A New Beginning

Learning a New Profession in a Year

Image by Michael Dziedzic

For the latest updates on this experiment click here.

About a month ago, while reflecting on recent events I asked myself a question, what’s next? I’ve asked myself this question many times in life and at that moment I realized the path I was on wasn’t going to cut it for me anymore. I needed to do something else, something new and exciting but what though? I found the answer two weeks later while browsing university courses, Data Science and more specifically Machine Learning.

Why Data Science and Machine Learning?

I have always had a broad interest in Machine Learning and Data Science, but I thought it was too complicated for me to understand and just kept to being a Software Engineer. I’ve decided now’s the time to learn it though and I am taking the time to pursue this. I want to learn Data Science and Machine Learning as it looks like it will be a revolution to many industries, and I would like to be part of that revolution. Machine learning has the ability to make mundane tasks automated and do things we could have never thought possible only a few years ago.

My Goals

I have finally decided now is the time to learn these concepts and thus I have taken a year off to achieve. The goals I have set myself to achieve within the next year are.

  1. Being able to understand the concepts of machine learning and the theory that sits behind it.
  2. Have developed and released at least four projects that apply knowledge learnt to a practical problem.
  3. Finding ways of delivering value to other people with Artificial Intelligence.
  4. Inspiring others to try something similar or share what they are learning.

What’s my plan?

I plan on doing a Masters in Information Technology with a specialization in Data Science at Deakin University mainly, but I know from experience that university education isn’t enough and I need to learn with a combination of University Coursework, online courses, books and personal projects. To do this I have created a list of courses and books that I want to complete within the year. I will also combine these skills I learn into projects that will be deployed and usable.

First Six Months

In the first six months I plan to focus on laying the foundations and gaining the basic knowledge I need to progress onto more in-depth learning. The following courses, books and projects should help achieve that and of course if I find anything missing, I can add it later.

Next Six Months

After completing the first set of goals, I plan to spend the following six months working on courses, projects and books that build upon the knowledge learnt within the foundational period, these are part of that process.

How Do I Keep Myself Accountable?

I plan to keep myself accountable during this period by blogging and creating content about the entire process. I also have created a page that tracks my live status (click here to go there) on how far I’m through this experiment. I will be blogging a monthly summary on what I’ve learnt in the last month and the progress I’ve made as well as posting the projects I’ve created.

What’s Next?

You will be hearing more from me in the future about what I’m doing during this process and I would love to hear from you in the comments on what I can do to help you or what you’d like to see, but until next time thanks for reading.