Greetings data enthusiasts, ML fans, AI geeks, and just about anyone who is courting data science to become their career partner.
About a year ago, I began my career at GreyAtom as a product developer. Having spent four years running myself through conventional didactics at a Mumbai-based college, GreyAtom’s goal of providing an alternative to conventional tech education and skilling in India seemed intriguing. The task was herculean and daunting, as we were up against the legacy university systems, with their unfettered influence and established pedigrees. Despite their senescence and resultant ineffectuality, they were and continue to remain the go-to choice for most tech aspirants in the nation. It was almost like David and Goliath.
A year later, GreyAtom is one of the most up-and-coming tech upskillers in the nation. In our skilling pipeline, we currently have over 250 enrollees spread across 6 cohorts. Our enrollees have clocked in over 2,200 hours in intensive learning and worked on more than 10,000 assignments. We have expanded into the B2B space, putting together training sessions for big-ticket corporate businesses. We know we are off to something significant here at GreyAtom.
Our enrollees, most of whom are working professionals, at different stages in their careers, work on our in-house training platform – Commit.Live. Over on the platform, users work on industry sourced datasets, learn to work in a peer-to-peer collaborative environment, and hone their coding skills.
One of the operational principles of GreyAtom is to build a data-backed ecosystem that leverages the innate learning pathways of humans. This makes the learning process interactive and returns better outcomes. Commit.Live is the very embodiment of the above meme. It reflects our efforts to comport with the principles of immersive learning. It is the USP, the brain, the engine of GreyAtom.
Like any other platform, Commit.Live in its incipient stages was spartan, despite being highly effective and engaging. We knew we could do better. We went in with an open mind and strained our ears to listen to the users. Tons of feedback, several months of toil, and billions of brain cells worth of genius later, we are out with our latest version of Commit.Live. We have not just added more horsepower to it; we have also given it a much-needed tune-up.
With the upgrade, Commit.Live is even more seamless, well-integrated, engaging, and convenient. We have also built into the platform a data collection system to help users get a detailed analysis of their performance.
Following is a lowdown on the latest features on Commit.Live.
Commit.Live’s primary function is to serve as a learning tool for our users. We offer it in two avatars – a web-based app and an on-system app. In the earlier versions, users had to work both the avatars in tandem, transferring individual assignments and operational commands from the web avatar into the on-system program.
This needlessly increased the operational time, made the experience inconvenient, and led to an experience that departed from its immersive learning goal.
For our newer version, we have done away with the need to synchronize the two avatars. Logging into the on-system program triggers off an automatic importation of all assignments, projects, and learning material. Users also do not need to copy and paste command lines from the web avatar to the on-system avatar. We have placed a bunch of handy widgets on the on-system program that allows users to write, test, and submit their codes without having to switch between windows.
The best part is that the web and on-system avatars synchronize automatically so that users can work on either of them. Decoupling the two avatars also allows our users to choose between the two, making our offering alluring to a diverse set of users.
While the backend work for the above changes led to a lot of chaos and back and forth, Commit.Live’s façade is far from any of it. The menus and toolbars are neat with just the right number of items, the dropdowns are seamless, and the experience is user-centric.
This is just the first step towards operational sophistication and we have a lot of similar ideas in store.
While we love operational sophistication, we do not want our users to be bogged down with figuring out the system all by themselves. As a result, we built a ‘web tour’ feature into Commit.Live to familiarize users with the essentials of the program. We also understand that some users might need to go over the essentials more than once, and consequently, we haven’t imposed any limits on the number of times the tour can be taken.
Data science is a booming field and is turning hypercompetitive as an increasing number of businesses use big data to make critical decisions. The hiring landscape, thus, will favor those who are on top of their game and have more than just hard skills. These ‘non-hard skills,’ i.e. soft skills, will include story-telling through blogging, among others.
At GreyAtom, we figured this out ahead of time and built a word-processing feature into Commit.Live. This allows users to draft their blogs in rich text format and publish it to Medium.com© – one of the most trafficked and esteemed tech blogging websites in the world. To set the bar high and maintain a certain tone and tenor to the content, we have a review team in place that combs over the drafts before submission to Medium.
While we encourage our users to write long, well-referenced, and evocative pieces, the newer version of Commit.Live features a floor for the word count that is set at 600, which we plan to raise over time. This is part of a long-term goal of employing scientific research in benchmarking publications on Commit.Live, with the end goal of having users publish blogs that are SEO-compatible, attract traffic, and go viral.
At GreyAtom, we do not believe in leading people by the hand; instead, we love to see our enrollees emerge from the program as self-starters. We understand the trepidation of venturing into a soft skill area like blogging, with a mind that is seasoned with hard skills in the milieu of tech education. So, to encourage our users to blog and build for themselves a portfolio, we have gamified blogging in our new version. It is an attempt to tap into the innate reward system to get our users to blog more than before.
With all the research-backed changes and measures set in place, we needed a way to assess and ascertain the efficacy of these upgrades. To serve this purpose, our new version comes with built-in analytics that monitors 10 different metrics like length of code, failed attempts, and Python library compliance, to name a few. The data can help users gain insights into their core strengths and shortcomings in data science. The same data will be marshaled by us for benchmarking and segmentation.
GreyAtom wants to stay true to one its core philosophy – “learn = do real work.” We are an adaptive business and we put our money where our mouth is. Our didactic offerings and our belief in the capabilities of data science are based on the credibility of our in-house applications that stem out of data science. Some of our new features are exemplary examples of the above and we will continue to innovate ourselves through data science.