CHAPTER THREE: LEARNING
Having read Chapters One and Two (i.e. Part One), you should now have a good comprehension of what commercial data science entails, the different forms it takes, and what is required to be a success in the profession. And having thought deeply about your motivations, you should have a clear picture of your goals, and ultimately – the type of data scientist you want to become. So give yourself a pat on the back, because you are now ready to begin the real fun: learning.
In this chapter, we will explore the options at your disposal – but first – we will begin proceedings by discussing an important notion that concerns data science and learning.
Just like a doctor has to stay abreast of medical developments, learning never stops for a data scientist. The field (and the technology) is evolving so quickly; what you learn now might not be relevant in the years to come. Look at the rise of deep learning, to take just one example. This is what Sean McClure was alluding to in his post emphasising the importance of problem solving (highlighted in Chapter One).
Quite simply, if you are not passionate about the field and do not enjoy learning, then data science is not for you. Conferences and networking with the data science community are effective ways of keeping on top of the latest developments. And regularly reading books and papers is very important (on this: if you do not have a research background, it is worth learning how to read academic papers properly).
Play. Build. Experiment.