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Rounak Banik

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Rounak is a final year undergraduate at IIT Roorkee. His professional interests lie in Web Development and Data Science. He has previously interned as a Software Engineer at Parceed, a New York-based startup and Springboard, a Data Science EdTech startup based in San Francisco and Bangalore. He has also worked as a Backend Development Instructor with Acadview, teaching Python and Django to around 35 college students from Delhi and Dehradun. He is currently working directly under the Director of IIT Roorkee and Dr. Durga Toshniwal on a project on Fake News and Review Detection.

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How to Become a Full-Stack Developer: Part 3
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How to Become a Full-Stack Developer: Part 3

This post is the third and final in the series on becoming a full-stack developer. This article talks specifically about mobile app development. Read here for more on frontend and backend development. When Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone in 2007, it ushered the biggest revolution the world had witnessed since the printing press. Smartphones have managed to penetrate almost every country on the globe. Even the most impoverished seem to be in possession of one so much so that life without them seems inconceivable. Check out our free courses to get an edge over the competition Motivation There are certain apps which make sense only when running on a phone. Take Uber, for instance. Uber needs to know your exact location through GPS. An Uber app for desktop wouldn’t make much sense. Another issue is that a majority of your audience will open your app through a phone, even if it is one that has been built for browsers. In such cases, it is imperative that you ensure the experience is seamless and too much data isn’t consumed. Finally, there are subtle differences between interacting using mouse-clicks and touch. Your app must ensure that it behaves well in both scenarios. Keeping all these considerations in mind, it makes good sense to venture out of the browser and build mobile apps. This ensures that you make maximum use of the functionalities a typical smartphone has to offer while at the same time making the user experience a delight. Below are the steps to acing mobile app development. For the first part to become a full stack developer on frontend and backend development. Check out upGrad’s Advanced Certification in Blockchain Learn Software Development Courses online from the World’s top Universities. Earn Executive PG Programs, Advanced Certificate Programs or Masters Programs to fast-track your career. Interview with Ankit Tomar, Co-Founder & CTO, Bizongo Step 12: Choose a Platform The first step would be to choose a platform where you would like to build your application. Unless you’re part of a reasonably big team, it is extremely unlikely that you will build apps from scratch on all major platforms. The more likely scenario is that you will be coding on your favourite platform and will then simply port it over to the others. The major smartphone platforms today are iOS, Android, and Windows. They use drastically different languages and IDEs. For instance, iOS uses Swift and XCode, Android uses Java and the Android Studio and Microsoft operate with C# and Visual Studio. upGrad’s Exclusive Software Development Webinar for you – SAAS Business – What is So Different? document.createElement('video'); https://cdn.upgrad.com/blog/mausmi-ambastha.mp4   Check out upGrad’s Advanced Certification in DevOps  The market today is dominated by Android and iOS, so the choice really comes down to these two. Some things you may need to consider before making a choice is the audience share for your app. I believe it makes good business sense to build iOS apps if you’re in a First World country as Apple Devices are extremely popular there. In contrast, in a country like India, Android would be a more obvious choice as the market share for iPhones is extremely small owing to its exorbitant price. If you plan on making money from your app, keep in mind that iOS users are more likely to open their wallets for in-app purchases than their Android counterparts. This may be because iOS users usually tend to have more disposable income as compared to third world markets where Android dominates. iOS development requires you to have a Mac Development machine. Also, Apple App Store licenses retail at $99/year compared to Google Play’s one time $25 fee. In other words, iOS development is considerably more expensive. In this post, I shall cover how mobile app development is done today: Native Android Apps, Native iOS Apps and Hybrid Mobile Apps. Explore Our Software Development Free Courses Fundamentals of Cloud Computing JavaScript Basics from the scratch Data Structures and Algorithms Blockchain Technology React for Beginners Core Java Basics Java Node.js for Beginners Advanced JavaScript Step 13: Java and XML Java is the most popular language for Android Development (Google has recently introduced support for the Kotlin Programming