After working for 15 years, I needed a strong foundation in analytics and a solid program like PGP-BABI: Praveen Tayal, PGP-BABI Alumnus

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Our PGP-BABI alumnus Praveen Tayal was keen on transitioning to a career in data science, even after 15 years of working in the aerospace and automobile domain.

In his own words:

My Journey So Far: I am a Mechatronics Engineer with around 15 years of experience in the Aerospace and Transportation domain. I have mostly worked on core engineering simulations, building API based Engineering Tools and Product Life Cycle Management (PLM) system. For the last 2-3 years, I have been engaged with core Data Science projects revolving around New Product Introduction (NPI) for both internal and external customers.

My Reasons for Pursuing the PGP-BABI program: Since I have a mixed background of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics, I had a natural inclination for Computer Science Algorithms and I picked up a few projects in my organization beyond my office hours. Then I figured that I lack knowledge in certain areas and I need to enrol in a formal program, preferably with the classroom blend. I chose the PG Program in Business Analytics because it met my expectations and it is the top-ranked program in analytics. The knowledge that I gained from the course was helpful in the execution of the self-started projects in my organization. The duration and learning format of PGP-BABI gave me the flexibility of managing my workload and learning side by side.

Program Highlights for Me: I believe the program structure is pretty good. It covers a lot of different elements and knowledge of other domains. So, there is something for everyone to learn even if you are an expert in any particular domain. It also exposed me to the type of algorithms people use in different companies for problem-solving. Then, the amazing faculty! They are subject matter experts with industry knowledge who focussed on building our concepts from day 1.

Great Learning’s PGP-BABI is the Perfect Course: After working for 15 years, I needed a strong foundation in analytics and a solid program like PGP-BABI to start with. In my opinion, everybody should take up formal courses for a shift to data science and analytics role. One can always use the program learnings as the starting point during interviews.

I was able to switch my job internally because of my networking: I knew the exact people I had to contact in case some opportunity showed up. I shared my assignments and the capstone project and kept in touch with them. I also participated in internal hackathons in my organization. I would reach out to the key people for any queries and I built a good rapport with them. Finally, I got an opportunity and I made use of it.

Tools & techniques used in my current role: I use statistical tools and open source tools. Mostly, R and Python. I also use distributed computing to process the algorithms on the large historical data from the aircraft.

My Advice to Aspirants Looking for a Transition to Analytics: I started getting hands-on experience because I was self-driven and motivated in networking within my company. You got to do it because jumping out into this domain as a fresher could be challenging. Until you have a body of work and a few projects that can act as highlights on your resume, you won’t be taken seriously. Participate in hackathons. Start networking with people in your company for opportunities and most importantly, apply analytics in your current role. There is a certain passion that you have to bring to the table along with your skill set. Good conceptual knowledge, mathematical skills and asking a lot of questions will always help.

 

I’d like to thank Great Learning for their support and guidance: Sravan Malla, Machine Learning Alumnus

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are at the forefront of the technological revolution we are witnessing today. The number of individuals aspiring to become certified AI and ML practitioners has increased exponentially. There are a lot of institutes to choose from to learn AI, so making the right choice needs to be a calculated move.

Read on to find out why Sravan Malla, our Machine Learning program alumnus considers Great Learning as the ideal choice.

  • Why did you choose Great Learning to learn Machine Learning?

I am a graduate in Mechanical Engineering and have started my career in IT as a Mainframe Developer, so the challenges began from then. Though I am having a good time working as a Developer at IBM, I was always encouraged to take up new responsibilities and got a chance to explore the area of analytics. I then developed an interest and started learning about analytics and always wanted to support my self-learning with a well-defined course curriculum; for which I explored and shortlisted few institutes. The curriculum of the Machine Learning program by Great Learning met my requirements and seemed promising. So, the reason I chose Great Learning. I had just three and a half years of experience when I took up this program but the way course is defined suits all levels of experience.

