Learning Route for a Beginner

Hello, I’m interested in ML and Data processing in general. I realize that this field requires not only programming knowledge, but maths and statistics as well and, in general, it’s harder to break into ML when compared to web development, at least that’s what I’ve gathered from my research.

Therefore, I decided to learn back-end development so that I may in the future change career focus. Now, would you recommend learning Python (and a web framework/library) or JS (and NodeJS)?

I’m biased to Python because of its status in the ML world, but I also can’t risk lowering my chances of getting a job as web developer in the near future because it seems JS (&NodeJS) is quite a bit more popular than Python in this field.

I do realize that there other things I’d need to learn or at least be familiar with to land a junior dev position (version control, linux shell, SQL, cloud services), but so far I think the Python/JS question is the one I have to find answers to before I begin investing time learning.

Thanks a lot in advance!

Hey there,

nice to meet you! :wave:

“Switching” from Python to JS and vice versa needs like 1 week.
So it doesn’t matter which beginner language you learn first, it’s more about the concepts.

Start with the language that currently is the best tool for the stuff you want to do now.

If you just started lately, there’s no sense in can’t risk lowering my chances of getting a job as web developer in the near future, because you won’t get a job in the near future as a beginner (for me, near future means 3-6 months).

What are you currently most interested in? Choose one. If the answer is data science or ML, choose Python. If the answer is web, choose JS.

TL:DR: Python

Extensive answer.
First of all, I want to say that my answer is for you given your specific circumstances and interests and not for a general reader. Having said that, you mentioned two key points.

  1. You are interested in ML
  2. You have to find a job in the near future (I am assuming < 6 months)

As you said, the barrier to enter ML is probably higher than the one to enter web development. However, nowadays ML expands from people with a PhD in math to people without a PhD (or maybe without a degree).
As you can imagine, they probably do different things that span from research and new algorithms development to the application of known algorithms.

The latter is far more attainable for people without a scientific PhD and this could be a good target entry position for you. Once you are in, you can, of course, develop further and move towards other areas of ML, with the right education etc.

All in all, I would suggest you learn Python for ML and Data Science. Aim at junior positions and see what they require on LinkedIn. Dedicate 100% of your time to that and network as much as possible. Build projects and learn more.

FreeCodeCamp has a good curriculum and covers some math aspects on some videos on YouTube.
There are many other courses in Data Science and ML. Among others, I’d suggest IBM Data Science on Coursera because in the pro version they connect you with some recruiters in the US, at the end of the certification.

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Hello miku86, nice to meet you too!

Just to be a bit more specific, I meant that I’m aiming at a junior dev position with the appropriate knowledge/experience after having spent 5 - 7 months learning.

Based on your answer, I guess I should go with JS. Thanks a bunch!

Thanks for your answer. Even though it seems more and more positions with less demanding academic qualifications are opening, the requirements for junior dev positions are honestly a stretch for me to achieve in the time frame I have (5 - 7 months) and it seems the job outlook for WD is better, at least for juniors.

And thanks for the coursera suggestion, it seems they have some really good courses!