language too). The founders of Android thought Java to be an appropriate choice and they have stuck to it since its inception. And if their trajectory is anything to go by, it has been nothing short of an amazing decision. The best resource to learn Java would be Head First Java. Reading this book will give you a thorough introduction to the language as well as Object Oriented Programming Principles. As far as XML is concerned, I do not think you need a concentrated tutorial on the subject. You’ve already worked extensively with a subset of XML (HTML) and you will be able to figure it out pretty quickly, even if you were to jump directly into Android development. I cannot say the same for Java. Ensure you have a good grasp of the language before venturing into Android. Step 14: Android You now have the technical know-how to build Android apps. It is time to dive deep into this revolutionary OS. Be wary though that certain Android practices differ from what you usually see on the web. The resources I’ve suggested below will ensure that your learning is not hindered by these differences. Android Programming- The Big Nerd Ranch Guide 2nd Edition is a good place to start if you know Java already. Make sure you pick up the second edition as that is the one that uses Android Studio, which is the industry standard now. The practice of building apps in Eclipse is largely outdated. Interview with Farooq Adam, Co-Founder, Fynd Explore our Popular Software Engineering Courses Master of Science in Computer Science from LJMU & IIITB Caltech CTME Cybersecurity Certificate Program Full Stack Development Bootcamp PG Program in Blockchain Executive PG Program in Full Stack Development View All our Courses Below Software Engineering Courses Step 15: iOS If you are more of an Apple aficionado and/or have decided that iOS apps make more sense to your business/career aspirations. The first step would be to acquire a Mac. XCode works only on Mac and in order to publish on the app store, you need a Mac. Sorry, VMWare. The resource I’m going to suggest for iOS is exactly the same as that for Android. Nerd Ranch has its own publication – iOS Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guide which deals with Swift and XCode, so that is a good place to start. Step 16: Hybrid Mobile Apps If you’re a solo developer or are working in a small team, you probably do not have the time or the resources to separately build and maintain Android and iOS Apps. To alleviate the developer’s pain of building for multiple platforms, the concept of Hybrid Mobile Apps was introduced. The concept is extremely simple and revolutionary. If you know Javascript, you already know how to build web apps. Therefore, should you have an app in JS, there must exist a framework that automatically ports your application into Android, iOS, and Windows. Incredible but true. Most hybrid frameworks achieve this using Cordova or React Native. You can think of Cordova as the bridge between browsers and the smartphone’s native hardware. It establishes a connection between the two solely using JS and helps in creating the build scripts in the native languages of each platform. Cordova based frameworks, however, are rapidly being overshadowed by Facebook’s powerhouse, React Native. The power of React Native lies in the fact that while Cordova constructs WebViews, React Native lets you build native apps that you’d build using either Java (for Android) or Swift (for iOS). In other words, Cordova is a website disguised as a mobile app, but React Native lets you build the real thing. In-Demand Software Development Skills JavaScript Courses Core Java Courses Data Structures Courses Node.js Courses SQL Courses Full stack development Courses NFT Courses DevOps Courses Big Data Courses React.js Courses Cyber Security Courses Cloud Computing Courses Database Design Courses Python Courses Cryptocurrency Courses In my opinion, you can give Cordova a miss and learn React Native instead. It is an extremely great career investment to make. UpGrad & IIIT-B’s Software Development program is a great place to start your journey with this revolutionary library which has already been used by companies like Facebook, Netflix and AirBnB to design their apps. Interview with Farooq Adam, Co-Founder, Fynd Conclusion With the conclusion of hybrid apps, we come to an end of this series. In summary, these are the things we’ve covered: Computer Science Fundamentals. Data Structures and Algorithms UI/UX HTML, CSS, JS Front-End Frameworks Server-Side Scripting and Databases Full Stack Frameworks Android and iOS Hybrid Mobile Apps Read our Popular Articles related to Software Development Why Learn to Code? How Learn to Code? How to Install Specific Version of NPM Package? Types of Inheritance in C++ What Should You Know? I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this series as much as I have enjoyed writing it and more importantly, found at least some parts useful. As always, your comments and suggestions are welcome!

by Rounak Banik

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01 Dec 2017

How to Become a Full-Stack Developer: Part 2
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5227

