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What are the most important skills that are needed to get started in machine learning? originally appeared on Quora: the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world.
Answer by Raghav Ramesh, Lead Machine Learning Engineer, DoorDash, on Quora:
Working on machine learning in the industry is really about merging stats knowledge and practical engineering skills within the particular problem domain. For example, working on recommendations for an e-commerce product would require you to understand the user problems around finding relevant products or services on the website and apply statistical modeling to that problem.
So the skills required to get started in machine learning depends on where you are coming from. If you are a software engineer, the skills to build would be an understanding of statistics fundamentals, knowledge of commonly used machine learning algorithms, and most importantly, developing proficiency in working with data – querying data from different data sources, manipulating the data and reasoning about the data.
If you are coming from a statistics or quantitative background, it would be great to focus on programming skills. Being proficient in one of the common DS languages (Python or R) is critical to executing on any data analysis and machine learning modeling tasks. Understanding and adopting good software engineering practices would be extremely valuable, e.g., learning the data systems that handle the data flow at your company, testing best practices, automating commonly used workflows as libraries.
Besides these, to me, the most crucial skill for applying machine learning in the industry is knowing how to take a business problem, understand where machine learning can be useful and cast the business problem as a machine learning problem. An example at DoorDash is using machine learning to improve delivery time predictions that impact the customer experience.
This question originally appeared on Quora – the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. More questions:
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