Holding a Masters in Technology and 20 years of experience in it, Samta Sharma oversees the IT department in her husband’s company. But she noticed that automation was necessary to effectively use raw data. And, so that she can implement AI and ML algorithms successfully in her company, she decided to learn data science and machine learning, and enrolled for the Global Certificate in Data Science & AI (GCDAI) program at INSAID.
In this interview, lets see what interests her about data science the most and how has her experience been at INSAID.
Question 1: Which program & batch are you part of at INSAID & tell us more about your current work profile?
Samta: I am part of the Global Certificate in Data Science & AI (GCDAI) program at INSAID. I have 20 years of experience in the ICT industry and now I am running my own business supporting the operations department.
I am really interested to learn Data Science. And I came across data science when I began teaching data engineering to my daughter. I started reading up on Python and Jupyter Notebook and that’s when I got interested in it.
Question 2: Walk us through your career journey & what got you interested in Data Science & Machine Learning?
Samta: After completing my Master’s in technology I started my career in software engineering in 1999, and then have been into product engineering. I worked in multinational companies like, HP Computer Associates, Pitney Bowes, etc.
In 2017, I decided to join my husband’s business. I helped in overseeing all IT operations. But then in 2019, I had to involve different automations and had to learn Python. This built my interest to learn data science and I thought of pursuing a formal course in it.
It was really interesting as after a long time I was a student and all the mathematics, engineering and programming lessons came back to me again. I think the programming language of Python is really made for me.
The data science curriculum under INSAID’s program is well crafted. The classroom sessions and their pace are very stable. I thoroughly enjoy it.
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?
Samta: I have really enjoyed learning Python and its various libraries like NumPy, and Pandas, PsyPi, Matplotlib, Seaborn and other data visualization packages. In machine learning, I learned logistic and linear regressions, KNN, decision tree, random forest, etc. So learning all these algorithms have been a really fun and interesting experience.
Question 4: What were some of the initial challenges when you got started on your Data Science journey and how did you overcome it?
Samta: My basic challenges at the beginning of the program was that I wasn’t in touch with programming for a long time. But gradually I picked it up. Earlier I was worried whether I would be able to completely learn data science or not, but when I joined INSAID, my perspective changed and all my jitters were gone. Their teaching methodologies are excellent. They guide us to take up different kinds of projects and attend various seminars and sessions which is really helpful.
Question 5: Who is your favorite faculty at INSAID and what did you learn from him the Most?
Samta: It is difficult to say who is the best as at INSAID, each faculty has their own merits. Suchit has in-depth knowledge about programming languages and coding. He cares for our career and motivates us a lot. Deepesh has his own interactive style of teaching and urges us to do practical applications of the ML concepts taught in class.
Question 6: What is the goal of Data Science?
Samta: The goal of data science is to solve multiple data intensive problems and help businesses make the right decisions through multiple processes of data analysis, data cleaning and data visualization.
Question 7: In your view, how has Data Science evolved in the last few years?
Samta: Since 2013-14, we were actively recruiting data scientists at Pitney Bowes, my previous company. And I was continuously seeing that people were not clear about the roles and responsibilities or even who is a data scientist. They were sometimes calling Big Data architects as data scientists, or some app designers as data scientists.
So there was a lot of confusion regarding a data scientist’s role. But in the last few years, I’ve seen that at least, people started realizing the different roles and responsibilities of a data scientist, the tools they use and the solutions they provide. So, in the past three to four years, there has been a lot of clarity regarding what data science and a data scientist are.
Question 8: What are the current trends in Data Science that you are most excited about?
Samta: To talk about the current trends in data science, I think I’m excited by the simplicity of Python. And it really amazes me to see how simply five libraries are being delivered to us. So we can focus on solving the problem rather than writing huge lines of codes. So that’s one thing which will keep improving. Other data science trends that I follow and am excited about are the increase in computational power and natural language processing.
Question 9: Which are some of the blogs that you follow?
Question 10: What is your advice to anyone wanting to start a career in Data Science?
Samta: If you want to learn data science, I would suggest to pay attention to statistics, mathematics, computer programming languages and domain. Take some time out everyday to study and practice. Enroll in institutes like INSAID where you will get professional guidance and expert mentoring to prepare you for your data science career.
This was a conversation with one of our GCDAI students – Samta Sharma.
If you want to read more such student interviews, go to INSAID Spotlight.