How to Become a Full-Stack Developer: Part 2

This is the second in a series of posts on teaching yourself programming and full-stack development. If you haven’t checked out the first part, on learning CS Fundamentals, Algorithms, Design Principles and Front-end Development, you can do so here. Check out our free courses to get an edge over the competition Motivation You now know how to build static websites using HTML, CSS, and Javascript. Although the Internet was originally designed to share static web pages, the capabilities (and expectations) of a modern web app have increased gigantically. Almost every app requires that you authenticate users, respond to them and replicate real-world scenarios as closely as possible. To do the aforementioned, you need to get data from a user (or an API), process it and produce an output. You also need to save this data and have a mechanism to identify the user the next time s/he returns to use your app. To perform these functions, our present stack isn’t enough. Interview with Ankit Tomar, Co-Founder & CTO, Bizongo Check out upGrad’s Advanced Certification in Blockchain Servers are required to process user data, store files, convert it into HTML/CSS/JS. Then, these servers serve it to the browser in a form that can be presented to the user. A database is required to store data important to your app. To program the server, we require a server-side scripting language and for the database, we require a database (duh) and a language to communicate with it. This is exactly what we’re going to do in the next steps. For the first seven, refer to the earlier post!  Learn Software Development Courses online from the World’s top Universities. Earn Executive PG Programs, Advanced Certificate Programs or Masters Programs to fast-track your career. Step 8: Server Side Scripting Languages As mentioned before, to program and communicate with your server, you will need to know a language it understands. Unlike front-end where Javascript is the only choice, there are a plethora of options available for you to program on the backend. The most popular ones are Java, PHP, Python, JavaScript and Ruby. PHP has its shortcomings, but it has the gentlest learning curve out of all the languages and frameworks I’ve used so far. And PHP is about coding quick (and dirty) solutions. So, in an extremely short period of time, you can build a web app to be extremely proud of. Java is a general-purpose programming language and probably the most popular language of all time. It is extremely popular for building mobile apps (on the Android platform) and used extensively in most major tech companies. Head First Java is an excellent place to learn this ubiquitous language. Explore Our Software Development Free Courses Fundamentals of Cloud Computing JavaScript Basics from the scratch Data Structures and Algorithms Blockchain Technology React for Beginners Core Java Basics Java Node.js for Beginners Advanced JavaScript Check out upGrad’s Advanced Certification in DevOps  To learn Python, I’d strongly recommend Zed Shaw’s Learn Python the Hard Way and Albert Sweigart’s Automate the Boring Stuff with Python. If you’ve decided to go with PHP, you can learn the basics of the language on Codecademy. You already know enough JavaScript syntax to get your hands dirty with the Node and backend JS frameworks (such as Express). I’ll cover Ruby later in conjunction with Rails as it is rarely used as a standalone language. Step 9: Learn SQL For the next step, you should probably pick up a little SQL (Structured Query Language). It is the language databases communicate with. And although you might not use it directly when you switch to using frameworks, it still helps to know how to directly communicate with your database. The good news is that SQL is incredibly easy to learn. You should be able to get a good grasp of it in a matter of hours. Head First SQL is a great resource for this purpose. How to Become a Full Stack Developer: Part 1 upGrad’s Exclusive Software Development Webinar for you – SAAS Business – What is So Different? document.createElement('video'); https://cdn.upgrad.com/blog/mausmi-ambastha.mp4   Step 10: Learn a ‘Conventional’ Full-Stack Web Framework Now is a good time to experiment with web frameworks that can do most of the lower level work for you. There