  • Were the faculty approachable and knowledgeable?

The class interactions are the best I can say. I was doing it all online before I enrolled for the program and personally, I felt that there are a lot of distractions in an online course and it can be challenging to reach out to the faculty directly.

The professors who come to teach the machine learning program at Great Lakes are not any fresh college graduates. They are highly experienced professors and industry practitioners. I utilized the opportunity to interact with the professors to the fullest. I had a chance to hear from best professors like Dr. Srabhashi Basu, Dr. Narayana Darapaneni and Prof. Mukesh Rao who took most of our sessions and the best thing is even today, they are approachable.

  • Did your career improve after you completed the program?

The career progression did not happen just like that, it’s not a miracle. Before and along with the course, I had lots of homework. This course really helped me to do that homework in a proper manner and I got a chance to work in this area in my current company. Later when I was on the verge of completing the course, I had multiple job offers in the field of Data Science and Machine Learning from a couple of companies. I have accepted the role and decided to work with Accenture as a Sr. Analyst – AI/ML Engineer which looked more promising and was aligned to my career goals.

I would like to thank Great Learning from the bottom of my heart for providing me with the required support and guidance throughout my journey and making this possible.

From Day-1 of my journey, I believed that the Great Lakes Machine Learning program is the right choice for enhancing my skillset. Once again, I firmly want to say that I came to the right place and my career goals have been fulfilled because of the proper strategy, plan, course structure, and the excellent faculty which Great Learning had in place. Though I have utilized the resources to the maximum extent possible, I should say that there is still a lot more to learn and grow and just like Great Learning, I believe in continuous learning.

  • Do you have any advice for the aspirants?

Firstly, one must stick to the goal they set and avoid all the distractions, it might not be as easy as we say, but the results are a pay-off for all the sacrifices and hard work you put in. Sometimes, people or situations around may make you feel down, just ignore and keeping giving your best. Keep remembering the quote “Repetition is the mother of all skills” and feel proud to revise the concepts twice, thrice or until you feel you are comfortable. The one thing that should always keep you motivated was the zeal and strong will to be future-ready.

The program is helping me work on new projects: Nagaraj Ethirajulu, PGP-CC Alumnus

Reading Time: 2 minutes

It is said that ‘Change is the only constant’.

The technological landscape is constantly evolving. Trends come and go and the required skills one needs to be proficient in changes with the trend.

Read on to find out how Nagaraj Ethirajulu, our PGP-CC alumnus, a professional with 15 years of experience in the IT industry, resolved to upskill with Great Learning to make a career transition.

Why did you take up the Post Graduate Program in Cloud Computing?

I have 15 years of experience in the IT industry. I am currently working for TEKsystems Global Services as the delivery manager for infra and cloud services. Prior to that, I was working with Oracle as Cloud Operations Manager and I was responsible for transitioning the PaaS Operations team in India. I took up this particular course mainly for transitioning into a solutions role as most of the organizations are shifting from different platforms to cloud. I had some exposure to Oracle Cloud and wanted to explore more on AWS and Azure. That’s when I got to know about the PGP-CC program and I decided to take it up.

Did you consider any other programs before enrolling?

I kind of looked into some physical/classroom sessions in some training institutes but they weren’t engaging enough as only the basics were taught. There wasn’t much exposure to hands-on learning. Then I got to know about Great Learning’s Cloud computing program through LinkedIn and I took it up.

This is an online program – was it interactive enough for you?

It was more like a classroom session. There were no issues at all. Most of the sessions were live interactive sessions. The projects and labs that we worked on were really good.

At Great Learning, all the courses are co-created and co-delivered by leading industry practitioners and SMEs. This makes all our programs aligned with the industry requirements. Candidates learn relevant tools and techniques from the very first day.

How is the program helping you in your current role?

I can say that I got the best out of the program and it is helping me in my current role and also to work on some new projects.

Are you Azure or AWS certified?

