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Senior Data Scientist, Mentor & Writer. I share experiences from my data science and personal development journey — friends.arunnthevapalan.com

Welcome to my profile

As a Senior Data Scientist and a Mentor, I help data enthusiasts break into and grow in the world of data science. I share learnings, my approach, and everything about my journey to become a successful data scientist, hoping to inspire you achieve the same.

Besides, I’m embarking on a personal development journey. Who doesn’t want to become their better self?

You can reach out to me on LinkedIn and join my private list of email friends to keep in touch and never miss an update.

My most-read articles:


Data Science

Spoiler: No prerequisites, but Joel will take you from zero to a hero.

Photo by Pikisuperstar on Freepik

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few”― Shunryu Suzuki.

More often than not, being a beginner could be one’s strength. I love beginners — I was one of them, after all.

They have big dreams. They want to “make it” as a data scientist. They know many have made it in the past, and there’s nothing to stop them. They’re “blank slates” hungry for knowledge and to grow. They know it’s not going to be easy and are willing to put in the effort.

If you have a similar “can-do” mindset, half…


Spoiler: It’s an Andrew Ng masterpiece and is free.

Image by Pchvector on Freepik

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.” — Haruki Murakami.

If you’re starting in data science, this article isn’t probably for you. I still love you and wrote about the 3 beginner-friendly data science books you should read, which many beginners loved. I suggest you save this story for later.

But what if you’ve been in the field for quite long enough? What if that you seek more knowledge beyond the beginner level? What if you want to fast-track yourself to become a leader in AI?

I…


Data Science

You‘ve got something valuable we don’t.

Image by Lookstudio on Freepik

Someone recently reached out to me for some advice, as she has decided to switch her career to data science.

She’s been working in the supply chain space in retail but has been passionate about data science and data-driven decisions. She’s been thinking of making the switch but had multiple concerns regarding the transition.

  • She felt she’d have to start again from scratch as she switched into a new role in her career.
  • Since the field is ever-evolving, she’ll have to learn and acquire a significant amount of skills to make the transition.
  • She felt she might have to settle…


A complete career guide covering the roles and responsibilities, technical skills, general salary range, and relevant certifications

Image by pressfoto on Freepik

“I don’t want to waste time on cloud computing; I’m focussed on data science.”

These were literally my words to one of my friends when he suggested having skills around the cloud was becoming more important. How ignorant was I!

As we all know, the industry proved me wrong. Cloud skills are vital irrespective of your role if you’re (or aspiring to be) in the tech space. So I took a plunge at it and got myself Azure Certified.

Then, more recently, one of my mentees asked my opinion on a cloud-focused career. While I had some industry knowledge, I…


“I’m overwhelmed with all the resources available; what should I do?”

Image by Macrovector on Freepik

“There are plenty of resources, and I’m confused if I’m on the right path. Could you please help me out?” She worriedly informed.

Things took a sharp turn when I heard these lines from one of my mentees, who has been doing so well thus far. I couldn’t believe even she doubted herself.

To give you context, I’m a senior data scientist, and in my free time, I mentor data enthusiasts to break into the field of data science. …


Careers, Machine Learning

It’s time to hear some of my personal stories. You up for it?

(Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels)

It’s been a month at my software engineering internship, and all I wanted was to quit.

Imagine this.

You bag an internship at the R&D unit of one of the biggest banks in the country. You get exposure to an end-to-end software development lifecycle alongside sophisticated security protocols.

Simply put, it’s one of the best experiences a computer science undergrad could ask for. My friends claimed I should be blessed and lucky. Yet, I had no clue what I was doing.

I kept questioning myself, is this something I want to continue doing as my job? …


“I’m overwhelmed with all the resources available; what should I do?”

Image by Pikisuperstar on Freepik

“There are plenty of resources, and I’m confused if I’m on the right path. Could you please help me out?” She worriedly informed.

I wanted to scream, “You’ve been doing so well — I can’t believe you even doubt yourself!” but I held back, letting her finish her thoughts.

To give you context, I’m a senior data scientist, and in my free time, I mentor data enthusiasts to break into the field of data science. I look forward to these interactions as they give me a sense of what problems are faced by beginners and how I can help better.


The 3 components, including the one that most ML curriculums leave out

Photo by Julia M Cameron from Pexels

Most beginners struggle when they break into the AI industry. Why? Everything they learn until then is from the machine learning curriculums designed to teach the theory and some toy projects.

The struggle is predominantly because of the gap between what is expected in the real world against what was taught to them. Sad, yet true.

Don’t get me wrong, those courses are important, and I had done my fair share when I was a beginner. But what is more important is to align with the industry expectations early.

Machine Learning workflows can differ from company to company, so to…


I didn’t need the recommended 4 months of access even while working full-time.

This article may have some affiliate links to share the best resources I’ve used at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support. (Image by StartupStockPhotos)

How do I become a data scientist? How do I get real-world project exposure? I have already done some basic courses; how do I solidify my understanding of the advanced topics? I don’t have a data science degree; how do I showcase my skills to my potential employer?

These are some of the questions I get asked repeatedly on LinkedIn. I understand the common concerns since I had them too. I don’t have the universally accepted best solution for these concerns, but I can share what I did when I was in a similar situation.

I took a 3 step…

Arunn Thevapalan

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