Today, for a brief shining moment, I felt like a true hacker. I managed to get myself onto a wireless network WITHOUT asking for the password. Ok, so it was an unsecured network at a cafe…and the password happened to be the name of that cafe. But still, it only took me three guesses!!
That success soon faded away into oblivion as I began today’s studies. I startedoff by investigating an online machine learning course. In the first video, the instructor informed his virtual class that they should be familiar with Linear Algebra. Fine.
I halted that course and enrolled in Khan Academy to learn some Linear Algebra.
Eager to resume my machine learning course, I spent about 5 hours today on Khan Academy, before finally admitting that I coud not learn an entire subject in the span of a day. Fine.
I’ll resume tomorrow.
In hopes of cheering myself up, I looked for careers that I might be interested in and nearly qualified for. After all, the goal of all this coding is to eventually land a job. As my formal education was mostly in Biochemistry, I searched for jobs related to Computational Biology. I dutifully filtered out all jobs requiring a PhD, MS or multiple years of working experience, until I was left with a pitiful handful of positions. Out of those, I knew (at the maximum!) two of the required languages and I was at an introductory level with tools that they professed applicants should be “comfortable” with. Not to mention that I had no real projects to build a presentable portfolio. I imagined myself saying “Hey, want to see a game of chess that has no visual display? How about a Harry Potter text adventure game that’s half finished? Oh no wait, I’ve got it—a song genre-predictor that predicts the correct genre of a song (out of three genres only) with 1e-8 (max) probability of being correct?!!”
It’s the classic conundrum of a recent graduate: how can you get experience if everyone requires experience? I only thought that by adding coding skills would have pushed me into a more “desirable” category in which I didn’t need as much experience.
Now, what I’m left with is a gigantic to-do list of languages, programs and projects. I’m beginning to understand the gravity of my mistake in not majoring in computer science. You really do need 4+ years to master all of this. Unless the 48 hour day becomes reality, I’m not sure my timeline for learning all of this is realistic.
Plus, the librarian just scolded me for the “incredibly hazardous” position of my computer cord and banished me to the far reaches of the shelves next to a mysterious machine covered with a linen sheet. I’m assuming it will execute me should I do anything else out of line.
Image from Jantoo.com (in case you couldn’t tell from the watermark).