by Mike Cole

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Jackie Lu is a first-generation college graduate. That in itself is impressive, but there’s plenty about his story that’s impressive, including the fact that he just landed a data analyst position at Tesla.

Where other people see dead ends, Jackie sees paths back to the highway. His unflagging drive to deepen and expand his skills helped this Practicum student get where he is today. Jackie spoke with us from an Airbnb in rural Florida (“The nearest Walmart is 25 minutes away!”) …


Practicum student Jordan Wilheim on his long and winding road

by Mike Cole

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Jordan Wilheim had spent many months in the desert. Months of applying to jobs, interviewing, and being rejected. In March, he very nearly got an offer — and then COVID hit. The oasis turned out to be a mirage.

Still, he persevered. At last, this September, the California native landed the position of his dreams: he was hired as a data scientist at the genetic-testing company Invitae.

It wasn’t easy finding his place in the world of data. We asked Jordan to tell us how he made it happen.

First steps

After getting his bachelor’s in biology…


Practicum grad Danny Garcia shows us how it’s done

by Mike Cole

The Master of Change

Danny Garcia is no stranger to change. For one thing, he’s swapped the language and country of his birth for new ones. And despite growing up in a household without a TV or a computer, Danny is a budding tech professional.

Let’s explore how this son of migrant farmworkers and Practicum graduate ended up pursuing a master’s in data science while working part-time as a software engineer.

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A New Country

Danny was born in San Quintín, a town just outside of Tijuana, Mexico. “Things have changed,” he says, “but back then, the roads weren’t paved, and there…


A step-by-step breakdown of how browsers work.

This article was written for those curious minds who want to know the technical details about what happens inside a browser while we’re using it.

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Starting point

So, we enter the following site address — practicum.yandex.com — into our browser address bar and press “Enter”. Then what?

Searching for the server on the web

Every site on the Internet is physically stored on a server somewhere. As soon as the browser receives the site address, it will need to figure out which server has that address’ data. But what we’re calling an “address” here isn’t really an address at all — it’s a domain name.

👉 Imagine that we’re…


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When you look up “superhero” in the dictionary, don’t be surprised if you see a picture of Rita Sandomirskaya (trust us, it’s there). Not too long ago, the full-time mother with an extensive background in philosophy found herself in a sticky situation. Staying in Israel on her husband’s work visa, Rita worked as a part-time remote Recruiting Assistant at a large IT company. Landing a legit local job seemed nearly impossible!

On top of that, it was clear her part-time gig wasn’t getting her anywhere. Her tasks were repetitive and boring, and even with a strong passion for HR and…


Love is like Web Development — it is complex and takes plenty of patience and understanding, but once you know how to do it properly, there’s nothing you can’t accomplish. In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, Practicum caught up with a couple (and Practicum students), Stefanie Taylor and Anthony Tromboni, to see how they keep love at the center of their web development journey.

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What inspired you to start your journey into tech?

Stefanie: Well, we both work in law enforcement. And, as you may have seen, it has become a very tough job to have these days, especially here…


Change is good — having a plan is better

As if making a career change isn’t hard enough, doing it alone can really make you wanna pull your hair out (please don’t). Many IT newcomers, from web developers to data scientists, struggle with answering the onslaught of questions that come with their decision: “How do I get a job? Do I know enough to really start coding? Who do I talk to if I need advice?”

But don’t fret. Entering a new field doesn’t have to be the end of the world. And we certainly wouldn’t leave you hanging! (You didn’t doubt us, did you?)

Below, we’ve compiled a…


Why Install Ubuntu?

Ubuntu is an operating system for computers similar to Windows or macOS. Many programmers and IT professionals have it installed on their computers.

In this article, we’ll explore three reasons why you should try Ubuntu as a primary or secondary operating system.

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What is Ubuntu, what is Linux, and how are they connected?

So, let’s talk about the Linux operating system. An operating system, or OS, creates a virtual layer between the user, the computer hardware, and programs. Like any other OS, Linux enables its users to manage files, run software, and do all the tasks we use our computers for.

A huge number of servers, smartphones, and computers all around…


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Times like these call for a little introspection.

When you’re on the hunt for a job, you will likely be spending plenty of time convincing potential employers that you can perform the tasks they require. Oftentimes, you will be asked to create samples showing your mastery of what employers call the “hard skills” of your field.

But there are other essential skills you will need to become a workplace aficionado. Teamwork, time management, and openness to feedback prove critical to success in the workplace. …


A mobile-first approach to website development means that we start the design from a mobile perspective and then expand its features to create everything else.

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Before the idea of mobile-first design came about, programs and services started with desktop sites. Only after a desktop site was up and running would developers make the site responsive for viewing on mobile devices, create a separate mobile website, or just leave the website as is. After all, if the user really needs to use the website, developers thought, “users can cope with a cramped interface, right?”

That’s what developers used to think. Now…

Practicum by Yandex

Break into tech using insights from our experts and students. practicum.yandex.com

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