April 4, 2020

# A New Start

At the start of 2019, I decided that I want to switch from web development to data science. I started learning and reading everything about data science, Python and mathematics related to data science.

Then during the same summer, I moved to Spain for an exchange year and realized that I am trying to do too many things at once. I ended giving up on data science and staying with web development for now.

Now I am back from Spain and due to the ongoing world situation, I am having plenty of free time. I have been reflecting on my goals a lot during this time and decided to continue my journey with data.

I reflected on my feelings and problems last year. What made me feel so overwhelmed. In hindsight, I realized that my biggest failure was trying to learn it all. I tried to learn all of the data science, all of it. It goes without saying that it was not a good idea.

Now after taking my time and trying different things, I have found my interests and I have a better understanding of the whole field of data science and AI. As a result of all of this, I have created a new curriculum for myself.

## The Plan

This time I took my time and research the field thoroughly instead of just blindly trying to learn everything. What I found was that I was actually interested in machine learning.

Both tasks start with the data, collecting it and preprocessing it. After that the process gets different. Where data science is trying to extract meaning and insights from data, machine learning is trying to allow computers to learn from data and make predictions based on it.

Still, machine learning is a huge field of science. I can not learn all of it. So what I am interested in machine learning is computer vision, natural language processing and speech recognition.

I am starting off by learning the basics behind machine learning and deep learning. How the machine learning process actually works and how to apply it in Python.

## Existing skills

- Python
- Git / Github
- HTML & CSS
- Javascript(React, Gatsby)
- Web development
- Web/UI Design
- Data structures & algorithms
- Databases (SQL, MongoDB)
- Data Visualization basics
- Jupyter & Anaconda
- Basic Calculus and Linear Algebra

I studied some math in Spain and I have been doing some projects with Python too. I also saw that many companies in Finland are valuing web development skills for machine learning engineers. That is why I added those skills to this list too.

## Courses I have taken already

- Intro to Data Science | Udacity
- Intro to Descriptive Statistics | Udacity
- Algebra I | Math | Khan Academy
- Algebra II | Math | Khan Academy
- Calculus 1 | Math | Khan Academy
- Calculus 2 | Math | Khan Academy
- Multivariable Calculus | Khan Academy
- Linear Algebra | Khan Academy
- Machine Learning by Stanford (Andrew Ng) | Coursera (did not finish)
- Ai for Everyone (Andrew Ng) | Coursera

## The curriculum

One more mistake last time was to make a curriculum for the whole process already in the beginning. That just made me feel overwhelmed and tied up with the plan. This time I’m planning the curriculum just one step at a time.

- Deep Learning by Andrew Ng | Coursera
- Python projects

That’s all for now. That deep learning specialization takes approximately 4 months to finish and I am going to build various Python and machine learning projects during that time too.

The reason behind this deep learning specialization instead of the popular Machine Learning by Stanford specialization is that this one goes right into Python code instead of Matlab. I learn better by doing and I get easily discouraged if I can’t apply what I’m learning right away. I’m on week 2 and I’m already building a logistic regression classifier with Python.

I’m also close to graduation. I basically just need to do my thesis before graduation. Together with the school, I decided to do my thesis about machine learning.

In Finland, we have this possibility to do a journal-style thesis. You work with tasks related to your degree and you document the process for 10 weeks. Normally this is done by students already working full-time along with school, but I am using it kind of as an internship in machine learning.

Right now I’m searching for an employer for this internship. It is not easy without a higher degree or work experience, but I’m determined to get one! I have learned that if you are deterministic and ready to learn, you can achieve anything.