81101 This is a reflection on the time I spent from late 2015 to mid 2017, learning computer programming skills by by enrolling in and completing a data science specialization from John Hopkins University’s, Bloomberg School of Public Health’s, Department of Biostatistics that was given online by Coursera.org .

When I began this specialization, I didn’t really know how to code even though I had been trying to learn for several years. My previous attempts to learn, were through MIT Open Courseware courses online as well as through a couple of online code websites like Code Academy and Data Camp.

Actually when I began this specialization, I still didn’t know how to code even though I now knew some programming vocabulary and concepts. I was vaguely familiar with the concepts of : while loops, for loops, if statements or conditional statements, booleans, tuples, mutability, immutability, recursive code and a few other fundamental programming concepts from these free online courses.

As a result of completing the specialization, I gained an enormous amount of knowledge and new skills within the data science landscape regarding programming and statistics in the R programming language, a language designed specifically for statistical analysis.

I spent many days and sometimes weeks stuck on a single problem or issue. I was not making consistent progress daily or weekly but I was persistent and continued my struggle to learn what I could each day throughout the course. Throughout the entire course I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to complete the entire specialization.

Once I had completed the specialization though, I thought to myself, how valuable these skills were that I had just learned and that if I didn’t use them every day going forward then all the months I had just spent (close to a year) learning how to program and do statistical analysis would have been wasted.

That’s when I decided to enroll in the Flying Car Nanodegree at Udacity. My belief was that I would get to learn something that I had been dreaming about all my life which was to be part of a flying car creation while maintaining programming skills I had just learned.

Without hesitation, I enrolled in the Flying Car, the Data Analysis and Deep Learning Nanodegrees. Currently, I’m working on completing these last two Nanodegrees.  By completing these Nanodegrees will  I’ll be able to maintain my current programming skills while extending much further than the R language and its programming environment.

One thing that I like about computer programming and that keeps it exciting for me is the massive number of new developments happening almost daily, which for the most part tend to simplify the programmer’s job or process in one way or another.

That was a short recap of the past three years of my efforts on learning how to write different types of computer programs.

Leave a Reply