Nicolas is a former online student from the Spring 2017 cohort. He graduated from the Applied MSc in Data Science programme.
I would like to start this essay by providing a small context of my background, my studies and my current work as well as how my studies in DSTI have driven an excellent career path for me.
I always had passion for new technologies. I studied a superior degree in Telecommunications engineering in Spain, after which I completed an MSc in Electronic engineering. My final MSc project at that time brought a lot of attention in my university, resulting in some publications (“Implementation of a machine vision system for real-time traffic sign recognition on FPGA”. IECON 39th Annual Conference of the IEEE Industrial Electronics Society -2013-) and conferences around Europe.
After finishing my studies in Spain, I moved to Switzerland, where I started to work in the Information and Security Technologies services in one of the top 25 American tech companies, Citrix Systems Inc. Citrix is a software and cloud computing company. Its multinational offerings include server, application and desktop virtualization, networking, and software as a service. With over 10.000 employees worldwide, one of the most important pillars of the company is the data and the business intelligence.
In addition, I run a small company with other colleagues in which we develop games for mobile devices, since 2015. Some of our games have been on the top lists, downloaded by more than one million users worldwide. The business model we use is in-app purchases and in-game ads, which give us a lot of room for improvement by analyzing data patters from hundreds of thousands of users daily.
Over the years, I have noticed that Data driven decision-making is more and more needed within organizations. While in the past years, analysts would use software like Excel to analyze data, now things are changing fast, and there is a tremendous need of well-prepared people, with knowledge in statistic, computer science, and algorithms. I realized that Data Science is a field I am prepared to dive deep into, and I decided to join DSTI.
Now, after finishing my studies, I realized it was one of the best decisions I have ever taken. I have been applying Data Science concepts in my work and personal projects since then.
Data Science applied to my daily work and projects
I would like to start by one of the big surprises in my DSTI studies. Survival Analysis was a new concept for me when I studied it in class. However, soon I discovered that I could apply it in multiple fields in my Company and get useful insight about our infrastructure or processes.
SQL was another of my great discoveries in DSTI. I have been working with SQL databases for many years, but with a basis knowledge of them. DSTI showed me that there is a lot more to relational databases than creating tables and searching records by ID. After learning about Database normalization, ETL methods, procedures and the rich and powerful SQL language, I decided to optimize some of the databases and queries I use daily.
Amazon AWS Certified Solutions Architect
As my organization moves to the cloud as part of its new strategy, having the certification “AWS Certified Solutions Architect” opened some doors for me to be part of several projects that have to do with running VDIs in virtual instances, scaling up and down based on thresholds like memory and CPU consumption, implementing a security perimeter around the workspace solutions, minimize the latency in delivering content and providing a cost effective storage solutions for mass data ingestion.
Finally, the knowledge acquired with AWS is resulting very useful to understand other cloud providers like Azure or Google Cloud, which are currently being investigated and also used by Citrix.
15 months ago, I would have never imagined that a program like DSTI would open so many doors for me, allowing me to learn one of the most interested fields in this century, and helping to acquire the technical skills to be completely aligned with my company strategy and my personal projects.
I would like to thank DSTI teachers, the management team and the board for this opportunity to provide quality studies with the flexibility needed for people who work and study at the same time, and for those who are not located in Paris. I had the opportunity to travel to Paris for the SAS Enterprise miner exam, and I could meet my colleagues and teachers. It was an amazing experience.
Finally, I want to mention that, despite being an offline student, the use of Skype for business to attend classes in real time made me feel like I was part of the class, sharing with my colleagues, discussing the same questions and concerns, and establishing quality interactions with the teachers.