A student from the September 2016 batch talks about how learning Data Science would help him in keeping pace with the digital transformation that has been taking place and would keep him ahead of the curve.
Apoorv has 15 years of experience and has currently been offering consultancy services and solutions to the infrastructure team. He handles regions such as Middle East, Africa and Asia for a well-known IT company. He has played an instrumental role in winning deals (involving IoT and advance security) for the IMS (Infrastructure Management Services) division in his company.
Tell us about your background.
I am a consultant to the infrastructure team which provides cloud or on-premise solutions. I have a techno-commercial role which comes with an end-to-end responsibility. Right from talking to customers to proactively understanding and gauging their requirements, to creating an opportunity by defining a solution strategy and working on the solutions with SMEs, to putting the entire proposition in place to defending the solution in front of customers to win against competition. This is what I call to be a techno-commercial portfolio because here I have to be a good sales person as well as have the technical know-how.
I have done product management for Oracle, Dell, HCL technologies & Hewlett Packard. My first company was Wipro, where I was performing a very dynamic kind of a role. I never had programming knowledge. I was always towards the management side, mid to lower management.
Given that you’re in a techno-commercial role, what motivated you to learn Data Science?
I have been in roles where technology and business go hand-in-hand. I believe that the two are inseparable from each other.
In the last couple of years, being in Oracle and working in a services company, having a global exposure, I can see the changes that are happening are very dramatic, something that I have not seen in my entire career. Big Data, Analytics, Machine Learning have become the hottest technologies which will improve business efficiency drastically. I always wanted to be in touch with technology and have an edge by creating a value for the customers. So the biggest motivation was to keep pace with the digital transformation, and so I decided to join Data Science.
I wanted a deeper understanding of these fascinating technologies such as Analytics and Data Science rather than talking about them at a superficial level.
Why did you choose UpX to learn Data Science?
So there were many online courses in the market. But to be very honest, these all were video classes and not live interactive sessions. This wouldn’t solve my problem. I think learning with an instructor is far better than watching pre-recorded videos. Irrespective of our age, we have to talk to people. As UpX was offering online instructor-led classes, I chose UpX.
What were your apprehensions before getting into this?
The biggest apprehension was that I did not have any knowledge or experience in programming. I had only worked on C and C ++ during my B.E but I wasn’t good at it. So this was the tough part for me. Also, it is difficult to take a course for somebody who has been out of touch with studies since 10-12 years.
But I think this worked positively for me. Because only if you get pushed towards something difficult, then only can you improve. So, today I can at least go out in the market and confidently tell that I understand how Python and R work and can write a few programs in them. This is a huge achievement for me, if you ask. So I would take this to be an apprehension and an opportunity both together.
What is your understanding of Machine Learning now and how confident are you in it?
The understanding has definitely improved by a couple of notches as compared to what I knew to be a buzzword. Still, a lot of learning needs to be done and Peeyush has been continuously telling us that practice is the only way to achieve this.
I feel machine learning is the thing to go forward because what we used to do earlier was manually intensive and can now be easily automated. Today, Machine Learning and AI can perform iterative tasks much more accurately and quickly without human intervention. I don’t see this to be affecting humans negatively as a lot of monotonous work can be done away with, giving rise to a lot of other jobs. From predicting a recession in 2017 to detecting credit card frauds. Eventually, machine learning and AI can be applied in every field.
Out of the two languages- Python and R- that we used in Data Science, which one did you find to be easy?
I think both are handy as both have rich libraries. But I find Python to be better as I am more exposed to it. Probably R is equally good but, Python has a wider application.
How do you find learning with us?
The overall experience has been great. The course has really been very value-adding!
Firstly, interacting with you has been very nice and smooth. Whenever we got stuck, you have provided constant support which is really commendable.
Secondly, the learning experience with Peeyush has also been very nice. There is no doubt that he is very knowledgeable in this field and the pace at which teaches is also very good. I initially was apprehensive about Peeyush not teaching the Tableau modules. But surprisingly the faculty for Tableau was also very clear! He had an in-depth knowledge on Tableau which helped us giving the kind of clarification we needed.
Now do you feel confident that you have learnt something? One of our main objectives is to make our students feel that they are loaded with a new set of weapons in their armory. So do you feel like that?
Definitely! You previously asked me about what motivated to take up Data Science. My motivation has always been to create value for customers and this has been a great value addition for me. As you know, the global market is 3-4 years ahead of the Indian market. So I definitely think that these skills are going to be in-demand not only today but at least for a decade from now. So this has greatly equipped me for the future and I now feel that I am ahead of the curve.