Hi Everyone, Myself Gaurav Kumar, and I am a Data Scientist at KPIT Technologies. I wanted to thank enjoyalgorithms for providing me such an amazing platform to present my story that can guide the initial learners and help them plan their careers. Before going further, let me give you a brief about my school days,
- I hail from a small village, Rajapakar, situated in the Vaishali district of Bihar. Education facilities are almost zero in my village, and because of this reason, I did not have the proper schooling till my 5th class.
- Based on my Father’s guidance, I somehow learned whatever was required. After 5th class, my parents decided to send me to a better school, but the problem was, the nearest school to my house was 12 KMs away.
- Traveling daily 12 KMs up and down with my bicycle was a tedious task for me. There were minimum facilities available in the school, and even the quality-education was missing.
- When I was in 9th, I found that Mathematics and Physics were fascinating to me. I started reading these subjects from class 11th-12th books on my own. I follow this practice today also. I try to learn different stock market techniques and entrepreneurship skills on my own by reading several books.
- This actually helped me secure a good scholarship in the Allen Institute of Kota to prepare for the JEE Mains & Advanced.
- Finally, after 2 years of dedicated hard work, I cracked the JEE Advanced exam, and based on my rank, I got the Material Science and Engineering as my major at IIT Kanpur.
Initial days at IITK
After joining the IIT, I put my hands on the computer for the first time during convocation. I was aware that the grades were relative, and I had to compete with the JEE toppers. And to perform well, I need to work really hard. During my first semester, I was introduced to the C programming language for the first time. I started it with a very positive mindset that I have to do better in this course. In the starting days, I actually struggled a lot to sense how things are working. But, when the algorithmic section of the course started, I found it more logical and mathematical and suddenly started enjoying it.
Unfortunately, after a lot of effort, I could only secure an average grade in this course. This was one of the biggest disappointments for me. But, as a good thing, I developed the structural thinking approach and started visualizing the algorithms clearly.
Steps that changed my life
I am a huge fan of cricket who even enjoys watching Ranji matches. One day while watching the match, one thought came to my mind like how they exactly draw the representations of run-scores of two teams over by over.
- For that, I searched online and found R language promising. I started learning it in the background.
- While exploring different techniques for that data representation part, I found one article of Harvard Business Review, which was very famous at that time, Data scientist: The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century. It really inspired me a lot, and I determined that I have to make my career in the data science domain.
- I started planning my courses to fulfill my dream. In the 4th semester, I picked one course of Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery in the IME department (Industrial Management Engineering), where I learned Machine Learning algorithms.
- I started trying different visualization techniques for the dataset available openly over the internet.
How I planned my career in computer science
I was determined to make my career in the data science domain, and I knew that it could be possible only with the help of projects.
- I started building my resume such that it includes several projects in the data science domain.
- I did projects on Kaggle and started gaining enough expertise in this field.
- I started picking courses if they had either the mathematical understanding of Machine Learning and Data Science or some projects.
- I talked to my professor, and he was kind enough to shift my final year B.Tech project in the Data Science domain. The topic was to predict the stock price via sentiments analysis using Twitter data. I learned a lot during this project.
- And as I said, I am a big fan of cricket, so I used the learning of my Twitter sentiment analysis project to predict the sentiment of fans for the announced Ashes squad.
In the 3rd year summer, I got an opportunity to work with KPIT Technologies in the automotive domain, where my role was to predict the different faults in an electric vehicle using machine learning techniques. It was a research project which I delivered successfully and converted my findings into a research paper named “Machine Learning-Based Electric Vehicle Power System Fault Diagnosis.”
Based on my performance, I got a pre-placement offer from KPIT and joined them after completing my B-Tech.
Technologies that are perfect for making a career in
I have been working with many different clients during my professional career, and many such technologies seem to be good for the next ten years. If you ask me my favorite three, those would be,
- Big data: There is an enormous amount of data, and it will keep growing in the future. So handling this wisely will be the need of tomorrow. Hence I would recommend someone to explore this field. Learning of technological stacks like Hadoop and Sparks can be focused on.
- Cloud Computing: As data collection is gaining pace, computation and management of millions of GigaBytes and TerraBytes of data at the user end can be cumbersome. For that, many big companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, etc., have invested a huge amount of money in developing data centers to provide virtual infrastructure over the internet. So this is one of my favorite bets.
- Internet of Things (IoT): This is spreading very fast. Because of the rate at which data has been collected these days, many new technologies around data sensing and interpretation can be noted.
Based on my personal experience, I would like to advise three specific things,
- Using Steve Jobs quotes,
“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters with the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”
Idling this quote, always try to find your passion first. After finding that, give your 100% to it.
- In the modern era, technologies are advancing at an enormous pace. Along with this, the use of inbuilt libraries and frameworks has also increased. There is no harm in using pre-built functionalities, but I will strongly emphasize learning the steps for “how to implement that function?”. It will improve your algorithmic thinking.
- Try to use computer science learning as a tool and think of more and more problems that you can solve using them.
The overall message would be to Do what you enjoy the most.