Linesh Dave

Senior Technical Director, AT&T, New York, USA
25 years experience at AT&T, Goldman Sachs, LCI, Hoechst
Big Data and Hadoop Certification Training
Before DeZyre:
M.S. Data Science - University of Maryland
M.S. Technology Management - Stevens Institute
There are so many new technologies being used in companies and I joined DeZyre to get exposure to real time use cases in the industry.

DeZyre: Could you give me an overview of your career so far?

Linesh: My career has broadly spanned from being a developer to my current role of Senior Technical Director. In my current role, I spend my time both as a people manager and a technical manager.

I support IT projects across AT&T. My team is like an internal consulting team inside AT&T having solution engineers and project managers. We work on projects across technologies including Java, Big Data, Web Development etc.

DeZyre: Why did you decide to learn Big Data?

Linesh: AT&T has been recently focusing on big data technologies. I am seeing an increase in the number of data engineering and big data projects across AT&T since this is an upcoming area. At AT&T, we have always been dealing with Big Data for many years now, but off late there is a sudden influx of new tools and methodologies that I feel I have to stay updated in. Especially for a telecom company, there are tons of new data that we deal with regarding call volume, drop rates and other performance metrics.

So this triggered me to get skilled in Big Data. I can contribute more to AT&T and my team with my Big Data knowledge.

DeZyre: Why did you decide to do your M.S in Data Science from University of Maryland?

Linesh: There is so much free materials available online to learn big data from the likes of Coursera, edX etc. To be honest, some of this free material is good but I soon realized that it is critical to be very disciplined while picking up a new skill set. So I concluded that I need a mentor who will guide me, answer my doubts and enforce that discipline of giving me a roadmap to work with for guidance.

This would help me get more disciplined and committed to acquiring the skill. This is one of the reasons why I joined the University of Maryland Big Data course. It was a good experience since I also got to interact with practitioners during this course.

DeZyre: Why did you decide to do the DeZyre Big Data course even after your M.S in Data Science?

Linesh: Excellent question! The University of Maryland degree definitely helped me get started and gave me the foundations. But I still need to understand what is done in the real enterprise world. There are so many new technologies being used in companies and I joined DeZyre to get exposure to real time use cases in the industry.

I learnt a lot of concepts at the University of Maryland but I still wanted to learn how these tools are really being used in the enterprise world. I wanted some hands-on exposure to implementing these technologies.

I am telling you, I have become a big fan of DeZyre's Hackerday product. I really enjoy the way you provide me 2 projects every month. This really helps me bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and how problems are really solved in the field.

DeZyre: Have you had a chance to work on any Big Data or Data Science projects yet?

Linesh: I just kind of started working on such a Big Data project at AT&T. There is some organizational data that needs a bit of forecasting. Here I have started using my newly acquired skill by building some forecasting models. It's still early but a good start.

DeZyre: You have had a terrific career so far. Are there any tips you can give other professionals who are trying to break into Big Data?

Linesh: Absolutely! I would say the #1 advise I have for my peers who are trying to break into new technology areas is to get hands-on practical experience.

It's always easy to watch a few videos and learn the basics, but the real learning comes only when you start practicing and implementing projects. This is something we do inside AT&T - we make it a point to give new team members hands-on experience asap and I believe this is also what DeZyre is trying to provide to professionals.

Especially people with more than 15 years experience have a mindset that they don't want to get into the details of programing and they want to stay at the design and architecture level. But to be effective at a managing a team, one needs to have hands-on knowledge to guide the team.

So there is no magic wand for career progression, it's basically a lot of hard work. This is why I enjoy the courses I take with you, since the faculty have a lot of industry experience and they help me do these projects in the class.

DeZyre: How are you building your Big Data focus other than taking courses?

Linesh: I have started a local meetup called the "Central New Jersey Data Science Meetup".

In the last 7 months over 440 professionals have joined my meetup. We meet once a month and talk about new Data Science technologies, solve problems and network with each other. This has been a terrific learning experience for me.