What were you doing before Jungle Program?

I worked for Orange, the telecom company, as a DevOps engineer focused on the email deliverability services. As an ops, I was deploying and maintaining the elasticsearch cluster that manages the logs and provides KPIs to the project team. I was also working with some partners in extreme sports and the dance business as a side job activity, producing video and photography content.

What challenging things are you working through these days?

I’m trying to build my company and switch to freelancing, so it’s the perfect time to work on my skills and learn new things. My “ideal” schedule is a mix of conventional boring drone laws training courses, FPV drone racing on the simulator, shooting videos in the mountains, and python programming.

What are you proudest of?

Being able to help people and match ideas with their needs in different disciplines. Also having a kind of elasticity of learning. For example, I spent all my first quarantine of 2020 learning electronics to build drones and fly them, it was a fun journey.

Which activities make you lose track of time?

Coding, video editing & flying.

Who are your mentors and what have you learned from them?

I can’t think about specific mentors. I had this good old Russian teacher when I came from Morocco studying IT. The kind of powerful Russian network and Linux system master. He was always pushing me. It was fun to learn that he was also into photography a few years later.
I also listen to a lot of speeches from Simon Sinek and Jordan Peterson, so I guess they have influenced my way of thinking and my personal development.

Simon Sinek

What new skills would you like to master?

I’d like to build a framework for pilots to shoot cinematic with FPV drones. So I need to improve my data science and machine learning skill tree. In another field, I’m preparing for September a paragliding and mountaineering course. I want to be able to reach hard locations and dangerous environments to capture the emotion through my lens or my drone.

What made you learn more about data science?

In my previous job, we were doing a lot of data analysis. But there was no precise methodology and we didn’t call that data science. Data scientists were hired in other services and it was designated a sort of fancy activity we can’t reach as an Ops. As I had a lot of free time after quitting my job, I decided to search more about the subject and eventually discovered a lot of free resources. And Louis Rouffineau got me convinced by Jungle Program as I was working with him as a PHP backend developer in 2013. Coincidence or fate? That is the question.

Do you think that math knowledge is crucial to start learning data science?

As everything related to IT, I don’t think so. I came from Morocco with a technology and management baccalaureate with the worst possible level in mathematics. So far I'm still able to deal with complex algorithms and code that I need when it comes to solving problems. Of course, it’s always a good advantage to understand the maths behind data science. But reading the documentation (RTFM!) and doing some research will always make you learn more and progress.

How is your experience with the live courses in data science?

I did a lot of training courses:

  • The classic one where you have to master a big technology in one week and get to use it only 6 months later because of slow projects.
  • The drone one where we had one week to master meteorology and drone french regulation without practicing real use cases.
  • The classic pandemic online course where you can’t ask for help because of timing so google is your last friend.

So I'm impressed by the Jungle Program methodology and the cohort-based course concept. Now I’m feeling good and confident in data science, I can take my time and dig for more knowledge if I feel weaknesses.

What is your impression of the Jungle Program?

I like the fact that we have time to build each skill tree every week and get time to practice that new knowledge. The fact that we have a chat to ask questions during the week if something is not fully understood.

What is your favorite part of the Jungle Program community?

I like the discord group. It helps you to keep in touch with people that are learning and sharing content related to their expertise. As a big user of Discord, due to some cryptocurrency projects, I'm comfortable with this tool. It can help you to build your network and find answers and support when needed.

What are you up to after the program in data science?

After the program, I'll try to reinforce my knowledge with a personal project and try to find a mission on LinkedIn related to data science. I’ll also keep working on video projects until validating my french drone license.

How do you feel about this new challenge?

Nothing special. I'm going for it and if I fail, I'll learn and try again. The data science course with Jungle Program is a good foundation to start, I'm confident about this.

Could you share with us your 3 favorite projects or research using Machine Learning?

I was impressed by the work of the Neuroinformatics department of the Zurich university about autonomous Drone Racing.

Y. Song*, M. Steinweg*, E. Kaufmann, D. Scaramuzza / Autonomous Drone Racing with Deep Reinforcement Learning

arXiv 2021 PDF: http://rpg.ifi.uzh.ch/docs/Arxiv21_Yunlong.pdf

They also did a related work to analyse how do we “pilots” use highly dynamic visual information to process the right command to a fast FPV drone and find the optimal patterns :

C. Pfeiffer, D. Scaramuzza / Human-Piloted Drone Racing: Visual Processing and Control IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L), 2021

PDF : http://rpg.ifi.uzh.ch/docs/RAL21_Pfeiffer.pdf

And on another field, the famous study where the IA broke a hide and seek game. The paper:

Emergent Tool Use from Multi-Agent Interaction
We’ve observed agents discovering progressively more complex tool use while playing a simple game of hide-and-seek.

Two Minute Papers is a good channel that I recommend.
With the help of science, humans are capable of creating extraordinary things. Two Minute Papers is a series where Károly Zsolnai-Fehér explain the latest and greatest research in a way that is understandable and enjoyable to everyone. He talks about really exciting topics, like:

  • Machine learning techniques to paint in the style of famous artists
  • Light and fluid simulations
  • Flying robots building bridges
  • animating the movement of digital creatures on a computer
OpenAI Plays Hide and Seek…and Breaks The Game! 

Could you share your favorite track or playlist for coding?

Every kind of Lo-Fi music or acoustic guitar playlist. It’s a good balance to stay focused and keep the phone and social media away. If i had to choose a track or two i would suggest you :

Overgrown - Raimu
Cornfield Chase - Hans Zimmer
Lofi Hip hop music - beats to relax/study to - Lofi Girl

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