Starting at Metis Data Science Bootcamp

Starting at Metis Data Science Bootcamp

Jan 10, 2016    

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.


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.