Machine learning as a service is started by Microsoft Azure. It seems that we can analyze data without writing code. Does this mean we do not need to learn the computer programming anymore ? I do not think so. Because computer programming is needed to add new functions and provide fine tune to existing statistical models. This is like driving cars. Although there is no need to do “gear changes” manually, we can run faster with gear changed manually when drivers have skills. In addition to that, learning programming is learning how the calculation is done on computers. The more you learn programming, the more you can understand methods of calculations in computers. So do not be away from computer programming.
For beginners, however, it is not easy to start computer programming. There are a lot of books and manuals about computer programming. Unfortunately, most of them are written for engineers and programmers, rather than beginners. So I would like to consider how beginners learn computer programing with ease.
1. Do not hesitate to re-learn high school math
First, we should consider how problems can be solved and results can be obtained. It is called “algorithm”. Algorithms usually are expressed by mathematical formulas. Whether therefore you may like math or not, knowledge about elementary math, especially vectors and matrix is needed in computer programing. Data is stored by using “Vectors and Matrix”, so it is very important to be familiar with Vectors and Matrix in advance. The calculus is also important and provided strong recommendations to learn. Most of the knowledge needed can be obtained through high school math textbooks. No need to solve complex problems, just read textbooks and understand how they work. With math, we can prove “algorithm” is right. It is a shortcut to learn computer programming.
2. Let us be familiar to manipulate “Vectors and Matrix”
Finally algorithm should be implemented on computers. This is the last step you which is overcome. In computer programming, “X” does not mean one number such as “1″, “64″ but group of numbers “2″,”56″,”789″. It makes presentations of data simple and easy if you can understand how it works. So be familiar to present matrix using “X”, “Y” even though each of them looks one number. This is the key concept for beginners to understand how data analysis is processed on computers.
3. Exercise computer programming without a computer
You do not need to sit down in front of computers in learning computer programing. Just a piece of paper and a pen are needed. Let us write down the algorithm you learned before. If you understand it with 120%, you can write code from the beginning to the end correctly. Anytime and anywhere we can learn computer programming using a piece of paper and a pen.
Anyway, do not be shy to computer programing and just start it step by step. You might be an expert of this field in the future. Good Luck!!