Data Science requires good amount of brain storming for any problem statement you are working on. – Kunjan Shah

Kunjan Shah
Data Scientist, DotNet Developer
Pune, Maharashtra, India

Q1. Please share your educational and professional journey?

Studying things and Understanding relations between different subjects fascinate me. By God’s grace, My Grasping capability and Memory is pretty sharp. I was a throughout topper during my Primary and Secondary school and a huge credit of this goes to my Parents as they used to help me a lot in my studies. I secured 92.92% in my 10th Standard and was district topper of my batch of 2007 among 35000 students.

I did my B.Tech. ECE from CHARUSAT University (Changa, Anand, Gujarat). Based on my University performance, CHARUSAT University helped me get an opportunity to do my 8th Semester Training at ASTRONOMY and ASTROPHYSICS Department, of PHYSICAL RESEARCH LABORATORY which is parent institute of ISRO.

Through Campus Placement only, I secured my first job at TCS as a Software Engineer. My Joining with TCS was 10 months after I got graduated.

I always wanted to do Masters in my field of E&C from India’s Finest – IITs. So, I decided to utilize this time gap. I joined ACE Engineering Academy, Hyderabad for GATE exam preparation and secured 3406 rank in 2014 GATE ECE, which was definitely not enough for an Open General category candidate, to secure a seat at a reputed IIT.

I joined TCS and parallelly continued my efforts for GATE Exam. I cleared exam during 2015 as well as 2016 too. But, failed to score enough for IIT, and Hence I continued with my career in IT as a Software Engineer.

I grew immense interest in Finance Domain after reading “Rich Dad Poor Dad” – by Robert Kiyosaki. And To get a practical exposure of the same, I joined one of the Lead provider of Finance Sector services of US/CANADA market – FISGlobal Solutions PVT LTD. Currently, I am working as a Senior Software Engineer at FISGlobal. My work is focused on USA and CANADA – Income Declaration 1099 Forms and Retirement Planning – 401k and 5500 Forms.

Q2. Why did you migrate from software development to Data Science? You have both software development and data science experience. Which one do you like most and why?

Here, you have got me wrong. I am not working as a Data Scientist. I am a DotNet Developer. I am an aspiring Data Scientist who is fighting hard to bag an opportunity. And, there is a dead lock here. To get an opportunity into Data Science, Recruiters ask for Project experience. But, to get experience, you need one opportunity. I reached out to My LinkedIn contacts for this. And, many have given me advice to go for Higher Studies too.

Considering Covid-19, Company budgets for R&D and New projects have been drastically reduced. Company Management wants to keep the existing projects running at top priority.

Fortunately, I have two kind hearted Seniors who are mentoring me and occasionally giving me opportunities to work on Data Science projects. So currently, I am working as an On-Request Machine Learning Engineer at my company itself.

I started my IT career as a Desktop Developer – WinForms. To survive in IT industry and for my own better technical and financial growth, I needed to learn something else too. I picked Web Development and Data Science as two options. I tried both fields. I did certifications and online courses on ReactJS, Angular, ASP.Net and Data Science. 

Among all, I found Data Science more interesting and more suitable for me. I am quite good in Mathematics. So, I understand Machine Learning related math to a very good extent. I find it challenging to perform Data Analysis and Data Pre-Processing. Data Science requires good amount of brain storming for any problem statement you are working on. It expects you to do critical thinking.

Gradually I started spending more time on Data Science. Currently, I am focused on building a good Portfolio on GitHub and Kaggle.

Q3. What is your source of motivation?

My Biggest Source of motivation is my own life failures and experiences. I am an ambitious person who wants to make a mark on this world. Despite putting a lot of efforts, I have failed at many personal goals in my life like getting into IIT & doing MTech and many more. And, these failures have made me humble, realistic and more Hungrier.

In addition to this, I love to watch motivational speakers and Movies and Biographies of Great Leaders and Alpha Personalities like Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi etc.

It is said that “You become an average of 5 people you hang out with.” So, choosing right circle of people who force you to level up in your life is also very important according to me.

Q4. Which one thing do you want to change in yourself and why?

Anger because It creates lot of problems, In personal life as well as in professional life. I am learning to channelize it for my benefits, to fuel my own motivation. And, I am making good progress on this and seeing very positive results too. Virat Kohli is my role model here.

Q5. What do you do in your free time? Do you update yourself in terms of education?

I like to do Canvas painting. I love to be on Quora – reading/writing. I am having very keen interest in Teaching Profession and want to be an entrepreneur by establishing a platform to provide quality education to students. Education that bridges gap between college books and industry requirements. So, I create educational videos on YouTube. I deliver webinars and guest lectures at my engineering colleges whenever opportunity given.

Kunjan Shah

Q6. Tell us about one of the moments which changed your perspective towards life?

I lost one of my Tuition Teachers [Who was much more to me than just a Tuition Teacher] on 31st January 2014. His Name is “Mr. Alkesh Shah”. He was a senior clerk at SBI. But he pursued teaching as a hobby. He played vital role in my educational successes and character building.

In his life, He shared his knowledge with around 2000 students. Many students studied with him even without paying any fees. I have even come across many cases where he has paid students’ school fees and college fees because their parents were not financially capable to do so.

He has produced hundreds of engineers and tens of doctors by his work. And, I am proud of being one of them.

When he left, and we were at cemetery for his cremation, I was sobbing and crying. But Suddenly I heard someone saying: “Jobhi hua wo galat hua. Bahut achha insan tha.”

Translation: Whatever happened is wrong. He was a great human being.

This incident just changed my life. I learnt what matters the most in life: To touch other lives positively. So that when you leave, your absence gets noticed.

Q7. Any book that you read and learning you picked up from it?

I read “Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future” By Ashlee Vance in 2017. In my mind, this book just challenged one common Indian belief: “Nasib se jyada kuch nahi milta”.

What I observed in Elon Musk’s journey is, People like him (Jack Ma, Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos etc.), do not blame luck for problems and failures and give up. They do not start looking for something to blame when things get hard. After three consecutive failures of SpaceX, He did not blame luck for his downfall and gave up. He continued to take charge of his life and eventually succeeded.

And, from this, I learnt to take full responsibility of my life. Definitely I believe in God. There is a supernatural entity that influence our lives. But, after reading Elon, my endurance limit, Intensity of efforts and Duration to stick with a challenge has increased drastically.

Q8. Which one skill do you like most about yourself?

God has been very kind to me by giving me a great skill of articulating my thoughts into words very effectively. And, this blessing Is helping me a lot in my life.

Get more about Kunjan Shah @ :

GitHub: https://github.com/KUNJAN6902
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kunjan-shah/
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/kunjanrajendrakumars/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kunjan6902/

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