Working in the ITS sector, Karthik Puram had already signed up for multiple upskilling programs in his organization. And through these, when he came to know about data science and artificial intelligence course, he got really interested in it. So, after enthusiastically going through multiple materials on data science and artificial intelligence online, he finally enrolled for the Global Certificate in Data Science (GCD) program at INSAID.
In this interview, let’s see what interests him about data science the most and how his experience has been at INSAID.
Question 1: Which program & batch are you part of at INSAID & tell us more about your current work profile?
Karthik: I am part of the Global Certificate in Data Science (GCD) program, July 2020 batch. I am currently working in CGI as SSE. In the company, I work with data everyday. I am a database developer as well as a skill DB administrator. Presently, I am working on a data masking project.
And as part of this project, I work with tools like Test Data Manager and Data Maker developed by RCA technologies. Data masking generally involves identifying those data which are supposed to be masked as per GDPR. The masking rules are provided by the client.
I have worked on database projects in the past as well and they included designing and optimizing databases with features like lock shipping, replication, clustering, etc.
Question 2: Walk us through your career journey & what got you interested in Data Science & Machine Learning?
Karthik: After I completed my graduation in Mechatronics Engineering, I joined Wipro in 2011, December. Upon joining, we were put into different batches. I was put into the .NET batch and was trained in it for three months. We were given two projects during that time.
My first project was working for USPS, an ecommerce giant where we were offering support. We were a team of 10 to 12 professionals and had a testing team of eight members. Our support team’s responsibility was to maintain the servers and report webpage, cache, pricing and other outage or maintenance issues.
And since our customer was into e-commerce, there were multiple load balancing servers that we had to take care of. Also, we were responsible to observe traffic anomalies and upload daily promotion cues on the website.
In the second project, we were supporting a British oil giant. I was asked to support the daily operations. Here we were supporting all the core DB databases and core responsibilities involved installing the SQL Server, implementing direct replications, clustering and mirroring.
Some other responsibilities included managing a test environment which requires a lot of work like backup restores; we automated it using SSIS packaging and other store procedures.
We implemented store procedures for regular database maintenance activities and were involved in performance tuning of major database applications, which have complex storage procedures. However my current role in CGI is only limited to masking applications.
And I actually got interested in data science and artificial intelligence course when one of my friends told me about this and encouraged me to take this course. In office, I already signed up for multiple courses for upskilling. And there, too, I came across data science and enthusiastically listened to videos on it.
I also read a lot of articles on data science applications and got really interested in it. Additionally, data is the core of data science. So, that finally made me take up this course.
Question 3: What all tools and packages in Data Science & Machine Learning have you mastered in your Data Science & AI program at INSAID so far?
Karthik: At the data science and artificial intelligence course at INSAID, I was able to get hands-on experience in Jupyter Notebook and Python libraries like Pandas, Numpy, Scikit-Learn, Matplotlib, and Seabourn. Being a database developer, I was very comfortable in SQL.
Question 4: What were some of the initial challenges when you got started on your Data Science journey and how did you overcome it?
Karthik: My initial challenge in the data science and artificial intelligence course was tapping into the right mindset to approach a dataset. Programming was not an issue for me but defining what the question is in a case definitely was. So, I understand when you are approaching a problem in the data science field, you not only cultivate the right perception towards that dataset but also take into consideration the domain or industry. Asking the right questions to solve the problem is key.
Question 5: Who is your favorite faculty at INSAID and what did you learn from him the Most?
Karthik: Suchit and Deepesh are my favorite faculties at INSAID. Both are really good. Suchit particularly engages the whole class through real world examples and asks us to participate more. So, his sessions are very interactive.
On the other hand, Deepesh is very friendly. You can approach him with any of your doubts and he will make sure to answer and explain it to you till you understand. His teaching pace suits my learning style and I really like him for that.
Question 6: Which are some of the blogs that you follow?
Karthik: I regularly follow blogs on Medium, Towards Data Science and KDnuggets, and data science articles on LinkedIn so that I get better for not just completing the data science and artificial intelligence course at INSAID but implement them in my job as well.
Question 7: What is your advice to anyone wanting to start a career in Data Science?
Karthik: I would suggest taking it slow and clearly understand the concepts being taught in the data science and artificial intelligence courses. Data science in itself is a vast subject, and it’s best to enjoy the journey rather than anticipate the destination.
This was a conversation with one of our GCD students – Karthik Puram.
To read more interesting student interviews, go to INSAID Spotlight.