Although it had been itching to act upon his passion for technology for years, it didn’t seem possible for Ousmane to pursue a career in this field in his birth country. But his arrival in Belgium in late 2019 was a big turning point. After having explored a few digital career paths, it quickly became apparent that a career as a data scientist was right up his alley. He registered for our first ever AI bootcamp in Liège, got selected and has by now almost finished his BeCode journey. Curious about his story? He’ll tell you all about it in the interview below!
What did you do before starting your training at BeCode?
“When I was still living in Senegal, I worked as an accountant. I always loved technology, but I wasn’t able to pursue a career in this field as my birth country isn’t that developed. Instead I studied management and accounting, but I didn’t really like working in this domain. At the end of 2019 I moved to Belgium. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to pursue my passion for technology and innovation. A couple of months after my arrival, I decided to follow a training course at Interface3 in Namur. This training initiated me to technology and offered me the chance of discovering lots of jobs related to data science.”
“I fell in love with data analysis and machine learning and decided to further dive into this field. I saw that BeCode Liège was launching its first AI bootcamp and was looking for students to enroll. I applied and got selected.”
Technology is a multifaceted concept. Why did you want to pursue a career in the data science field?
“Data means power. With data you can do almost anything nowadays and it will become even more important in the future. But the most important thing is that you like what you are doing. I’m passionate about this field and am therefore very grateful that I can be an actor in it.”
What convinced you to start training at BeCode and not at a similar training center?
“I discovered BeCode via social media, but didn’t know much about it at that time. Raphael, who has followed the same training as me at Interface3, is following BeCode’s web development training here in Liège. We stayed in touch after the training and he explained to me how BeCode works. As it seemed like a nice experience, I started researching BeCode and its training more in depth. I immediately liked the teaching method and did my utmost to get selected.”
How far along are you in the training right now?
“The end of the training is approaching, we are in the summer pastures. I have started looking for an internship as it will start on May 14th.”
What technical skills did you acquire during the training??
“We were first introduced to GitHub. I didn’t know this tool at all, but by now I know how to integrate it in a project. After that, we learned how to code in Python. Ever since, we have been using Python in almost every project. I’ve gotten pretty good at it. Later on, we dove into data analysis, modelization and visualization. At the beginning of 2021, we started with machine learning. Now we are working on deep learning, more specifically natural language processing. We do not know every topic in depth, but have a solid basis and know how to rely on Google when we need help.”
What soft skills did you acquire during your training?
“I didn’t expect that I would develop a solution-oriented mindset. Now, I can find solutions to every kind of problem. I also developed self-learning skills and it’s easier for me to work in teams now because of the several group projects that we had to work on during the training.”
If you had to describe AI to someone that doesn’t know about it, how would you describe it?
“AI is all about using algorithms to make machines think like humans.”
During this training, you’ve worked on several projects. What project was your favorite?
“The previous project as nobody in my group felt ready to dive into the topic. But we were able to help each other and move forward together. In the end, we came up with a good result. I was pretty proud of myself and my team.”
What did you have to do for this project?
“We had to deploy an application or a website that could detect if a skin mole was benign or malignant. The project relied on image recognition.”
What’s according to you the added value of integrating such projects in our training?
“Every single project was an added value to me. Even if the result wasn’t that great in the beginning, I can see how much I’ve grown.”
Our seven-month training is quite intensive and therefore asks for a lot of motivation. What part of the training was most difficult for you?
“The last month of the training as we have to start looking for an internship at the same time as diving into the last module: deep learning.To me, there should be some room in between both phases.”
How did you stay motivated?
“My passion for the field. Also, seeing that the skills that we acquire during the training match what’s being asked for in vacancies, encourages me.”
The training is also accompanied by an internship of three months. How is the search for an internship going?
“It’s a challenge, maybe because it’s the first AI-bootcamp ever in Liège.”
Would you say that BeCode changed your life ? If so, in what ways?
“Definitely, it changed my whole life. I can fly now. Last year around the same time, I didn’t know anything about this field, I just loved it. Right now, I feel ready for a career in this field.”
What are your plans for the future?
“I want to obtain some business experience, but in a couple of years, I hope to have my own consulting firm in machine learning.”
What was your favorite memory of the training?
“I have lots of good memories of this training. I particularly enjoyed the moments during the group projects where we could play, laugh and joke with each other. It’s hard to say that I enjoyed one moment more than another as I enjoyed every part of the training.”
If you had to describe BeCode in one word, which word would it be?
“That’s difficult, but I would say empowering. BeCode makes you discover your own powers, the skills that are inside you, but that you didn’t discover yet.”
What piece of advice would you give to someone who’s starting their training?
“I would say, go for it, you’ll not be disappointed.”
Are you interested in following the AI Bootcamp?
Amazing! – We have a new class starting in Antwerp, Ghent & Liège.