LETTER OF INTENT

This course assumes no prior exposure to software development or data science beyond standard US high school level math. It starts with the basics of how machines categorize data and interpret code and then explores the logical methods available to the programmer. Data engineering and data science methods are introduced in tandem, providing applications for participants’ newly acquired software skills in the manipulation and interpretation of data. The lecture material is minimized, with the majority of time devoted to group exercises, coaching, and hands-on practice. Participants will build software to solve puzzles, derive insights from data, and interact with users. The content in these activities is drawn from real world challenges from major companies, games, and startups. Participants will exit with the ability to add value through software and data science in incumbent firms across industries generally. Participants will also exit with a strong understanding of what it takes to become a professional software developer or data scientist and what to expect from the continued journey towards that goal.

 

This course is designed to help participants overcome the typical hurdles preventing them from cultivating competitive software and data science skills on their own, empowering them to take control of the process and make it interactive and fun. Toward this end, this course prevents the formation of bad coding habits, brings participants up to speed on how to set up and publish projects, exposes them to free resources useful in the continuation of their journey, and builds the intuition and approach of a productive tinkerer in place of the common debilitating aversion to micro-failure. Participants exit acculturated to treat software development as a journey of exploration and creation rather than of exhaustive memorization and recitation of rules. Participants exit with the capacity to build and deploy software functions and packages including business consulting solutions, games, financial analysis tools, and data organization programs.

 

Outside of scheduled class time, participants will receive method writeups and supplemental lecture material to keep and reference when needed. They will also engage in short individual projects designed to resemble evaluation assignments commonly issued by software engineering and data science employers as part of the job application process. In addition, participants will each undergo a series of one-on-one interviews also modeled after the software engineer and data science hiring process. These interviews evaluate the participant’s ability to extemporaneously apply concepts from the course to problems and to tradeoffs between various solution methods. Finally, the course will conclude with a major capstone project. Each participant will complete their own unique project and publish it online.

Leveraging our experience empowering productive change through software and data science education, Inly has created a more practical and directly applicable course curriculum than its purely academic alternatives. Material for this course was developed for professional engineers, consultants, and business leaders. Software and data science continue to grow as a part of business everywhere, and so it has become necessary for competitive professionals in many fields to learn the basics. Through training and consulting, Inly has excelled at instilling in our clients a strong sense of what is possible to accomplish generally with software and data science. This enables professionals to envision realistic projects to create new value in the workplace. Projects range from automating parts of workflows to creating entirely new sources of revenue. Inly has also helped its clients build an understanding of the required resources, time frames, and limitations of software and data-science related projects. As such, it has enabled these professionals to scope and execute their project ideas more effectively. The resulting projects tend to meet deadlines, fall within proposed budgets, and achieve the desired measurable results.

 

Leveraging our experience empathizing with students, Inly has taken the objectively challenging fields of software engineering and data science and has created a more approachable and engaging curriculum than its purely academic alternatives. Without sacrificing its practical value, the material has been adapted to suit mature and motivated students. Inly functions primarily as an innovation consultancy, but its affiliation with top business school programs and tendency to teach clients as part of our consulting process has led the firm to invest significant time running educational programs. Inly has taught high school and college students around the world since 2014, hosting extra-curricular workshops and for-credit programs alike. We have worked with more than 20 educational institutions and with thousands of students. In every case, our key success metric has been the satisfaction of the students themselves. If the learning process was not engaging, relatable, and fun, we would have failed in this most important metric, and the success of the students to internalize the content would have been in spite of our efforts, rather than in conjunction with them. We have excelled in this regard, receiving excellent evaluations from happy students. They demonstrate superior mastery of the material as a result.

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