I am not Azure or AWS certified at this point in time but I am planning to do so.

How was your experience with Great Learning?

I had an amazing experience learning new things on AWS Cloud. The knowledge which I have gained in the last 6 months has groomed me enormously to work on new opportunities in my current organization.

My expectation from the course was to be able to work on providing solutions w.r.t the cloud and infra services and Great Learning delivered on that. I am sure this would not have been possible without great mentors like Nirmalya and Shiva.

I would like to thank Kanchan for her great coordination throughout the course, she was available immediately for any queries.

Advice to the aspirants?

It takes some time to adjust to the model of online training and work-life balance is really important. You have to sacrifice your weekends for 6 months and you should dedicate your time for the program sincerely.

Weekly Artificial Intelligence Round-Up – February 22, 2019

Reading Time: 1 minute

Here’s our weekly round-up of the most essential reads on Artificial Intelligence from across the Internet:

  1. AI:It’s just like us: Researchers have made an AI whose performance improves when they let it ‘dream’. They’ve configured a sleep state for the algorithm which cycles through existing information and unlearning unnecessary data, and then consolidating what’s left, the important stuff. This has resulted in higher accuracy scores for the algorithm.
  2. A wealth of AI jobs: According to NASSCOM, India has created 170,000 tech jobs in 2018. The demand for AI, analytics, cybersecurity professionals are in high demand.
  3. AI picks up its pen: Artificial Intelligence is now able to write fiction, but researchers are desisting to open-source the code for fear of misuse. Researchers are concerned that miscreants could use the code to generate large amounts of fake news.  
  4. Elon Musk quits OpenAI: Through OpenAI, Musk used to champion the cause of building a benevolent AI that won’t wipe out our species but has now left the group citing differences with the direction. Musk has not made it clear why he is leaving the group, raising speculations that he might be leaving to spend more time at Tesla and SpaceX.
  5. No Country for Professionals: A top NASSCOM official has stated that the tech industry’s market performance is being affected due to a shortage of 230,000 skilled techies as jobs in AI and Big Data are estimated to be 780,000 by 2021.
  6. There’s an artist in everyone: AI algorithm ‘paints’ a piece of art worth $435,000, and it uses a clever algorithm to generate a period piece. But why is it worth so much?

If you’d like to receive weekly alerts on your WhatsApp, just click here and we’ll save you a spot in our WhatsApp newsletter.

Career Opportunities for Full Stack Developers in 2019

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Global internet penetration has crossed 4 billion, and the global software market is expected to reach $1 trillion in valuation by 2030. This means there will be a large swarm of people who’ll be going online in the future. To serve these people, companies will have to produce new internet products and services, which will be built and maintained by software developers. Right from website pages to apps on your mobile device, everything is a product of thousands of lines of code written by developers.

What do full stack developers do?

Usually, developers tend to specialise in either front-end or back-end development. Front-end services dictate how the end-user will interact with the product or service, and back-end refers to how the system will be built and configured. A full-stack developer, however, is capable of building and managing both front-end and back-end requirements, along with managing requirements from different stakeholders. They can look at the entire system holistically and troubleshoot any problems that might arise.

If you are in a stage where you are planning to upskill yourself to give your career an edge, you wouldn’t be amiss in choosing Full Stack Development due to the massive demand that is going to arise in the near future, which makes full stack development a lucrative and rewarding career.

What you’ll need to learn

Python, Java, Javascript, CSS, PHP, & HTML are critical skills for full stack developers.

Job Opportunities

According to a recent report by Belong.co, there will be a 20% higher demand for full-stack developers in this financial year. If we were to take the long term view, the World Economic Forum states that software & application development is among the top 5 emerging skills by 2020. 

There are 17 industries including education, transportation, logistics, healthcare, recreation, travel, fitness, retail, etc. who have posted openings for front-end, back-end, and full stack developers.