isn’t a shortage of great frameworks that could cater to every purpose imaginable. Rails (written in Ruby), Spring (written in Java) and Django (written in Python) are among the popularly used frameworks today. You could take a look at Michael Hartl’s The Rails Tutorial – available for free. As far as Django is concerned, the tutorial on the official website is a good place to start. Once you feel you’re comfortable with the basics of the framework, do give Two Scoops of Django a read. It’s one of the best technology books ever. If you’ve decided to go the Spring route, I’d strongly suggest signing up for UpGrad & IIIT-B’s Software Development program. The program gives you a very holistic overview of the framework and helps you build a robust and scalable backend. Explore our Popular Software Engineering Courses Master of Science in Computer Science from LJMU & IIITB Caltech CTME Cybersecurity Certificate Program Full Stack Development Bootcamp PG Program in Blockchain Executive PG Program in Full Stack Development View All our Courses Below Software Engineering Courses Step 11: Javascript Full-Stack Frameworks and the MEAN Stack Not very long ago, Backend Development used to be based on the concept of the request-response cycle. For example, the browser sent a request and the server responded by spitting out a webpage in HTML. However, since early 2010, more and more applications have become real time. The structure of an entire web page changes without refreshing and behaves dynamically based on user input and interaction (Think chat, liking, commenting, live videos and reactions, etc.). In such a scenario, a simple request-response cycle simply isn’t enough. Therefore, there has been a recent surge of interest towards asynchronous programming and making AJAX requests the norm. Javascript Frameworks tend to excel at this. So, it makes sense to get acquainted with one of the major JS frameworks available in the market. The two most popular ones are the MEAN Stack and MeteorJS. Interview with Farooq Adam, Co-Founder, Fynd Learning MEAN is slightly more complicated due to its asynchronous nature and the callback hell Node usually tends to unleash. But now that you’re a seasoned developer, you are mature enough to deal with its idiosyncrasies. Meteor is a full-stack JS framework I’m currently experimenting with. The concept of Meteor is absolutely delightful – one framework in one language that takes care of all the components of an application (front-end, back-end, and database). However, this comes at the cost of customisation freedom. Once you’ve built something in Meteor, it is virtually impossible to change the database or the backend framework should you choose to do so. Though, I still think this is a worthwhile technology to learn. Meteor is known to be extremely powerful. It’s capable of doing things in hundreds of lines of code where other conventional frameworks would’ve required a thousand. In-Demand Software Development Skills JavaScript Courses Core Java Courses Data Structures Courses Node.js Courses SQL Courses Full stack development Courses NFT Courses DevOps Courses Big Data Courses React.js Courses Cyber Security Courses Cloud Computing Courses Database Design Courses Python Courses Cryptocurrency Courses Conclusion This is the end of part 2. In this post, we’ve covered resources concerning backend development and the various full-stack technologies available. You can now proudly call yourself a full-stack developer. Congratulations! But the story of full-stack web development doesn’t end here. With the introduction of the iPhone, there has been a smartphone revolution around the globe. More and more people are shifting towards using smartphones in place of desktops. In such a scenario, it is imperative that you learn to build apps for two of the most popular platforms out there: Android and iOS. We shall be covering this in the next and final part of this series. Additionally, we shall also look into frameworks that allow us to build native apps using Javascript (Ionic, React Native, etc.). Until then, it’s goodbye. 🙂 Your comments and suggestions are welcome! Read our Popular Articles related to Software Development Why Learn to Code? How Learn to Code? How to Install Specific Version of NPM Package? Types of Inheritance in C++ What Should You Know?

