
Last year was really painful and depressing, well I’m the not last person to complain about it, we all had plans and goals set for 2020, I had plans too.
A little intro of mine, I’m a Physicist, a curious scientist, and an average student, with an average dream of becoming a scientist working in the field of Astrophysics and discover the depths of the Universe. Yes, very average dream.
How did it all start!!
After completing my Masters last February, like everyone, I wanted to apply for Ph.D. to continue my journey towards my goal, and here I got stuck.
In March 2020, everything shut down everywhere, not just in my country, but in the whole world. It was very depressing for me, okay! Coming to the main topic.
So dealing with my depression, I started writing research papers, and one of them was about the “Occultation of Jupiter” (in progress), and for this topic, I needed data (actually a lot of data), and someone who can analyze this data.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have anyone like that, so I did what I always did, when I got stuck, I learned to find a solution.
Okay! We Are Here.
It was the month of June when I was searching for something to analyze this data and get introduced to the term “Data analyst” I like it, so I made a list of skills needed for this job, few days searching and I learned about Data scientist job, I liked it even more (because of the title scientist), so I made another list of skills needed for this job and start working on it, it was 16th of June.
Hold on! You all thinking why did you start learning a new skill, you should only need to learn to analyze the data. It’s was not like I had anything else to do, I need to do whatever makes my time valuable, and also titles really attracted me… laughing!
Looks easy, but it wasn’t easy, I realized it on the first day. I was new to Data Science, new to all these languages (SQL, R, SAS), I did know basic python and MATLAB because of my thesis and Computational Physics course. So after 15 days, I did finally write the first SQL query and able to understand what is Data science, why we needed it, and why it is called the sexiest job of the 21st century.
I’m a Physics student, so I’m average in Mathematics and Statistics, my real problems were the query and statistical analysis languages, and the last item on my list “Machine learning”, let me share another joke. I had taken the “machine learning” course by Andrew Ng on Coursera, back in 2016 thinking that machine learning is about how to build a machine, yes I admit I was really stupid, after week one, I realized it wasn’t, so I dropped the course… moving on to the topic.
In the last week of September, I was at the intermediate level of becoming a Data analyst; I had taken almost a dozen courses on Data Science, learned everything from stats to data visualization using Tableau and PowerBI. Now it was the time to face the real deal, Machine learning.
I admit machine learning is a very, very lengthy subject, it has many topics, and one needs a lot of time and complete dedication to understand this. Moreover, a CS background may help you understand some basic concepts but if you don’t have one then you need to understand everything from basics. I continued my journey to dig deeper into machine learning, and I reached here… Deep learning. I liked both the theory and math of deep learning.
I had completely understood all deep learning algorithms by the middle of December, so I checked my list again, which had included many new topics, now I was prepared to apply for an entry-level data scientist job.
I had an advanced degree, basic programming skills, data science tools, and knowledge of cloud computing. So I did apply for few data analysts/scientists jobs (there are very few jobs of these titles in my city), but I still don’t get any response.
But I wasn’t disappointed, after 6 months my tinkering mind wakes up again after a long slumber while reading an article on the Medium and I decided to write a research paper.
Right now, I am working on two vision-related research papers, which are expected to complete in this month, I will write about my research too.
So why I’m writing this on Medium, there are so many articles on the medium which are motivational for beginners. They helped me in my journey, and I want to do the same, I want to share the experience of my journey from becoming a Data analyst to a deep learning researcher (Whatever… I give up on titles), with someone who started this path, as Eminem said.
But if one kid out of a hundred million
Who are going through a struggle feels it
And relates, that’s great, it’s payback… okay okay! stop, yes I like rapping too.
Starting a new path is not easy, it was very difficult, I had to face many hurdles, I did sometimes shut down my laptop getting tired of MOOCs, I was struggling to remember the syntax of different languages, and dealing with the fatigue of difficult topic, but I did keep moving on my journey. I will not leave my goal, my passion for Physics, but with Data science I will enhance it, so I entered the realm of Data Science. My greeting to everyone here… “Hello World”