Salary Opportunities

According to a report by cutshort.io, Full stack developers are highest paid in  Delhi (7-9 LPA) followed by Mumbai (5.5-7 LPA) & Bengaluru (5.2-7 LPA). When it comes to professionals with 7-9 years of experience, Bengaluru tops the list with annual compensation of up to 30 LPA followed by Mumbai offering up to 25 LPA and Pune at 20 LPA. Bangalore, Pune, Delhi, & Hyderabad constitute to roughly 65% of the talent pool of FSD’s. 30% of the talent pool is concentrated in Bangalore alone.

The Future is Full Stack

The major sector where Full Stack Developers are employed is ITES with compensation as high as 40 LPA, in some cases. The maximum number of job postings on LinkedIn in the first half of 2018 were for software developers, which means that the demand is picking up right now, and the saturation point is not far away. This means that now is the right time to upskill yourself in Full Stack Development and leverage your skills to launch your career.

How will India contribute to AI innovation in the world?

Reading Time: 2 minutes

India has all the right markers of being a leader in the global AI-sphere. There’s a massive engineering workforce that can be trained in AI skills. A thriving start-up and enterprise scene spread out across the country that can foster innovation. There’s also a large amount of data being generated due to increased technology use with the proliferation of smartphones leading to large swathes of the population going online.

What’s holding AI progress back right now is the lack of existing skilled professionals who can work on AI problems. 76% of companies in India feel the shortage of skilled professionals is slowing down their AI adoption. Fundamental research and progress has largely been concentrated in the US and China, but that development will quickly reach India with the internet facilitating an easy exchange of ideas and data.

What this is means is that India is in a peculiar position right now. It is brimming with the potential to play a part in shaping the technological future of the world, but the path to that is filled with many significant hurdles.

It has been evident for a long time that AI is the way of the future, and India has already woken up to this reality. There’s a burgeoning AI scene that has silently been transforming how small companies and enterprises have been running their operations. It has progressed from being a nascent trend from a few years ago and is on the brink of explosive growth. This has been a gently nudged along with comprehensive and relevant technical expertise being offered by organisations such as Great Learning, who offer programs that help candidates participate in the new job market.

Since the state of the AI job market is in a growing phase right now, it can be challenging to take a snapshot of how it’s currently faring. That why Great Learning, one of India’s leading technical education companies has partnered with Analytics India Magazine to put together The Hitchhiker’s Guide to AI 2018-19, which offers an extensive look at the AI Landscape in India.

This report is a result of extensive primary and secondary research, carried out over a period of six months. The research methodology included a systematic plan to identify the various factors influencing job scenarios around artificial intelligence in India. The data was collected through research on leading job portals in India, interactions with 100+ companies and 1000+ professionals across all major cities in India. The samples were collected by quizzing participants on employment trends in AI, salary structure from fresher to managerial level, cities that offer best opportunities for these jobs, tools and skills that companies are looking for, analytics jobs across company types, and much more.

For a free copy of the report, just click below:

Secrets of a successful Data Scientist: Data Science Skills Report 2018

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The current pace of data creation stands at 2.5 quintillion bytes being generated every single day. This is a staggering amount of data, and the most interesting part is that 90% of all the data available in the world right now has been generated just in the past two years. These vast amounts of data bring with them the challenge of making sense of all this information.  

Organisations across the world are sitting on large troves of data that are ripe with insights. Companies need to mine this data to hold their competitive edge by improving efficiencies and finding new avenues to innovate. In the quest to leverage all this data, companies need qualified data scientists.

Growing demand for Data Scientists

Data Scientists are all set to become the hottest new hires for companies, to help executives to make informed decisions driven by data to achieve better outcomes. In an effort to understand the world of data science better, Great Learning has partnered with Analytics India Magazine to put together the Data Science Skills Study for 2018. This comprehensive report takes a look at what makes a good data scientist, exploring areas such the tools they use. We’ll be looking at:

  • – Common libraries used by data scientists
  • – How data visualisation makes data presentable
  • – What operating systems are most conducive for data science
  • – Tools for integrating big data into data analysis
  • – Best cloud provider for storing all their data
  • – Where data scientists source their open data
  • – How data scientists share codes between themselves
  • – And much more.

