To my fellow engineer,
In a world filled with the technology we've helped build, many of us work long hours to get ahead while finding ourselves stuck in a game of catch-up, and feeling like we're being left further behind.
I invite you to consider the following...
This happens because the approach we typically use is like drinking from a lake - buying books, reading blog posts, watching YouTube videos, going to meetups, going to conferences, running through tutorials, digging through online forums - just to learn something that seems like it should be a simple fucking thing!
I know because this is the process I used for years to teach myself new stuff.
For example, when I wanted to create my first predictive model I read through 4 books, dozens of blog posts, more tutorials than I care to admit, and spent hours coding, banging my head on my keyboard just trying to get it to work.
And after all that I was left with a question - is there a way to shortcut all time the time I spent, to get straight to only what I need to know to get my job done, and put something into production faster?
What if I was to tell you there is a way you can spend 4% of your time over the next 30 days and get a broad understanding of a highly sought after skill, and the knowledge you gain will serve not only as a lever point in your career, but will help you in other aspects of your life as well? Would you invest that time in yourself?
If the answer is no then close this page immediately.
But if your answer is yes, then understand that your investment in yourself through this course over the next 30 days will begin pulling results that would have taken months, and instead have them come much, much quicker.
By the time we finish this conversation you're going to know if what I'm offering is right for you or not, and if it is, I'll invite you to invest $97 dollars and 4% of your time and energy over the next 30 days, and sign up for my Introduction to Data Science for Software Engineers course, which starts on October 23, 2017.
Do you agree?
Then let's begin.
In 2007 when I launched my web development business the web space was blowing up. Everyone and their mother wanted to have the next big social network or app, and my programming language of choice, Ruby, was a skill had by few and desired by many. I gained a lot of success, met a ton of awesome people, and had a great time building that business.
Times change and today Ruby is ranked at number 10 on the TIOBE Index of popular programming languages, and there aren't as many employers asking for it.
What is popular and where the jobs are is in the field of artificial intelligence, which machine learning is a part of. I probably don't have to convince you of its popularity as it's impossible to get away from - every tech conference, blog, magazine and yes, even the news, is talking about it, and if or when it will replace a great number of other jobs.
Here's the challenge...
Machine learning is a very large topic, and from the outside it appears you need a Master's degree or PhD to get a job in the field. And when you do apply for that new job or try to move up into one, someone else comes along and takes it and your left hanging.
I don't know what your experience has been but mine is that most of the books and online courses I've come across don't help. They dive deep into math I'd prefer to leave to the PhDs, they assume I already know a metric ton of stuff or have a degree in statistics, and they use toy datasets that represent nothing I've ever encountered in real life.
In short, rather than helping me learn, these standard resources make me frustrated and angry, and I lose confidence in my ability to learn, get ahead in my career, and provide value to others. Not a place I like to be.
But guess what - there's a much better way.
With the right framework in place machine learning can, instead of appearing a dark art practiced by only the smartest of geeks fueled by the most caffeinated of beverages, be learned and understood without becoming a hermit, going to school, or living a life of doubt in yourself and your abilities. Most people don't have that framework.
I've encountered 3 groups of people with 3 different solutions.
The first group is comprised of people who think that to be successful they need to attend an expensive and intensive, in-person, multi-week immersive training. There are people going through those right now, and for some it works, hopefully the people attending them.
The second group believes they need a degree in statistics just to understand how to apply machine learning. Sure it can help, but is it really necessary, and do you have the time or inclination to go to or go back to school?
Then there is the third group of people who buy and read dozens of books, scour the Internet for days on end searching for and consuming blog posts and tutorials, all in order to get a comprehensive understanding of all things machine learning. This is the approach I used to take.
If you see yourself in any of these groups I ask you to consider the possibility that the reason you're having trouble getting that promotion or finding a new job isn't because of a lack of knowledge - it's because you've lost confidence in yourself, because you are trying to learn too much too quickly.
Instead of going deep you need to go broad and gain a foundation upon which you can stand. And later, with the foundation in place, you can dive as deep as you need to. Today you need to expand the world you're living in, not drown yourself in a new one.
When you start to feel like your drowning, you cannot be as effective as you need to be, you cannot learn as effectively as you need to. As an example, here are two quick stories.
I recently met a very nice lady at a meetup. Within the first 5 minutes of us talking she told me how worried she was about getting her next job. She was attending the meetup to learn more about machine learning and the technologies involved. She was there attempting to absorb all she could because, even though she had been with her employer for a number of years, she was continually passed up for opportunities and unable to move from the position she was in. I had literally met her for the first time 5 minutes earlier, and here she was telling me how stressed out she was. And it was noticeable. The way she held herself, the way she sat, and the way she spoke to me told her story of the stress she felt.
I was at another machine learning event and met a nice gentleman. Like the lady in the previous story he too was attending an event because he wasn't getting ahead in his career, in fact he was far behind where he needed to be and was trying to catch up. He was considering getting an AWS certification and when I asked him why, he said to get past HR. I was floored. And also like the lady in the previous story his entire demeanor - the tone of his voice, the way he carried himself, the lack of his talking with anyone else at the conference - painted a picture of the stress he felt from trying to learn so many things, just to get past HR!
