Edward Dixon’s enthusiasm for his software development job was waning – but when a recruiter suggested he explore the up-and-coming field of machine learning, he found Coursera’s Machine Learning course and was instantly hooked. Soon, he was applying his new skills to some of his company’s biggest challenges. His successes led to a new role and a newfound joy in his daily work. Here’s Edward’s story:
As a run-of-the-mill software developer, I had great colleagues and a great working environment – but little passion for my work. A recruiter, listening sympathetically as I described my search for inspiration, suggested I look into machine learning. I searched online forums for a way to learn more about the field, and noticed that Coursera’s Machine Learning course was mentioned again and again. I signed up, and was wildly impressed—and hooked!
As luck would have it, my employer had a problem at that time that I soon recognized as a text classification problem, ripe for automation. I applied my new skills to create a prototype solution, wrote the best report I could, and forwarded my solution to the relevant VP. This is going to sound rather improbable, but that VP had just hired a new Director to oversee a text automation solution to the problem that I had identified. The VP handed the Director my report, and the Director called me up for a friendly chat. From there, an equally friendly HR lady called to set up a “second round interview”. In my innocence, I hadn’t realised there had been a first round! Soon afterward, I found myself in a newly-created “Data Scientist” role (for which I had not even applied).
Today, a little over a year later, I’m still in love with my job. My compensation has been about 1/3rd higher – but that isn’t even the best part! I now get to work on machine learning problems every day. I’m one of those rather irritating people who wake up smiling on Monday morning, welcoming the working week in much the same spirit as my five-year-old welcomes a trip to the playground. And did I mention that my new role allows me to work from home as much as I like?
It will not surprise you to learn that your site has turned me into a perpetual student, or that the new role has really made a big difference to our family (a happier Dad gets to see a lot more of Mum, and do the school run, both ways, with our four very small kids). Thank you again for a really wonderful service.