We’ve unearthed key insights about what the most successful data scientists are using to excel in their jobs, that will help beginners and job seekers to set a benchmark to gauge their expertise. You can download the full report here.

What does the cloud industry hold in store for aspiring job seekers?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Cloud computing as a concept has been around for a long time, and it’s constantly evolving nature has given way to a big growth spurt in terms of industry penetration and job growth. For enterprises of all sizes across the world, cloud computing has the potential to cuts costs and improve efficiencies through virtualization and a range of managed services and automation.

In 2018 alone, the cloud industry market has been valued at $186.4 billion by Gartner, a 21% jump from the previous year. At this rate of growth, the coming years are bound to see an increase in job opportunities for skilled professionals.

Almost every company today needs to maintain some kind of cloud infrastructure (or at least outsource it to another company) to maintain all their data, and there’s a whole army of experienced professionals that keep the cloud show running. Let’s take a look at how these roles contribute to the cloud environment, and what kind of skills you’ll need to thrive in these roles.

Entry/Mid Level Roles

Cloud Engineer & Cloud DevOps Engineer

Role Description

A Cloud Engineer needs to manage existing cloud infrastructure, create new infrastructure for new applications, migrate existing application components to one or more cloud platforms, automate cloud operations using Infrastructure as Code techniques while monitoring, reporting, fixing and optimizing all cloud resources and processes.  

Required Skills

Knowledge of cloud platforms like AWS

DevOps & Automation

Monitoring & Logging Tools

Agile Processes and Techniques

Cloud Costing and Resource Optimization

Scripting Skills

Cloud Native App Developer

Role Description

A cloud native app developer is skilled at designing and building microservices based modular applications that leverage the many benefits of Cloud, DevOps, Automation, Cloud Design Patterns, Microservices base architectural practices and Serverless. Cloud native doesn’t mean that everything is done and deployed on cloud, but is rather an app development approach that follows the principles and techniques listed above.

Required Skills

Microservices Architecture (Patterns and Principles)

API based Development

Discovery and Invocation of RESTful services

Architectural Patterns (e.g. Circuit Breaker etc)

Pipelines,Authentication, Logging, Monitoring

Advanced Deployment Techniques

Monolith to Microservices migration

Experience with Agile software development methods

Experience deploying services on Service-Oriented Architecture platforms

Programming Stack with either Java, Ruby, Python, .NET etc.

Senior Cloud Roles

Cloud Presales Consultant

Role Description

This is not a completely technical role but the job of a Cloud presales consultant requires significant understanding of cloud platforms and services, apart from having a having an understanding of the features and benefits of technical products.

Pre-sales consultants spend a lot of time with potential customers trying to understand their challenges, requirements and business road maps.So they’ll need to be able to compare pros and cons of a particular product or a set of features. They’ll also need to be able to compare multiple cloud services and recommend the best fit for the customer. This is a business-tech role that requires skills which are quite broad, and not necessarily deep in terms of technical hands-on expertise.

Required Experience

Proficient understanding of multiple cloud platforms (AWS, Azure and GCP)

Understanding of latest tech developments like Containers, Big Data, DevOps, Analytics etc.

Understanding of Cloud Economics and Financials

Knowledge of Cloud Adoption & Migration Practices

Cloud Architect

Role Description

The role of the Cloud Architect is to design, build and create reliable global scale cloud systems, (app and infrastructure) for their organizations or customers. It’s a senior role which requires a multitude of technology and business skills.

Required Experience

7-10 years of IT experience

Proficient understanding of multiple cloud platforms (AWS, Azure and GCP)

Understanding of latest tech developments like Containers, Big Data, DevOps, Analytics etc.

