student story

Aaron Wu

Data Engineer @ Coherent Path
Data Science Bootcamp, 2020
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It has been more than a year since I graduated from WeCloudData, and it is still one of the best journeys I have experienced. I have successfully transformed from a mining engineer to a data engineer, and more importantly, I met a bunch of professionals who share the same passion for data science.

I have a bachelor’s degree in mineral engineering and worked as an administrative assistant for a year. I decided to have a career switch because I wanted to work creatively and release my full potential. I have always enjoyed math and logic, and yes, Sudoku is one of my favourite games. I love to use numbers to anticipate results and find connections and potential opportunities behind them (and currently, this is my job!). I was quite inspired when watching “The Imitation Game”, and I wanted to have a career close to that. That’s when data science came into my view. I saw a huge potential in this field because I believe big data and AI will drive our future. And I am right, according to Talent Market Drivers Since the Start of COVID: Canada Report, Data Engineering is now the 5th fastest-growing job. 

Before the Bootcamp

Before I started my Bootcamp at WeCloudData, I first went through some free video courses on YouTube, and yes, I had zero coding experience. This video, SQL Tutorial – Full Database Course for Beginners, was the beginning of everything. After watching this video, I knew it was something I could handle, and from my point of view, if one finds SQL overwhelming, then maybe learning data science is a bad idea – well, I had that thought at the beginning, but it is wrong. It is the quality of one’s convictions that determine success (yes, Professor Lupin said that). More practice is key! Because I know all the hard work will pay off.

After I fully committed myself to learning data science, I chose to study at WeCloudData. I went to its office a few times before I signed up. I talked to Shaohua to have a better understanding of what the course offers. There was a time they were holding a party for all graduates when I paid a visit, and I even got the chance to talk with some of the previous students and learn from their experience. Now people are coming to me on LinkedIn and asking about my Bootcamp experience at WeCloudData, and this is my answer: it was not a relaxing four months. I learned new skills and tools every day, and it took even more time to digest and master them, but it was the most rewarding and fulfilling experience I ever had. 

Learning Experience

I attended the Applied Data Science and Big Data Diploma Program in January 2020, and the learning experience was fantastic. The instructors and TAs are very supportive. I don’t have a coding background, and they helped me out by carefully answering all my questions and providing constructive feedback on my work. Of course, I also completely devoted myself to my studies because I know all my efforts will pay off. It was clear that 2020 was a tough year, and we had to switch to online study in March. I was a bit worried that online study may not deliver the same result, but it turns out that there was nothing to worry about. WeCloudData not only continued to deliver high-quality courses but more importantly, they called every one of us to track our learning experience and answered our questions. Everyone at WeCloudData is so considerate and I am truly grateful for their help.

How has the BeamData Experience Helped You?

The journey at WeCloudData did not end after the Bootcamp was completed, the support of the instructors continued until I landed my ideal job. It was difficult finding a job in 2020, but I was not desperate. After I graduated from the Bootcamp, I continued to work on a variety of projects at Beamdata where I started to gain my working experience. Beamdata has strong connections with different industry partners and offers a wide range of interesting projects that I could work on. This is an essential part for people like me who are new to the data industry.

The project experience allows me to use my knowledge to solve complex business problems and it also enriches my resume so I can speak confidently during the interviews. Even though the market was down in 2020, I could still get around 1 to 2 interviews per week. One thing I learned is that interview skills are crucial to passing an interview, I mainly focused on the technical side and ignored the importance of communication/interview skills. But luckily, Beamdata helped me again, they showed me how to answer the questions in a way that the recruiter/HR wants to hear. Meanwhile, I never forgot to enhance my coding skills, you should celebrate hard when Stackoverflow is your most frequently visited page. Also, solving coding problems on HackerRank played an important role in preparing me for the technical interview. 

Where Are You Now?

Now I am working as a full-time data engineer at a start-up company. Our company helps retailers to personalize their emails. I use Spark to fetch data at different locations, build pipelines and feed them to our model. One of the most exciting parts of my job is that I get to run A/B tests, from building the hypothesis, analyzing the result, determining if it is statistically significant, all the way to presenting the results and recommending the next step. We even use the A/B test to improve our model’s parameters. (If you had no idea what A/B test is about, learn more about it here AB test guide)

I am super happy with my current job, and I am still learning new things, I learned Git when I first joined the company, and I am currently reading books about cloud computing. None of those would have happened if I hadn’t chosen WeCloudData. Even though I graduated more than a year ago, I still keep a close connection to friends and colleagues I met there, we supported each other in learning, job hunting, and all other aspects.

Joining WeCloudData is not only about learning new things, but you will know that you are not alone on the path of chasing your dream!

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