Learning Something new is always a challenging task and when it comes to Data Science it becomes tougher to stay consistent since Data Science is a pond of various skills.
Throughout your career as a Data Scientist, you will be required to attain new skills most of the time.
So it becomes very important to have a learning approach that helps you understand new concepts easily and quickly.
Here is a learning approach which worked for me while learning new concepts:
Knowing the pre-requisites
One of the biggest problems of learning a new concept is that most of the time when you start learning a new topic you realize you don’t understand a few terms only because you ignored the prerequisites before starting the topic.
For example, the most important prerequisite of machine learning is knowing python.
So until you are familiar with the basics of python you’ll know nothing about how to program in machine learning.
So it’s important to create a list of prerequisites and be familiar with them.
Figure out how much information is needed and where you can acquire that from then refer to blogs, books, and youtube videos to clear out your prerequisites list before you start learning the main topic.
You might first feel it a waste of time or uncomfortable but you’ll later know how things are connected and how easy it becomes once you are familiar with the prerequisites.
Find top resources
There can be many options for learning a new concept depending on your nature. These options could be.
1. Learning from a YouTube video lecture or a YouTube playlist.
2. Learning by reading blogs and articles.
3. Learning by deep diving into the documentation and research papers.
4. Learning by books or some online courses.
The approach might vary depending upon what suits you best.
For example, I learn faster by first understanding the concept through a YouTube video then deep dive into the concept by reading blogs and articles.
But you need to decide how deeply you want to learn the topic so you don’t waste time learning not so important things.
The better your decisions are the quicker you learn.
Decide how far you want to go
Learning without a goal in mind will lead you confused and stuck, before starting to learn something ask yourself why are you learning it?
Make sure the reason is strong enough to keep you consistent.
If this doesn’t hit your mind, think of a project you want to do and what tools you require to do that project.
Now learn those skills and apply once you are confident enough. To have a good start it’s important to know where to end.
Data Science is a sea full of knowledge no matter how much you learn you’ll still come across new terms every day.
Don’t let those new concepts distract you, focus on your end goal and you’ll achieve results quickly.
Still, if you feel the urge of learning that new interesting topic you can always note it down and come back to it later.
But don’t let new concepts be a barrier in your actual learning path.
Learn the art of googling
Once you are familiar with the theory and want to get deep into coding the best approach that works is googling shamelessly.
No matter what foolish problem you think you are stuck with don’t hesitate to google, you might be surprised how having good googling things is important for a Data Scientist.
Since it’s not possible to remember all the codes you learn, humans tend to forget but until and unless you are familiar with the problem and the end goal you will end up finding all your solutions in google.
Now, when you start to learn a new library, documentations are the ones that will make your life easier just go through the official documentation of the library you wish to learn and figure out things you won’t normally notice.
Play with those codes, learn by making mistakes, and googling the errors, the more mistakes you‘ll make the more you’ll learn. Just remember not to give up.
One right course can solve all your problems
Learning from free resources might give you the required satisfaction but paid resources give you a learning path required to gain knowledge most efficiently so it’s always beneficial to enroll in a course and follow along rather than being in a constant search of good resources but still feeling missed out even after going through a lot of them.
Especially if you’re working somewhere and have no time to switch through resources, enrolling in courses saves you a lot of time and provides you much-needed guidance which free resources lack.