Nearly a year ago today (give or take a few hours), I formally began this path toward Data Science. We'll call that t_0.
Back then, I had the faintest idea of what Data Science was. It seemed to me to be a collection of tools and programming languages. Like, oh, if I know R, or MapReduce/Hadoop/NoSQL, I'm a data scientist. Well, I'm happy to report, in the year that I've been studying Data Science, I know enough to tell you that it is a lot more than that. I am now on my fifth probability and/or statistics class. I've had one Big Data class (that focused on NoSQL and Hadoop) and I can say, it was probably the least of my concerns. Data Science is not just some extension of being a software engineer. Sure, being a Software Engineer will make a lot of things easier, but being a data scientist is an extension of being a statistician who incidentally has some software engineering skills.
I will still say, the biggest help to me throughout grad school thus far has been my professional background. I see all these kids going straight through from undergrad to grad, and they're still just students. There's really no professionalism in them. I've hit straight As or A+s in my first 4 classes, and I ascribe that entirely to having a strong professional background. I approach school like I do my job. I'm not trying to just pass the tests, but rather completely understand the subject.
So today, a year later (let's call this t_1), I am feeling smarter. But not by any means ready. If I were to be hired as a data scientist today, I would probably be in an intro level job. And I wouldn't blame someone for putting me there. I'm basically starting from scratch (with a little software engineering background to help me out). I am hoping I can sneak in some actual real-world work before I graduate to give me a foothold though.
I may have a little consulting work in the healthcare field, thanks to the Lady. I will definitely be able to help her with her Capstone project, but may also be able to help out one of her professors with data he collected on recertification of CRNAs and whether it is effective to do so. I'm kind of itching to do something like that. It's out of my realm of expertise, so it'd be cool to get healthcare data experience. Do I have time? Eh, I think I could make time probably.
My current work project is somewhat coming along. After hitting the point where I decided it all needs rewritten, things started moving faster. We just finished up a demo to our customer, and they approved. I think this is going to go nicely. Time to get the backend services knocked out.
Alright, well anyway. Intro to Data Science and Bayesian Statistics this semester. Two classes. But I think Intro to DS will be a piece of cake. Bayesian, though... We'll see. I want to keep my 4.0. Gonna have to keep pushing.