by Rounak Banik

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01 Dec 2017

How to Become a Full Stack Developer: Part 1
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7195

How to Become a Full Stack Developer: Part 1

It is the 21st century and the geek has inherited Earth. A Full Stack Developer has never been in greater demand. Under such circumstances, learning to build software is one of the most pragmatic things you could do to magnify your job prospects. The pay for a  full stack developer is extremely competitive. Be it in tech giants (like Google, Amazon and Facebook) or internet companies (like Flipkart, Ola and PayTm) or even IT powerhouses (like Infosys, Accenture and Wipro); they are known to occupy the top spots in the lists of best companies to work for. In short, if you’re good at what you do, there will never be a shortage of jobs or money. But financial motivation aside, there are certain unassailable benefits attached to programming. For one, as Steve Jobs had stated, it teaches you how to think. A computer is a machine with Zero IQ. Telling it what to do to ensure it acts the way you want it to, under varying circumstances, will shoot up your reasoning and analytical skills by a non-trivial amount. Check out our free courses to get an edge over the competition. Motivation To me, the most potent benefit has to be power. Programming makes you feel powerful. It gives you the ability to create anything imaginable on a computer: Music Players, Social Networking Sites, Blogs, Search Engines, Workout Assistants; you name it and you can build it. Converting design mocks into real, working apps is a euphoria I wouldn’t trade anything in the world for. Once you’ve taught yourself to program, your imagination is the only thing stopping you from creating the next big thing. Some of the greatest minds explain why you should learn to program, no matter who you are: I’m going to tell you how to go about acquiring these full stack development skills. It doesn’t matter what your college major was or the field you’re currently working in. Neither does your age or your self-perceived intellectual capability matter. Contrary to what most people think, literally anybody can program. All you need is a computer and an internet connection. Check out upGrad’s Advanced Certification in Cyber Security  That said, let’s begin our full stack journey! Step 1: Fundamentals of Computer Science Before you venture into full stack development or any of the various fields of computer science, it is imperative that you get your basics straight. Online education has been one of the biggest boons to the field of education and the art of self-learning. With the advent of universities putting up their courses online, there isn’t a dearth of quality content on any subject you could imagine yourself studying. Computer Science is no exception. I’d suggest signing up for Harvard University’s CS50: Introduction to Computer Science on edX. David Malan is one of the best instructors on the planet and his enthusiasm for the subject is sure to rub off on you by the time you’re done with the course. To give you a sort of a teaser as to what is in store, you will learn up to 5 programming languages and technologies (including C, Python and Javascript), build a stock exchange and trade stocks, build a version of Pong and program with Google Earth to take a virtual tour of Harvard’s campus, etc. Another option I’d suggest taking is the Pre-Course of IIIT-B & UpGrad PG Diploma program in Software Development. The entire program spans over 11 months, but I really like the way they have structured content to start off from the basics of computer science and then help you build your skillset when it comes to advanced concepts of full stack development. Explore our Popular Software Engineering Courses Master of Science in Computer Science from LJMU & IIITB Caltech CTME Cybersecurity Certificate Program Full Stack Development Bootcamp PG Program in Blockchain Executive PG Program in Full Stack Development View All our Courses Below Software Engineering Courses Check out upGrad’s Advanced Certification in Cloud Computing  Once you’re done with them, you’ll have a pretty good idea as to what the field of Computer Science has to offer. From here, you can dive deeper into the many branches of CS: AI and Machine Learning, Data Science, Full Stack Development, Information Security, etc. In this series of posts, however, I will only be covering a suggested path towards teaching yourself Full Stack Development. Interview with Ankit Tomar, Co-Founder & CTO, Bizongo Step 2: Data Structures and Algorithms When you become a full stack developer, it is extremely important you understand how to store a particular piece of data and how to implement a certain task in the most efficient and logical way possible. This is where Data Structures and Algorithms come in. They are the lifeblood of every branch of Computer Science in existence. How does Google Maps calculate the shortest distance to our destination? What’s behind Netflix recommending movies? How does Facebook store and render the data of its billion-plus users? The answers lie in powerful data structures and algorithms. No wonder they are the topic of choice in almost every technical interview you will ever sit in. For this step, I’d recommend going through Princeton University’s Algorithms I & II. They are taught by Robert Sedgewick, a renowned Computer Science professor. For our purposes, these courses should suffice to give us a strong understanding of how logic and structuring work in Computer Science. However, if you’d prefer to go a little deeper into the subject, I’d suggest going through Stanford’s Design and Analysis of Algorithms series of courses. Keep in mind though that the course is considerably more mathematically intensive and lays immense emphasis on proofs. But should you be able to graduate, you can consider yourself an expert on the subject. Finally, any list of resources for Algorithms would be incomplete without CLRS. Titled Introduction to Algorithms, it is the bible on the subject of algorithms. Anything that you could possibly want to know is in this book. Again, like the Stanford courses, the book is mathematically heavy and language agnostic and for our purposes, optional. Explore Our Software Development Free Courses Fundamentals of Cloud Computing JavaScript Basics from the scratch Data Structures and Algorithms Blockchain Technology React for Beginners Core Java Basics Java Node.js for Beginners Advanced JavaScript Step 3: User Experience and Design The final ‘prerequisite’ before we delve into full-stack web development technologies is UI and UX. Now, unless you want to be a unicorn, you will not be designing apps yourself. Rather, you will be converting design mock-ups