Experience being a data fellow at Code for Nepal and internship at Open Knowledge Nepal

11 Jul 2021 - Binita Gyawali

Binita Gyawali, a graduate of Computer Science and Information Technology from Butwal Multiple Campus, data Science journey with Code for Nepal and Open Knowledge Nepal.

I am Binita Gyawali, a graduate of Computer Science and Information Technology from Butwal Multiple Campus. I have been exploring the fields of data science and artificial intelligence for about six months. My research interest is in different applications of data science and artificial intelligence, particularly computer vision.

I have been working since my freshman year to fill the gender gap in the tech community of Nepal, especially Province no. 5. A strong proponent of girls’ coding, I co-founded Butwal Coder Girls, a non-profit organization, in 2016 to motivate girls in coding, either as a hobby or as a career. Now, after exploring data science and seeing the landscape of girls’ involvement in data science, I feel more girls should be encouraged to pursue careers in data science, data engineering, and artificial intelligence.

What have you learned from DataCamp\how DataCamp has benefitted you so far? I had no prior experience with data science or programming. I wanted to learn Python programming and do some data science. As a result, I looked into instructions from a variety of places. I felt bewildered in the new world of programming and data science when I referred to those materials. Put it simply, there was too much to catch. Things were not as well arranged as I had hoped. As a result, I was frustrated and contemplated quitting programming at one point.

But everything changed when I got access to DataCamp through Code for Nepal Fellowship program. I was finally able to organize my studies. DataCamp provided step-by-step instruction in the form of skill and career tracks. That was precisely what I needed. Another feature of this Fellowship that I like was the ability to learn anything I wanted in DataCamp. I struggled with basic programming principles on several instances, and happily, DataCamp allowed me to take any basic classes or view any basic programming videos I chose. DataCamp acted as a mentor for me with its guided projects that inspired me to pursue Python and data science as a career because I was able to observe how the skills I gained were applied in the real world.

How has the Data Fellowship from Code for Nepal supported you in your career growth? Despite being a major fan of data science, I never got the chance to work in it. I’d always wanted to understand how to convert raw data into a tidy, appealing manner. Presenting data in the form of beautiful graphs has always piqued my interest. When I was in school, I used to tinker with excel whenever I had any data. My bucket list item is to learn how to analyze data using mathematical models. Data cleansing, data analysis, data visualization, and data modeling are among my best hobbies to do.

I quit my job to pursue my true calling: data science. I came across the data fellowship offered by Code for Nepal and Open Knowledge Nepal and applied instantly. The data fellowship encouraged me to follow my interest in data science by researching and beginning to combine my career in the field. Observing other students conduct intriguing work motivated me to leverage data to create data-driven analytical tools.

After two months of diligently seeking the fellowship, I was offered a data science internship with Open Knowledge Nepal, which marked the start of my professional data science journey. Right now, I’m merely scratching the surface of data science. I aspire to improve in my career with time and experience

What are the other benefits of this Fellowship, apart from the datacamp subscription? Bringing attention to DataCamp is one of the numerous ways Code for Nepal is attempting to assist us in developing data skills. This Fellowship has several advantages, including assisting in the development of my portfolio and encouraging networking. For me, the “Data Fellowship” is my first data science involvement, thus it is quite valuable. This fellowship program has stood out in my resume and reflected well in my portfolio, as attested by HR experts and project managers from the several firms I interviewed for.

What do you believe the next step is in your career, and how can we help you get there? After completing my bachelor’s degree in computer science and information technology, I am eager to gain more experience in the field of computer vision and further develop my research interests. So, the next stage in my career will be to continue my education in America. As a result, I am excited to apply for a Ph.D. in computer science with a computer vision emphasis in the fall of 2022. Code for Nepal, I believe, has a strong professional network both within and outside Nepal. It would be extremely beneficial if Code for Nepal could assist me in connecting with AI research professionals (such as Ph.D. students, researchers, professors, and others) with whom I could work as a research assistant (even on a volunteer basis) or receive mentorship.