30 Jun

I see lot of posts or blogs around what skills are really needed to be in data science and AI? I thought about writing few insights from my academic learning, professional experience and my podcast/show #SoLeadSaturday. 

I was in a technical school from 8th to 10th grade, from small town, back in India. Just to give an idea about what technical school means, and how it differentiates from traditional normal grades, I had subjects from Computer Science[CS] and many other engineering fields during my 8th to 10th grade, such as Foundations of CS, C programming, graphics design, welding, metal smoothing and so on. Even my school used to have industry visits, in MIDC to see real applications of it. During my engineering degrees or work experience I learnt lot more about SDLC cycles and more valuable real skills like, people, communication, collaboration, presentation, roles, responsibilities, visibility, management, leadership and so on .

The big question I come across is do I need Computer Science degree or background of C or C++ programming languages to learn latest programming language trends in data science and AI space which are Python or R? My answer is "No". Even though you have background in C or C++ programming languages those are object oriented languages. Python is an interpreter programming language and R is an open source programming language. When I learnt C programming in 8th to 10th grade I had no Computer Science degree, so it really doesn't matter at all, neither there is any link between these programming languages with python or R or your prior academic degree. 

What do you really need to learn to any programming language is logical thinking/reasoning, analytical thinking, if you know flow diagrams, that skill is valuable when it comes to learning any programming language. Also problem solving, if you always enjoyed solving logical reasoning questions or puzzles, that ability can help you learn anything. Data science and AI space is very big, so if you are using existing packages, libraries and algorithms from python and R, no need to have CS degree or background in any other programming languages. You can start learning it anytime. 

But if you are in data science and AI research space and trying to build new packages, libraries, algorithms then definitely having background or strong skills in programming can help you do better research. Also there is other programming language Scala which is little more difficult according to me, which you can learn better and faster if you have some background in Java programming.

And I would say, from my exploration so far, there is no need of getting stuck on programming side either, as there are lot of roles in this space which are low/no code related. Neither your programming nor your academic degree is blocking you to start learning about data science and AI field as it is one of the most promising fields in upcoming years. It is just your choice if you start enjoying programming more, get into that side if not nothing to worry you have other roles in this space which will not block you to build your career in this space.

This field is lot more open for anyone who enjoys learning effectively, open, flexible, want to be curious always and ask questions. As we know practice makes one perfect, that is applicable here too, whether you are learning python or R or trying to build career in data science or AI. So just go ahead, start exploring it today and find your area of interest in this field. And you know how to start, yes, just google, as still it provides better search results:-).

Hope this is useful. As I am still learning and exploring this space and not an expert, don't judge me if our thoughts don't resemble at any point of time and feel free to provide your inputs as well, as I am learning from your inputs.

Until we meet, happy leading and let's lead together. Stay safe. Bye for now.