and product descriptions into code. Nevertheless, I believe that every developer must have a rudimentary knowledge of UX/UI principles and the world of design, in general. For this, I’m going to suggest two books which are of monumental importance to the world of full stack development. The first is Steve Krug’s Don’t Make Me Think. This book will teach you the basics of UX/UI and the ability to differentiate good design from bad. The other one, The Design of Everyday Things is a book almost every designer I know swears by. It is often called the bible of design and rightly so. You will find yourself looking at the world in an entirely different way after reading this book. These two books should be enough for our purposes. The book will arm you with tools that will let you identify good design(er)s from bad. It will also help you build decent looking websites without the help of a mockup from a professional. How to Become a Full Stack Developer: Part 2 Step 4: HTML and CSS HTML and CSS are the technologies that run every single website on the internet. The HTML provides the structure. The CSS provides style. If you’ve followed the path suggested so far, you may have already been introduced and gained a basic understanding of these technologies. HTML and CSS aren’t programming languages. Their syntax is incredibly simple to grasp. However, when used incorrectly, they can wreak all sorts of havoc. It is imperative you learn how to structure and style your websites well. UpGrad & IIIT-B’s Software Development program would be mighty helpful for those who wish to learn these technologies to create engaging and responsive user interfaces. Supplement the course by going through Head First’s HTML and CSS and HTML5 Programming. The latter book will help you familiarise yourself with the HTML5 standard. In parallel, I would suggest learning about Twitter’s Bootstrap library through scores of online material available on the subject. As you progress as a developer, you will gradually realise that CSS can be complicated. Bootstrap helps us alleviate a considerable amount of that pain and helps in making the website responsive and mobile friendly. That said, always keep a CSS Reference Guide close to you. I’d recommend CSS3: The Missing Manual by David McFarland. Also, create an account on StackOverflow if you haven’t already. A considerable amount of your stylesheet code is going to be copy-pasted from this God-sent website. In-Demand Software Development Skills JavaScript Courses Core Java Courses Data Structures Courses Node.js Courses SQL Courses Full stack development Courses NFT Courses DevOps Courses Big Data Courses React.js Courses Cyber Security Courses Cloud Computing Courses Database Design Courses Python Courses Cryptocurrency Courses Step 5: JS and jQuery You now know how to add structure and style to your web pages. Now, it is time to add responsiveness. Enter Javascript. Javascript, or JS, is the language of the web and the only language that every browser can parse. Its monopoly on the web makes it a mandatory skill for every full stack web developer. Even if you grow to hate it, you will have to put up with it and all its idiosyncrasies. A good place to start would be Head First’s Javascript Programming. The book provides a gentle introduction to the subject. Follow this up with Douglas Crockford’s Javascript: The Good Parts. This book will teach you to treat Javascript with the caution it deserves and the best practices while programming in it. Javascript is a tough language to master. Often, it is incredibly counterintuitive and annoying to deal with. To alleviate the world’s front-end developer’s pains, John Resig built the jQuery library. jQuery does things in a line where vanilla Javascript would have required a dozen. To maintain your sanity, it is absolutely essential that you get a strong grasp of jQuery. For this, go through Head First jQuery. To obtain mastery over the library, give jQuery: Novice to Ninja a thorough read. Congratulations! You are now a Front-end Developer. Theoretically speaking, you now have the tools to build the front-end of every website in existence. And I strongly suggest you do so in order to convince yourself of your newly found powers. Which brings me to the next step…s Step 6: Build a Website You now have the skills to build static websites. This is a good time to take on a few projects and build a website from scratch. There are many ways you could do this: If you’re in college, volunteer to build the website for a student group. Build your personal website. Put up samples of your work, social links, resume, articles, blog, etc. Apply for a freelancing job to build the frontend of a website. It can be anything, really. For instance, once I was done learning these technologies, I built a website for my college’s Dramatic Section. The website, in retrospect, was poorly structured and didn’t work on mobiles. But I learnt much more by doing that than from all the courses and books I’d gone through. Step 7: Front-end Javascript Frameworks With the advent of Single Page Applications, there has been a sudden surge in demand for front-end Javascript Frameworks. These frameworks aim at providing an MVC type of structuring on the front-end and delegate more and more backend tasks to the front-end. It is also incredibly useful in mocking the endpoints before the actual backend of the application is built. The usage of front-end frameworks like Angular and React has increased exponentially and almost every other startup uses it. So, I believe it is important you gain a rudimentary grasp of the major frontend frameworks. The most popular ones are Google’s Angular and Facebook’s React. The best place to get started with Angular would be the tutorial hosted on the official website. To gain mastery of the framework, go through Ng book 2. It’s highly recommended. As far as React is concerned, it is rapidly becoming the most popular frontend platform in the world, with a 300% rise in React developer jobs. UpGrad & IIIT-B’s Software Development program is a great platform for you to build expertise over this framework. Through the program, you would get valuable hands-on experience on React working on cool projects like creating an Instagram-lookalike or a Quora-like website on your own. Interview with Farooq Adam, Co-Founder, Fynd Conclusion So far, we’ve gone through curated lists to introduce ourselves to Computer Science, learn Data Structures and Algorithms, Design Principles and the technology stack of a front-end developer. In the next posts, I shall be covering the following: Back-end Development Mobile App Development I hope you’ve found this article useful. If there are resources or technologies I’ve left out that you feel are important, please do mention them in the comments!

