Computer Science

realg11

New Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2018
Messages
4
Good day everyone

I think I need some advice(s) from the experienced campaigners. I am currently a student at UNISA, majoring in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics and this is my first year.
My main goal is to get into Machine Learning/Data Science. I know doing some Statistics will help me get closer to my goals so I'll have to take some electives. The problem that I'm facing though is that I want to get into the industry as far as possible. I try to push myself everyday but I feel that I don't have any direction. I'm self-learning Python and MySQL. For academic purposes I use C++ and Octave/Matlab. I try to familiarize myself with a lot of Python libraries but I do not think what I'm doing is good enough.

I guess my question is how to I approach this journey that I find myself embarking on? It is the path that I've chosen to go but things are not so clear at the moment. I am not too picky about what opportunity I get at the moment because all I'm looking for is to get into the industry and hence I also learn Django.

What I have noticed about opportunities that are out there is that they tend to ask for Java, Javascript, C#, R, etc. I guess I have to do a personal project to make myself relevant to the market and I don't have any in mind at the moment. And also; how to I include Python libraries on my CV?
I feel that I actually do have enough time on daily basis to focus on me but I don't manage it well.

I really appreciate your inputs

Thank you
 

|tera|

Master of Messengers
Joined
Mar 31, 2006
Messages
22,864
Please read this before going down the wrong path.
 

phiber

Expert Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2005
Messages
4,280
You probably more aware of whats going on than most first years, so that's good. If you're looking at ML/Data Science I wouldn't focus too much on the Web stuff. While it is good to know to pull a web-app together, learning core programming would set you up with the skills to figure the rest. My view is don't get too caught up in the languages, learn the types and settle on a few of the big ones. Python is always great to know, and it has a lot of ML applications.

C++ is good to know as well, it's quite easy to move from there to Java, so again would get too caught up on learning both now, focus on concepts, algorithms, data-structures.

Having hired a more devs that I can count, we don't focus too much on language, more on capabilities to problem solve. Once someone demonstrates they can problem solve, as well solve a write up a solution in python, java, C, C++ or any language of their choice (nothing too obscure) we are comfortable to hire.
 

cguy

Executive Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2013
Messages
5,991
What you are doing right now to get the basics makes sense. It sounds as though what you need is something to apply it to, to get a feeling for how these things are used.

One great resource is www.kaggle.com. You can also probably find online data sets for applying ML to anything from computer vision, automated driving, to predicting market moves from historical financial time-series data, etc.

In terms of "opportunities that are out there", looking at just adverts and such, tells you something about demand, but not really supply, and form a career perspective, you really want to maximize the demand/supply ratio. There are definitely fewer ML opportunities out there than web development opportunities, so oddly enough, you really have to do due diligence when it comes to locating such opportunities (typically Big Tech (amazon/google/facebook/etc), finance, insurance, marketing, etc, and you may have to look out of SA for the best results). When you find them, they are typically willing to pay top dollar for good talent, since the supply is so low.

This is why you can make $1.9m/y from ML, but would probably struggle getting to that with Django. (This shouldn't actually be your expectation :p)

Caveat: the supply is growing rapidly due to all the press, toolkits, etc. that you see in data science and ML today, however, the barrier to entry is still pretty high, and is definitely multi-tiered, so I expect it will be lucrative for quite a while yet.
 

realg11

New Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2018
Messages
4
I appreciate everyone's input. Just to be clear, I am learning Django because I want to maximize opportunities and and I don't think it is the right time for me to learn JS. If it happens that the opportunity comes in form of web development then I won't be complaining since it will get me closer to where I want to go. I definitely don't like what I am doing right now.
 
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