While working on automation frameworks for mobile applications, Sonica Bendre came across Data Science and got instantly interested. Wanting to explore the world Data Science and its Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning algorithms more, she decided to enroll for the Global Certificate in Data Science & AI (GCDAI) program at INSAID.
In this interview, let’s see how she plans to apply her Data Science lessons at work and how her experience has been at INSAID.
Question 1: Which program & batch are you part of at INSAID & tell us more about your current work profile?
Sonica: I am part of the Global Certificate in Data Science & AI (GCDAI) program, November 2019 batch. I work in Accenture as a QA engineer in the telecom domain. I perform manual testing for one of our US clients and I was the one to start automating test scripts in our application and created automation frameworks for testing the application using Selenium and Appium. I have automated almost the entire application now and I am still continuing to do so.
Question 2: Walk us through your career journey & what got you interested in Data Science & Machine Learning?
Sonica: My career started in Accenture through campus placement. It is my first job and I have been working here for the past three years now. I joined Accenture as an associate software engineer wherein I was given a testing role.
In our core project in telecom, we deal with one of our US clients. And my major contribution here is that I initiated automation testing for this project. We develop Android and iOS applications for the client and I am doing the automation framework to test the application.
And, while I was performing the automation I wanted to explore more in artificial intelligence and machine learning. That’s when I came across data science through which you can amazingly automate just about anything using ML and AI algorithms. So, I really wanted to learn 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?
Sonica: When I started this course I had no idea where to begin. I didn’t know what was going to happen and how the course would unfold. And, the biggest roadblock was that I didn’t know anything about Statistics. But the Starter Kits provided by INSAID helped me a lot to learn about both Python and Statistics.
And this boosted my confidence to start this elaborate course on data science, artificial intelligence and machine learning. With the help of those Starter Kits, I started mastering several of Python’s libraries like Numpy Pandas, Matpotlib, Scikit-Learn and ML models like logistic, classification and regression models, recommendation systems, etc. Now I am keen to learn about deep learning and neural networks.
Question 4: What were some of the initial challenges when you got started on your Data Science journey and how did you overcome it?
Sonica: One of the initial challenges was ofcourse me not knowing what this course holds, its curriculum and how I will be able to go through it. This was my first ever training program in data science, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and I was really nervous. But the Starter Kits were a life-saver. It provided me with all the details that I needed to know about the course, about programming languages and statistics even before the classes started.
I still remember, the first class was taken by Suchit. And he explained everything so well about data science through real world examples and its impact. He gave a totally different perspective about data science. And, after I attended the session I was more than excited to continue the course and learn about DS.
My second challenge was when I got my first project on EDA, data analysis, I was totally blank. I did not know what to do or how to do it. But as soon as I started with the project, it went on in one smooth flow. It was so interesting and knowledgeable how it unfolded from the already fed data. And, I am so excited to learn more of it.
Question 5: Who is your favorite faculty at INSAID and what did you learn from him the Most?
Sonica: I must say, with emphasis, that all the faculties at INSAID are excellent. They have in-depth knowledge of the subjects they teach.
Our data analysis sessions were completely taken by Suchit and he helped me understand every aspect of it, from the coding and math to visualization. His sessions are always very interactive and I simply love it. The best thing about Suchit is that he really motivates you to get up on your feet and start exploring whatever is being taught to you. And I think that is inspiring.
We also had a good start with our ML sessions with Deepesh. He is so patient with all of us. No matter how silly or challenging a question may be, he always answered it and cleared all our doubts. His teaching method is also very unique. He will make you understand complex concepts in such a simple manner that you will get it in the first go. He also gave really good examples while explaining NLP.
Question 6: What is the goal of Data Science?
Sonica: For me, the data science domain in itself is a goal. You take raw data, apply math and science algorithms, and come up with a solution for almost all business problems. From analyzing customers to offering predictions, data science does everything for you. And, that actually amazes and excites me about the future where we can witness the rise of automation through artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms. I am so excited that I really want to be a part of this future.
Question 7: In your view, how has Data Science evolved in the last few years?
Sonica: I will say that ever since its inception, data science has always been evolving, from collecting raw data to its daily applications across businesses. And with more organizations incorporating data science in their processes, companies across diverse domains are realizing its impact and necessity not only to understand their customers but up their game in the market.
Question 8: What are the current trends in Data Science that you are most excited about?
Sonica: Coming from an electronics and communication background, the current trends that I am most excited about in data science are sensor device generated data and computer vision. Apart from that neural networks and automation in data management are some of the other trends I really look forward to.
Question 9: Which are some of the blogs that you follow?
Sonica: I follow Medium and Kaggle. I have also started my own blog in Medium, named Sonica Memory, where I write about small coding that I learned while using Jupyter Notebook. I am also writing about various data science trends and the projects that I did here.
Question 10: What is your advice to anyone wanting to start a career in Data Science?
Sonica: To anyone who wants to start their career in data science, artificial intelligence and machine learning, my advice would be you should step into the data science world only if you want to know more about data, love maths, science and coding and aim to strike a difference directly to the business.
With AI and ML, data science already is the future. And this is inevitably one of the best careers you can choose to go for and explore. So, if you are interested, I would highly recommend this field for you. It’s exciting and interesting and as you keep learning you will enjoy it more.
This was a conversation with one of our GCDAI students – Sonica Bendre.
For more such interesting student interviews, check out INSAID Spotlight.