The resources I used to get started in Data Science

13th March 2019


If you’re looking to get into data science, you probably have no idea where to start. The internet is bursting at the seams with introductions to Python and machine learning for those without the inherent college background. The sheer wealth of resources can be so overwhelming it’s difficult to know where to begin.

The landscape is still changing and developing. In my experience these can be great resources to get started and have helped me develop into the data scientist I am today. Additionally, I’d like to share some of the resources I now use as an established data scientist to learn new skills and keep up to date with the ever-changing trends.

 

Resources I used:

The following are the resources that got me off the ground and set me up to continue my journey in the realm of data science.

Datacamp

Out of the various resources available back to when I was first learning, this was my favorite. It was cheap, informative, and really catered to someone with minimal experience in statistical programming. I’ve heard many others have had success with this platform as well. As far as I can tell, it’s still a great place to learn R, Python, and SQL.

Price: £0 – £30

Sqlzoo

Don’t be fooled by the terrible web design, the organisational simplicity of this resource is excellent for the true beginner. While you’ll undoubtedly need more advanced tutorials going forward, Sqlzoo is an excellent place to start. It was an irreplaceable part of my initial SQL training.

Price: £0

Coursera (Andrew Ng – Machine Learning)

If you’re not too far into data science yet, you probably don’t know Andrew Ng yet. However – to the modern data scientist he’s progressed to the point of becoming a meme. With his incredibly palatable explanations of machine learning and mathematics, there is no better place to get a feel for the theory behind machine learning. While you definitely don’t have to do any of the math exercises in this course, I highly recommend it and can’t count the number of people who have learned basic ML through this medium. Note: while you can pay for coursera, these courses can also be audited for free.

Once you get a feel from that course, I also recommend his course on neural networks. This course uses Python, so the programming assignments are more relevant and useful in the world of modern machine learning.

Price: £0 – £79

Data Science Academy

Yes, full time bootcamps are of course a valid option. I never would’ve made it nearly as far without the full-time bootcamp experience from NYCDSA. I understand both the price and commitment are a challenge to some, although they also offer a number of online and shorter term courses. I have nothing but good things to say about my time here, from the excellent instructors to the network of data science friends I still keep in touch with.

If you’re the kind of person who would really benefit from a more personalised experience in addition to a more structured learning experience, I’d highly recommend considering it. You may have had “learn Python” on your plate for awhile, but if it’s not getting done you may need to put yourself in an environment where you have the time, support, and commitment.

Price: ~£0 – £17,600

Resources I now use:

These are the resources I commonly use now as an established data scientist.

Towards Data Science/Medium

I don’t always have the time to sit down and take full courses anymore, especially if I want to acquire skills outside of my daily work. TDS (or really any medium publication) is a great way to access quality explanations and examples without a large commitment of time or expense. There’s tutorials for just about everything on free blog-styled services like this. I find myself falling down rabbit holes of interesting publications multiple times per week, and more than once this content has helped me develop further in my career.

Price: £0 – £5

Udemy

If I do feel like taking a course on something, I usually turn here. It usually isn’t as  commitment heavy as coursera, and still provides fairly comprehensive material. Thus far, the reviews have been a solid indication of course quality – and you can learn just about everything on here. Don’t be fooled by their weird marketing tactic of always having some special sale on courses (“everything for $19.99 – ends in 2 days!”). Everything on Udemy is literally always on sale, even if the price varies frequently. Usually, you’ll get any course for around £20.

Price: £0 – £?

Resources I’ve heard good things about:

Now I can’t personally comment on any of these, but if you’re unsatisfied with the list above here are some other sites I’ve heard good things about!

While I doubt this scratches the surface of all the useful and cheap resources out there, I hope it’s comprehensive enough to begin your journey.

 

Read also: What to do on your first day at work

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Kyle Gallatin

A data scientist with an MS in molecular & biology. He currently aids to deploy AI and technology solutions within Pfizer’s Artificial Intelligence Center of Excellence using Python and other computer science frameworks

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