If you’re not a numbers person… expect a severe uphill climb. This coming from someone who does not enjoy number crunching.
This past summer I was in a data science diploma class with 23 other students. 12 weeks, 60 hours a week (including homework and deliverables), all immersive/intensive bootcamp located in Toronto.
The backgrounds and ethnicities of my fellow students were all over the board; but most came from computer science or mathematical backgrounds. There was one person in the class with a business major, minoring in entrepreneurship and innovation — me.
Coming from computer science or being heavily interested in code, most of the cohort understood or had worked in computer software like SQL or Python before. Naive from the jump, I thought learning the language wouldn’t be too tough.
Once I set foot in the classroom I realized that not only did I have to understand the code, so my lines would run correctly, but I also had to create statistical functions which would output regressions for predictive analytics… That last sentence is one I would have never comprehended before I graduated. All this to say, I began the course running uphill behind my classmates, mainly because they had at least a basic understanding of the language.
Graduating wasn’t easy, but it is more than doable. These are three things I wish I knew before going into the program:
1. Expect to make lifelong friends. I thought my fellow classmates wouldn’t share the same interests as me and it would just be a go to school, go home scenario. That was definitely not the case. I met lifelong friends who helped me get through the course each step of the way. Expect to lean heavily on one another.
2. Google search is your friend. Almost all of the code used in data science is out there on the internet. Learning how to go out and find the lines of code, copy them, then change the numbers to form the output you want is essential to saving time and finishing a problem/deliverable.
3. Coding is actually enjoyable. I figured coding was going to be like writing an essay — dull and time consuming. Now… I’m not saying it can’t be those things, but finally finding the correct line and format to create that positive output you were searching for is an extremely satisfying feeling!