The Land of Oz Ozzie Liu

Starting at Metis Data Science Bootcamp

Tomorrow’s the first day of the winter cohort at Metis Data Science Bootcamp and I’m very excited. Here I want to mention some of my data science experience and what led me to this point.

Background

Just a few years ago, I was in graduate school studying financial engineering, but I knew that I wanted to do something in data science. It was already a hot and upcoming field, and I saw that even finance is moving toward machine learning and data mining.

So I looked around to see what my options were to learn data science. A graduate degree would take another 2 years and at least $50,000. I could take some elective classes offered in my programs. I could leverage the vast resources online and study on my own, or check out some of the new bootcamps popping up.

I started out by studying on my own. But fact is, my current experience is just a hodgepodge of skills and knowledge in data science: - Python with programming background in Java and C++ - Worked through the John Hopkins Data Science Specialization on Coursera - Andrew Ng’s Machine Learning course on Coursera - Using R and Matlab in data analysis and visualization - Interned at Rutgers University’s Athletics Department for an year, bringing data analytics to the back office of a Big-10 athletic program - Interned at a large insurance company working on Big Data Analytics in Hadoop with Hive, Pig and Spark to perform text mining and natural language processing - 6 years of IT work experience in system architect and project management - Extensive analysis of data in telecom, finance, construction, web analytics, and ecommerce

I felt that these experiences still isn’t enough to be dangerous as a data scientist. I wanted to work on projects to be able to demonstrate my skills. So I took a break from my graduate program to focus my time studying data science.

I also researched several data science bootcamps in the NYC and San Francisco area. I joined their information session and went to open houses. Finally, I decided on Metis because: - It is project based. - It has a pretty good reputation online, and the staff and founders are answering questions and participating on Quora. - I spoke with instructors and found them to be very knowledgable in their field - I also spoke with alumni who all found the course rewarding and challenging - the graduates have great job outcomes - they provide a seemingly robust career services

And here my main goals for the upcoming few months: - Work on and showcase real and interesting data science projects - Network with industry experts and go to Meetups - Dive into advanced Python programming: data structure and data analysis

Of course there are some things that I’m hesitant about bootcamps. I know some companies look for people with advanced degrees exclusively. How are companies viewing graduates from bootcamps?

I have a friend at Insight Data Science, so I’ll be comparing notes with him.

Anyway I’m looking forward to the projects and challenges at Metis.