by Rounak Banik

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01 Dec 2017

Get Started in Data Science with Python
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5929

Get Started in Data Science with Python

In October 2012, Thomas Davenport and DJ Patil made a landmark claim in the month’s Harvard Business Review issue. They boldly declared Data Science to be the ‘sexiest job of the 21st century.’ While this claim is certainly debatable, there is no denying the exponential interest the nascent field has sparked in recent years. All major companies in the world have started hiring Data Scientists and forming dedicated Data and Analytics Teams. A shortage of Data Scientists and a high demand for good Data Scientists have led many companies (such as Airbnb) to set up their own internal Data Science Universities. The consensus is clear: Data is the currency of the 21st century. Companies that leverage data in their favor to create superior products will survive. The rest will perish. In such a scenario, it is easy to see why the Data Scientist is as important as ever, now. But who is a Data Scientist? The skeptics say it is just a fancy name for a Statistician. Others claim it is a Computer Scientist extremely competent in statistical modeling. My favorite definition happens to be the following: Data Scientists are people who know more statistics than Computer Programmers and more programming than Statisticians. In other words, it is a field that brings together tools from Computer Science, Statistics, and the particular domain that the data belongs to. Under such circumstances, it is easy to see why finding good data scientists is hard, to say the least. There simply aren’t enough people who are competent at these skills, simultaneously. This is one of the major reasons why beginners find the prospect of Learning Data Science so overwhelming. Do I have to know calculus? How hard is the math? Should I learn how to programme first? What if I’m not very good at building software? What Kind of Salaries do Data Scientists and Analysts Demand? In this article, I will attempt at offering a path towards learning Data Science – that of the Python Programming Language. While this in no way is going to make you a star data scientist, it will put you en route towards that very goal. Most data science projects (assuming you already have the raw data) involve the following components: Data Wrangling Exploratory Data Analysis and Visualization Data Preparation Building and Deploying Machine Learning Models. We will be looking at these steps one by one by taking a glance at the tools available to us and potent resources to learn these tools: Prerequisites We have already emphasised that Statistics and Computer Science are integral components of Data Science. As a prerequisite, it is also important for you to have knowledge of basic linear algebra and programming, as well. This learning path will assume you are coding in the Python Programming Language. Therefore, it is important that you know how to code in Python. The good news is that Python is extremely easy to learn; especially for people who have never programmed before. Its syntax is very intuitive, readable by humans and involves a very shallow learning curve. Downloading Anaconda Python, being an interpreted language, is traditionally much slower than lower level languages such as C/C++. To combat this handicap, we will be using powerful Scientific Libraries which are written in C and C++. After that, we will apply extremely powerful techniques such as vectorisation to speed up the computation process. The aforementioned libraries don’t come bundled with Python. However, they can be downloaded as a distribution (Python included), all at once, through Anaconda offered by Continuum Analytics. This will give you all the tools you need to follow this path.  The Python Programming Language As I have already mentioned, Python is an extremely easy language to learn. Keep in mind that you do not have to be an expert in the language. For now, learning the basics of programming and the Python syntax will do. Going through any of the above tutorials or books should suffice. Linear Algebra In order to understand the logic and algorithms in Machine Learning, it is important that you have a good understanding of Linear Algebra.  How Can You Transition to Data Analytics?