Meet Your Data Science Instructors!

January 23, 2020

In February 2019, Codeup launched the very first (and still the only) Data Science career accelerator based in San Antonio (but available remotely all across Texas). Our first class graduated 17 students with an 88% employment rate for an average starting salary of $72,000. In January 2020, our second class is cranking through their final capstone projects, in which they take a Data Science project to life. As we gear up to launch our 3rd class in February 2020, let’s take a moment to introduce you to the incredible data science instructors ready to help you change careers. Between them, Maggie Giust, Zach Gulde, and Ryan Orsinger have over 20 years of technical industry experience. They’ve worked as data analysts, data scientists, software developers, curriculum developers, instructors, and more. They’ve worked at large companies like Rackspace and HEB, and smaller companies like Whiskr and Grok Interactive. Together, they have over 12 years of teaching experience at Codeup and the university levelAs we’ve talked about before (see: What is Data Science blog), Data Science is the intersection of programming, math/stats, and domain expertise. That means that in order to learn this material and make a successful career transition, it’s even more important in this field than any other to have a diverse set of instructor backgrounds. Let’s break down our staff expertise by those categories:Domain expertise: Domain expertise means having deep technical experience AND applying that experience across multiple industries and domains. Maggie has worked in data science for 7 years and data roles for 10. Maggie worked in finance, practicing data science for security intelligence with Capital Group, built machine learning recommender systems for consumer retail at HEB, and produced data science insights at Rackspace to improve customer satisfaction. Prior to joining Codeup, Maggie’s educational experience includes teaching high school math as well as the development and delivery of data science content and curriculum at both Codeup and Trinity University, where she serves as an adjunct instructor of data science.Zach has been instructing, writing curriculum, and programming internal applications for Codeup since 2016. He has instructed hundreds of programmers and is Codeup’s principle curriculum developer. If you printed out all the curriculum Zach has authored for both Data Science and Web Development, it would be more than 1000 pages. In addition to his work with Codeup, Zach has worked on big data projects in the travel industry.Ryan began building web applications for small and medium-sized businesses in 2007 and has written software ranging from custom CRM systems for real estate brokerages to an event management platform for Dell. As Codeup’s most senior instructor, Ryan has instructed and mentored 37 data scientists and over 500 software developers.This means that you will learn what businesses value from instructors who are experienced practitioners who have created technical solutions for multiple industries.Math/Stats: Maggie holds a BS in Mathematics from UTSA and is currently working on her Master’s degree in Data Analytics. Ryan holds a BA from Trinity University in economics. In addition to building out the statistics curriculum for Codeup’s Data Science program, Zach is working on his degree in Software Development. One of our students said they learned more in one week of stats at Codeup than an entire semester at college. Programming: This is really where we shine! Zach and Ryan have been teaching at Codeup for 4 years in our web development program and have developed special depth of expertise in programming and teaching programming. They each have experience across OOP in Java, PHP, and Python, as well as database experience in SQL and web framework expertise in Laravel and Spring. They each have experience in both object oriented and functional programming, and experience building database-backed full-stack web applications in numerous languages (including Python, Java, Javascript, and Clojure) and web frameworks. Maggie has been working in R and Python for years in her different data science roles. When it comes to programming, these 3 can not only build you a Machine Learning model, but they can build a full-stack application, hosting infrastructure, database, and simple UI to go along with it.What does this mean for you? When you join Codeup, you step into a classroom where the diverse skills needed in the field are represented in spades in your instructional staff. Not only that, but these are three incredible human beings with a passion for education and up-leveling others. If you aren’t satisfied in your career and are looking to make an impact, reach out to us. As our very own Ryan Orsinger likes to say, onward and upward!If you're looking to continue exploring a career in data science, join us for our free workshops and events!--Want more blogs, resources, and updates from us? Don't forget to sign up for our newsletter!