DEV Community

R Sanjabi
R Sanjabi

Posted on

Self Taught Data Science Journal

Learning is hard.

Finding a community of people to share your trials with can make it less hard.

So I'm blogging about my experiences.

I decided to switch careers to data science in January 2019, using a self-study approach to learn the material. I've been doing MOOCs, reading blog posts and books, attending meetups and conferences, and following folks on social media. The funny thing is that I'm finally confident enough to talk about how much I don't know instead of complaining about it to my friends and family. It's only taken 8 months to get here. Guess what, world? I don't know squat and that's ok! Whew, got that off my chest.

My background is in computer science but it's fair to say it's been years since I last coded. I left in no small part because I didn't feel I belonged, and it's with some trepidation that I'm returning to tech. I don't know how much the culture has changed for women, but I do know people are at least talking about it.

I chose data science over some other software engineering paths because I like data. I like asking questions. I like the idea of taking an experiential approach and learning something about the nature of the world. And with data scientists coming from a variety of backgrounds besides computer science, I suppose I hope it will be less problematic for women. It's also a relatively new field with huge demand, I'm hopeful that it will make it easier for someone my age starting out (again).

What do I plan for this series? I'm hoping to do a very informal weekly writeup of things I'm discovering and learning, but also, where I'm struggling and good use some assistance. It feels nice to share that process. And it might help anyone else who's at the same stage as I am. And anyone who is at the stage right before me can, hopefully, offer guidance and support.

Thanks for reading!

Discussion (6)

Collapse
ekand profile image
Erik Anderson

Hi! I'm also on the path to data science. I won't tell my whole story right now, but I may do some blog posts shortly on the subject.
I'm glad you're brave enough to put yourself out there, and I'm happy to be a part of your data science learning community. I'm looking forward to reading the other posts in this series.

Collapse
rsanjabi profile image
R Sanjabi Author

I would love to hear your story! I'm going it alone so having other online peers to discuss things with and share trials and tribulation is helpful to me. Are you doing Metis? How's that going? Do you have a plan and a timeline?

And thanks for saying I'm brave. I started in January but it took like 8 months until I started posting. I don't see many accountability blog posts and that makes me sad because while I like (and appreciate more times than I can count!) basic tutorials and explanatory posts I also like to read about people's personal process and journey.

Collapse
ekand profile image
Erik Anderson

Here's (a bit of) my story

Collapse
ekand profile image
Erik Anderson

In fact, I am doing Metis, starting in January in Chicago.

Did I mention Metis somewhere, or was that a lucky guess?

Thread Thread
rsanjabi profile image
R Sanjabi Author

Yeah! In your dev.to bio. 😉

Thread Thread
ekand profile image
Erik Anderson

Ah yes, I remember now. :)

Yeah, I'm starting the Metis Data Science Bootcamp in-person in Chicago in January, which I'm really excited about! Not so excited about the commute, but I trust it will be worth it.

I also did their Beginner Python and Math for Data Science a few months ago, which was very good. I especially liked the python aspects, although I started to get lost in the more complicated pandas techniques.

I'm also currently doing a computer science certificate at Loyola University Chicago, which is difficult to focus on because I'm more excited about the Metis bootcamp pre-work than my web dev course. But I've committed to it, and I'll see it through.