[/su_button Explore our Popular Data Science Online Certifications Executive Post Graduate Programme in Data Science from IIITB Professional Certificate Program in Data Science for Business Decision Making Master of Science in Data Science from University of Arizona Advanced Certificate Programme in Data Science from IIITB Professional Certificate Program in Data Science and Business Analytics from University of Maryland Data Science Online Certifications Data Wrangling The availability of data in the real world, in a form suitable for analysis or computation, has been rare. Data Cleaning and Wrangling, simply put, is the process of transforming unclean and malformed data into a form that is suitable for a particular piece of analysis. The data wrangling tool of choice in Python is the Pandas library. Pandas gives us access to extremely powerful data structures called Data Frames which makes the data wrangling and analysis process substantially faster and simpler. It is an open secret that the data scientist spends more than 70% of his/her time collecting and wrangling data. Becoming proficient in Pandas, therefore, is well worth the investment. upGrad’s Exclusive Data Science Webinar for you – How upGrad helps for your Data Science Career? document.createElement('video'); https://cdn.upgrad.com/blog/alumni-talk-on-ds.mp4 Top Data Science Skills You Should Learn SL. No Top Data Science Skills to Learn 1 Data Analysis Online Certification Inferential Statistics Online Certification 2 Hypothesis Testing Online Certification Logistic Regression Online Certification 3 Linear Regression Certification Linear Algebra for Analysis Online Certification Data Visualization The power of the data scientist lies in the ability to extract information from data. And often, the best way to get that information and gain insights is by visualising the data in the best way possible. Visualisation is also the most important step when it comes to communicating your story and results to non-technical people. Good visuals and graphs make a much more compelling case than dry numbers. Python’s de facto visualisation library is Matplotlib. However, Matplotlib is notorious for being extremely difficult to use. To address these criticisms, the Seaborn library was created which makes creating graphs and visuals incredibly simple. Our learners also read: Free Python Course with Certification Machine Learning The final and the most glamorous part of data science is predictive modeling and machine learning. This is the part that actually makes data-driven systems ‘intelligent’. Machine Learning can be a complex subject with a substantially steep learning curve. However, Python’s Scikit-Learn library abstracts all the details of major Machine Learning Algorithms from us and makes training models as easy as typing out a couple of lines of code. That said, I believe it is very important to know the basic logic underlying the algorithm that you are using to ensure that the right algorithm is used with the right problem and the right parameters Keep an Eye Out for the Next Big Thing: Machine Learning Read our popular Data Science Articles Data Science Career Path: A Comprehensive Career Guide Data Science Career Growth: The Future of Work is here Why is Data Science Important? 8 Ways Data Science Brings Value to the Business Relevance of Data Science for Managers The Ultimate Data Science Cheat Sheet Every Data Scientists Should Have Top 6 Reasons Why You Should Become a Data Scientist A Day in the Life of Data Scientist: What do they do? Myth Busted: Data Science doesn’t need Coding Business Intelligence vs Data Science: What are the differences? ] Next Steps  With this, you are now in a good position to get your hands dirty with real life Data Science Projects! One strongly recommended next step is Kaggle Competitions. You can make submissions to Kaggle Contests for Beginners such as Titanic: Machine Learning from Disaster and Predicting Housing Prices to get started.  Hopefully, this article has diminished if not eliminated some of your confusion on how to get started with Data Science. The road ahead might be challenging but it is also incredibly exciting. So, go ahead. There has never been a better time to be a data scientist, the ‘sexiest’ role of the century. Check out all trending Python tutorial concepts in 2024.

by Rounak Banik

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22 Nov 2017

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