But in a space where new algorithms are coming out by the week, I’ve felt I’ve been falling behind further and faster.
One of my first attempts at modernizing my toolbox was attending a predictive modeling 3-day bootcamp offered by the Society of Actuaries.
While the bootcamp offered examples and inspiration to bring back to work, it wasn’t a replacement for actually doing the work with something meaningful.
And as other similar bootcamps and seminars came up I would go to them, and come away with similar results.
A lot of inspiration, some knowledge, but not the muscle memory or confidence.
In search of ways to continue to fill the gap, I’ve pursued other learning opportunities, such as Coursera and DataCamp courses.
Last year, the Society of Actuaries, recognizing the need to update its’ members skills in the face of data science (solely this author’s opinion!) began offering a Predictive Analytics Certificate Program, and I jumped at the opportunity.
I participated in the program from April 2018 through September 2018 and officially earned my certificate.
I learned a lot and I’m thankful for the great basis in the knowledge it provided me.
While I had victories in applying some of what I’ve learned to projects (isn’t random forest a great name?), I still suffered from impostor syndrome.
I was this guy with letters after his name and certificates but still didn’t feel up to snuff.
I felt I had more to catch up on.
Python had become the de facto machine learning language of choice (opinion!), and the certificate program I’d just completed had used R (which I actually like!).
I’d dabbled in using Python with projects for a while, but never in an extensive or meaningful way, mainly limited to small tasks.
So when I saw a “Python Bootcamp for Actuaries” being offered at the end of February 2019 in Denver I, again, jumped at it.
In the weeks leading up to that trip, I then stumbled onto Flatiron School on the internet.
I honestly don’t remember how I got there, but, obviously, I stuck around to see what they offered, and became intrigued with the idea of doing a data science bootcamp.
The prior year, while conversing with a trainer for our data science software about his background, he mentioned that he had graduated from a data science immersive bootcamp in New York.
While fascinated by the idea of it, I immediately dismissed it as being impossible.
When would I go?.Where would I go?.I work full-time!.I have a family!But this time something was different.
I had completed the certificate program and still felt something was missing.
I sensed this was my last shot at not being an impostor anymore.
So I submitted an application to Flatiron and started on the free bootcamp pre-work.
I traveled to the Python bootcamp and had my admissions interview over Zoom the day I flew in.
Attending the Python bootcamp actually helped augment the good vibes I had towards applying to Flatiron.
While the bootcamp was ostensibly about Python and had a lot of great content, there was also much thought leadership being offered on the topic of actuaries evolving with data science.
I left Denver excited at the opportunity to continue digging into learning and practicing Python and further developing my machine learning chops.
Flatiron would be the way I would pursue this goal.
So that leads us to the present.
I am a Flatiron Data Science Immersive Bootcamp student.
And it’s nothing like I’ve ever experienced.
With all due and great respect to my other bootcamp experiences:.. More details