Advice for 19 year old me.

Monday October 10, 2016 1:24 PM

There’s a lot of advice I would give to myself but if there was one piece of advice to give to myself 2 years ago. It would be to follow this article on Business Insiders.

So many people fall into these traps when they first get into coding.

“I don’t know what to learn.”, “I want to learn data science, but I don’t know where to start.”

This would be the plan that I suggest for anyone trying to get into coding:

Go to a hackathon.

Hackathons are a great to explore what’s out there. You will find people with a variety of skill sets, companies that specialize in all fields, and ideas/hacks that are mind changing.This way you will have an idea of what to search up.

Pick something.

Say you like making games.

  1. Well you could make mobile app, you have 2 choices mostly iOS or Android. Or you could try making a game for the PC.
  2. Once you have picked which one, you start asking “How does one make ___?”. So you start looking for resources, a great way of finding resources from what I have learned is to join a hackathon group on Facebook, such as “HH iOS” or “HH Android” ask them for QUALITY resources.
  3. Quality resources are the key. My suggestion for quality resources is something that you can build a final product from start to finish. This will give you a far deeper appreciation and understanding of whatever you decide to go in.
  4. For this certain case, there are a couple of great resources I suggest: Stanford’s iOS course on youtube/iTunesU, Big Nerd Ranch’s Android Programming book or Unity.

Do you like it?

Don’t spend too long on it, I would give it 2 months of commitment and if you do like it dive DEEP into it. If not move on, but you will have somethig to put on your resume now. Time and time again I see people only doing basic things that they don’t feel confident to put on their resumes.

Going deep into is the ONLY way you will be a) better at it b) get recruiters/people’s attention.

This is the dilemma I have right now. I’m wide and shallow. I know about 6 programming languages, but if you were to ask me can you make this in x? I couldn’t say yes. Companies are looking for poeple who can:

“Get Shit Done.” — Shopify

Data Science

For myself after exploring game/app development, web development and hardware programming, I found my passion to in Data Science. My love for math began to kindle again.

As of now this is what I know data science composes of.

Data engineer: The spark, Hadoop stuff. Setting everything up.

  1. Full pipeline in Spark. How would you create the automation system of transferring cleaned data to a Spark program, then sending that to a machine learning system.
  2. Strong algorithm background to build ETL systems when libraries aren’t good enough. Something like MapReduce (or the equivalent in Spark) uses mergesort to bring the data back to the driver computer, how would you implement that when libraries are good enough for our specific use case?

Data Analyst: looks at data and makes predictions etc.

Data Scientist: does what a data analyst does and knows a but about what a data engineer does.

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