Delayed Zipfian Week 12 Wrap-up

A little delayed for good reason but here we go. Zipfian’s 12th week focused on interview practice, a conference and the graduation celebration.

Interview Practice

Most of the 12th week was spent going back through previous materials and drilling/simulating interviews. Data science has a different interview flavor from software engineering. Companies vary in what they are looking for and what they will ask and the content for data science covers a broader range of topics.

Companies may be looking for someone to:

  • build out internal dashboards that provide business metrics
  • design and build data analytics backend
  • implement and maintain tools for others to get access to metrics
  • build customer facing product features that are data driven
  • establish company data strategy
  • different combinations of above
  • all of the above
  • something else not listed

If you know where you want to focus, that can help scope your studies and your job applications to some degree. Still there is a lot of material to go through and ideally you want to review:

  • data science pipeline
  • general experiment design
  • machine learning algorithms
  • probability
  • statistic models & tests
  • data analysis (esp. regarding model performance)
  • programming (esp. white boarding)
  • product metrics / growth hacker

My plan of attack is to pick a topic to study for a couple of hours and then switch to a different topic. There is a little more to this approach and I’m typically tackling areas where I know I’m weaker or I anticipate to cover in an upcoming interview. Zipfian also gave us a number of study resources and sample questions to work through that has helped in the preparation.

Conference(s)

The class attended the Big Data Innovation Summit in Santa Clara during the last week. Content covered machine learning and big data trends.

As you may have read in my last post, I missed half of the week and events because I went to PyCon. PyCon was amazing and even thought it was hard to prep for that while also going through the bootcamp, I am so glad I did it. The conference also had plenty of content around data science and you can find videos for the even at Pyvideo.org.

Graduation

I heard there was lots of dancing and drinking and partying at the graduation celebration and that several previous alum came back to join in the event. It was an all-nighter which reminds me of another bootcamp’s graduation party.

I was definitely sad to miss the festivities, but I’m so happy for all of us that we graduated!

And that is not all folks…

It feels weird and awesome to be done (sorta). It’s funny how everyone started saying close to the end that “you are almost done and then you can relax.” And I would laugh cause I already knew what was coming because of Hackbright.

There is no relaxing immediately after…okay maybe for like a couple of days but then you are right back into the thick of it if you are interviewing. Most bootcamps don’t get this expectation set correctly just yet. I still heard it from the recent Hackbright graduates that they were surprised there was still so much work left to do.  I’ve also heard it from a few people I’ve gotten to know attending other bootcamps in the area.

The interview process kicks in and its lots of studying, interviewing, studying, interviewing, studying, interviewing, sleep a little and then study. The bootcamps have a week or two after hiring/career day to help support those going through the process. And granted not everyone goes into this loop but many do.

Thus, I am currently in the study/interview cycle myself to explore the options out there and looking forward to getting through this part of the process to when I can finally take a minute to relax.

Last Thoughts

One of my cohort, Ike, has been keeping a blog about his experience at Zipfian that I’d definitely recommend if you are interested to know more: Yet Another Data Blog

And I will say this for those wondering about the value of the bootcamps, I have been getting good job leads from Zipfian and PyCon and also through my Hackbright connection. The alum connection from Hackbright has brought me opportunities that I didn’t have last year, and I’m very grateful to have this network.

Zipfian is basically at the point of the path that Hackbright was when I attended last year. Not as many know much about them yet and their alumni network is small right now. Still it is growing and it will be fun to see how strong it becomes in another year.

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