I've experienced this in my own life.
In the web development business I mentioned before I got to the point where I lost all confidence in myself and my ability to produce. Because of that self-doubt I wouldn't make any decisions for fear of doing the wrong thing. I couldn't voice my opinion I was so scared of saying the wrong thing.
Looking back I realize the reality of my situation was way worse than I knew at the time.
Previously I was sleeping well, eating pretty healthy, keeping my coffee consumption to a minimum, exercising on a regular basis, spending quality time with my family, and was generally a very happy, confident person.
All of that changed.
I slept very little.
I ate like crap.
I drank nothing but coffee.
I stopped exercising.
I withdrew from my family.
I became frustrated heading down rabbit holes seeking success that never came.
I was unhappy, and everyone around me knew it.
But the worst part was that I had lost all confidence in myself.
I hated feeling that way.
And I felt that way until 9 or 10 months later when I had had enough. I took a hard, honest look at what my life had become, and where I wanted to be. It was then I realized if I wanted to be successful again, I needed to do things differently than I had so many times before.
In the following months I spoke with anyone that would listen to get their advice. I read books on self-improvement, attended seminars and conferences, brainstormed ideas and tried them all. Ultimately that journey led me to something that worked for me, a framework I've used to help hundreds of people learn data science, web scraping, and other technical skills.
By implementing this framework, which I will describe shortly, things started falling back into place.
I started exercising again by going for walks with my family and dogs.
I started eating a bit better.
Because of the exercise my stress levels came down and I gained more mental clarity.
Because I was less stressed I was better able to focus on what I was trying to learn.
I was able to have intelligent conversations with people about topics relatively new to me.
My inner voice became a constructive force rather than a destructive force.
Because of all this I regained confidence in myself, was more productive than ever before, and started another business.
More recently, over the past 4 years I've founded and run a successful data science meetup, published a book and am writing a second, I speak at tech conferences and meetups, and I teach data science courses. Now I'm not saying you need to or even want to do all of that, but what I am saying is that with the framework, and the effort I know you'll put in, it's possible.
This simple, 4-part framework I'm talking about is what I call the MTAC Framework™.
So what is the MTAC Framework™ and how will this course help you?
MTAC stands for:
It's based on 3 principles:
What I teach in the course is the MTAC Framework™ applied to the area of machine learning.
Before getting into what you will learn let me tell you what you won't:
With that said here is what you will learn:
Just knowing technical things won't help you get a new job or move into a different position.
In this section we'll walk through a use case to learn how to achieve a goal-focused mindset, build creative solutions to business challenges, and becoming an integral part of any organization.
You'll play the part of a data scientist for an online retailer tasked with identifying sales trends and predicting future sales.
At the end of the day machine learning is just another tool in your engineer's toolbox. In this section you'll see what the machine learning ecosystem has to offer and find out how to use it.
You'll start by learning about supervised and unsupervised machine learning algorithms, and then take a tour of available deep learning frameworks. Next you'll learn how to use the technologies that power big data systems including scikit-learn, SQL, Docker, Spark and Elasticsearch.
This is when you roll up your sleeves and get dirty with some - okay quite a bit - of code!
In this section you'll implement the real-world use case using real data to gain experience with data exploration, algorithm selection, using Spark to process and analyze data, and storing results in Elasticsearch.
Just knowing what to do and how to do it isn't enough to get you past the finish line - you need to be able to demonstrate and talk about what you've done and what you've discovered.
In this section you'll learn how to do just that by sharing the results of your analysis in multiple formats including charts and Kibana dashboards. Additionally you'll get advice on how to talk about machine learning in simple terms and how you've applied it to meet business objectives.
Ok so that sounds great, but I'm sure you're asking yourself what specifically do you get once inside?
The course is delivered via pre-recorded video and has a support forum for Q&A. There are 6 modules delivered over the course of four weeks:
Module 4: Application - Data Gathering and Exploration
By the time you've finished this course you'll have a foundational understanding of applying machine learning to create solutions, and be able to have intelligent conversations with people of your choosing.
So tell me - what can having that knowledge and that ability do you for you? What impact can that have in your life?
In my experience I went from being a stressed out, crap eating a-hole to being a more relaxed, mentally clear, happy and successful person. Most importantly I regained confidence in myself, in my ability to learn, and in my ability to add value to others.
What do you see for yourself?
What would you do to get that?
Now let me ask you this - why is it a must for you to do this now? Why is it a must for you to get these results today? You could wait 6 months; you could wait 9 months, you could wait a year. You could just wait. So why is it a must for you now?
If it's not that's cool - we're not a fit. This course is only for people who are ready to go now. Visit my homepage and sign up for my email list and you'll hear about the cool stuff I come out with, and perhaps next year you'll be ready.
If however, based on how our conversation went today, and your demonstration that it is a must for you to leave the trap you find yourself in and get to the future you envision for yourself, I am 100% confident that your desires in what you're searching for, married up with our ability to do what we do, will help you make that future a reality.