Understanding of Cloud Economics and Financials

Knowledge of Cloud Adoption & Migration Practices

Solid understanding of industry trends and best practices

If you are looking to enter into the Cloud computing domain, you’ll need the right knowledge and credentials. Great Learning’s PGP course in Cloud Computing is the best place to start.

Why is an Artificial Intelligence Generated Piece of Art Worth $432,500?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

October 25th, 2018 was a turning point in the world of Artificial Intelligence-generated art. That was the day when the Portrait of Edmond Belamy, was auctioned off for an unprecedented price at Christie’s Auction House. It was ‘painted’ by Obvious who are a collective of French students, using a Generative Adversarial Network algorithm (GAN). The price that the auction at Christie’s generated is sure to raise a few eyebrows, more so because that the auction house had made a conservative estimate that the painting would sell for $7000-10,000. On the contrary, the $432,500 bid placed by an anonymous phone bidder signalled the arrival and legitimacy of AI-generated art onto the world stage.

An Algorithm’s Artistic Process

At first glance, the portrait looks like a work in progress due to the white patches on the sides and the slightly out-of-focus look of the subjects’ face. This painting is a part of a series of 11 portraits of the fictional Belamy family. The Obvious team used a generative adversarial network, which are algorithms used in unsupervised machine learning. They make two neural networks compete against each other to deliver a superior result. This GAN scoured images of paintings since the 14th century and used that data to generate a distinctive image. These generated images are then ‘evaluated’ by the program to see if they look anything like a work of art.

Courting Controversy

Most rapid advances with technology that are ahead of their time are met with disdain by critics, and this one was no different. There have been accusations of plagiarism, not of the painting itself, but of the GAN code that was written by 19-year old Robbie Barrat. But since the code was open-source, Obvious have themselves admitted to modifying Baratt’s code and using it. Even before the auction was underway, critics derided the quality of the artwork citing that the art was not original or interesting.

Is the Portrait Worth the Price?

Most people question why it’s worth so much. The seemingly inflated price follows the high prices commanded by most other human made paintings. Auctions tend to be breeding grounds for bidding-wars and can drive up the price of any artifact. Since this was a painting exhibited by an esteemed auction house, and the exclusivity associated with one of the first Artificial Intelligence generated paintings could have driven up the price.

Thankfully, all the proceeds are for the progress of technology, because the group has stated that they are going to use the money to train the algorithm further, and purchase some better hardware needed to run the program. But questions about the rightful owner of the art’s copyright still remain – does it belong to the algorithm, or to the people who wrote the program? Questions such as these show us that there is still a long way for us to go in terms of accepting this Artificial Intelligence powered reality, and framing new rules and frameworks to coexist with these incredible machines.

Other AI-Generated Art

The genesis for these particular series of portraits has been Robbie Baratt’s code, and he has generated a similar series of portraits a year ago. There has also been another effort by Gumgum, an AI company, who commissioned 5 human artists and 1 AI-powered Cloudpainter algorithm to create paintings inspired by 20th-century American abstract expressionists. They then let viewers guess which painting was done by the robot, which showed how close algorithms are getting to mirroring human artistic output.

What Does This Mean for the Future?

Art movements across the centuries have been shaped by the kind of technology available to artists, and this has been true of engravings, wood carvings, photography, 3D printing and so on. Initially, most of these art-forms had to contend with a hostility regarding the legitimacy, and whether it can really be considered art. Over time, they have all been accepted and even celebrated. We are on a similar cusp for AI-generated art where it is just getting mainstream acceptance. Contrary to popular belief that AI might replace artists, a realistic way to look at this is that Artificial Intelligence will serve as a tool that helps  artists reach new heights in the same way that the paintbrush, camera, and the word processor has. Because of this, it’s important that artists and viewers are familiar with AI concepts so that they can be ready for what the future holds in store.