by Mike Cole

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

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…


by Alex Kim, Consultant at Practicum by Yandex Twitter | LinkedIn

In an earlier post on “How to Create an Outstanding Data Science Portfolio,” we discussed different ideas on approaching your portfolio and maximizing the chances of finding your first job as a data scientist. One of the best ways to highlight your technical skills is to have a strong presence on GitHub. What would this presence entail?

For this post, we will focus on the four areas where GitHub can help you strengthen your portfolio:

  • Project repositories
  • Profile README
  • Open-source collaboration
  • GitHub Pages

Everything below assumes that you have basic familiarity with git and GitHub terminology such as repository, branch…


by Alex Kim, Consultant at Practicum by Yandex Twitter | LinkedIn

Two things are very clear about the data science job market today:

  1. There is a lot of demand for qualified data scientists out there. (And most of these jobs come with handsome compensation and other perks.)
  2. This demand has resulted in a flood of job seekers applying for available positions.

Suppose you are aiming for an entry-level position in this market. You’ll be primarily competing with recent university graduates, software engineers transitioning to data science, and graduates of Data Science bootcamps and online programs.

How do you make yourself stand out from this crowd?

There’s a straightforward, but by no…


Learn how to start your career in IT with Practicum and Women Who Code

Join us for a virtual event in partnership with Women Who Code. Our experts will share their own professional stories, deep industry insights, and shed a light on how to jump-start your tech journey.

Our speakers:

  • Mary Kate Comer, Lead Engineer at Booz Allen Hamilton | Leadership Fellow at Women Who Code
  • Archana Vaidheeswaran , Artificial Intelligence Engineer at Continental | Leadership Fellow at Women Who Code
  • Nadya Primak, Web Development Bootcamp Instructor at Practicum by Yandex | A passionate software engineer and indie game developer | A writer
  • Linda Kovacs, Practicum student | Software Engineer at Accenture

Sign up…


Diving deep into one of the most intricate and perplexing concepts in web development.

This series of articles is dedicated to object-oriented programming. As this is the most popular programming paradigm, it follows that anyone who takes programming seriously and wants to become a true web developer should develop a solid understanding of OOP.

If you haven’t read the first article, no worries. Let’s briefly summarize what we learned there.

OOP is a programming paradigm. That is to say, it’s a set of techniques and principles that web developers usually take advantage of.

First, let’s contrast this approach with procedural…


Let’s get down to business. It’s time to start learning OOP.

It’s time to start exploring one of the most advanced topics in web development. In this article, we’ll introduce you to Object-oriented programming, or OOP. This isn’t an easy subject, but it’s totally worth your time.

The term OOP itself may suggest that objects play a key role in this approach to programming. It’s actually a little more complicated than that, but we’ll elaborate on that soon enough. First, let’s talk about OOP in general and the reasons behind its creation.

Procedural programming

Typically, when people talk about traditional programming, they have procedural programming in mind, which is based on procedures and…


The data was telling her a new start was nearly impossible, so she learned how to control the numbers.

Several years ago, I quit my successful career in banking to start a brand new life across the globe. But the “brand new life” in question didn’t quite live up to the hype! After years of thriving in a fast-paced work environment, surrounded by an array of faces, I now found myself mostly home alone. Housekeeping had become my new work schedule! I couldn’t allow this to become my new norm. So, I decided to continue my education and restart my career. …


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.

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.

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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