Is it possible to complete the Anaconda Skills Accelerator Program (ASAP) while working a full-time job?

Yes, it is possible to complete the program while working full time. However, some CAPstone projects will require travel to customer locations and all will involve attending meetings during normal working hours. It will take longer to complete a CAPstone project while working full time, unless the CAPstone project can be your full-time job — which can often be arranged.

What previous experience do I need to have?

Any post-secondary experience in a quantitative science or engineering discipline is sufficient. Basic knowledge of statistics, probability theory, and linear algebra at an introductory undergraduate level is expected. You can often obtain the needed background through excellent online classes and training material. We expect you to have a working knowledge of at least one high-level programming language such as Python, R or MATLAB.

What backgrounds do residents come from?

Common backgrounds include engineer, scientist, and analyst with a few years of industry experience. We are also looking for candidates interested in transitioning from a career in academia to an industry setting.

How long does the admissions process take?

The first stage of the admissions process is to qualify through an online application. If the applicant is qualified, the applicant is sent a take-home entry exam. After the applicant returns their completed entry exam, a phone interview will be scheduled within 1–2 weeks, subject to interviewer and interviewee availability.

Is there a deadline to submit my application or do you accept applications on a rolling basis?

We accept applications throughout the year with the aim of graduating 2 classes each year from the program. Applicants may apply at any time and may begin fulfilling requirements immediately.

Is the entrance exam "open book"? In other words, may I use online resources or books to help when taking it?

Yes, the exam is open book in the sense that applicants can refer to books or online resources as necessary. Applicants are not permitted to collaborate with anyone else during the exam, including in person or through forums such as Stack Overflow.

Are there any resources available for study to have a better idea of what the entrance exam will cover?

The generic curriculum of a first-year linear algebra and a first-year statistics course should suffice. Any resources used for undergraduate courses in these areas would be appropriate. We also recommend reviewing Python online for free and video tutorials and webinars to prepare for the Python portion of the exam.

Is there a time restriction for completing the entrance exam?

Yes. Applicants will have up to 24 hours to complete the entry exam.

What format do the courses take and how often are the courses scheduled?

The standard courses are 3–4 days and the Deep Dive courses are 1–2 days in length. Courses are generally available remotely with classes typically scheduled from 9am–5pm Central Time. Courses are scheduled several times per quarter, to allow for some flexibility in scheduling.

What if I have to miss a class?

While we would like you to attend every class, we know that sometimes things come up. The trainer and training coordinator will decide on a case-by-case basis how residents can work around absences.

Are the open source projects worked on in conjunction with other ASAP residents or Continuum developers? How will that work?

The open source project will generally be one of the projects Continuum developers are already engaged with. It is possible that more than one ASAP resident will work on the same project — but likely on different portions of the codebase. Continuum developer mentors will support ASAP residents in online discussions related to the larger project and will review and approve pull requests.

What support and guidance will I receive throughout the program?

You will receive guidance and support from various individuals throughout the program. From the onset of the program, you will be paired with one of our highly skilled instructors who will act as your main point of contact. You will also work very closely with one or more of our Continuum mentors who will help provide additional guidance and support, especially while working on your open source project. Our mentors come from a variety of backgrounds and are highly recognized, core contributors to many open source projects including NumPy, SciPy, Numba, pandas, matplotlib and PhosphorJS.

How does the CAPstone project component of the program work?

This unique aspect of the program gives residents the opportunity to apply most, if not all of their program training to hands-on, practical industry projects in the latter half of the program following their coursework. These projects can last anywhere between 3–12 months depending on the customer and project assignment and can be paid internships or associated with your full-time work.

Do we get to determine which location we will be placed at for the CAPstone project?

Relocation is not mandatory to complete the CAPstone. Most CAPstone projects will be done remotely. If it’s not feasible for you to travel at least temporarily, certain projects will be unavailable to you. Generally, paid projects may require travel — even then it won't always be necessary. Unpaid projects that fulfill the requirements will almost never require travel. We offer residents a variety of projects and the availability will change over time and with the candidate pool.

What can I expect to know upon completion of the program?

By the end of the program you can expect to have a solid grasp on a breadth of machine learning and statistical theory. You’ll also have built or contributed to a data science application and will know enough to be a successful data scientist in industry. The program culminates with a CAPstone project focused on synthesizing the core concepts learned throughout the coursework and applying them to an actual problem encountered in industry.

If I do not get in, may I reapply?

Absolutely! We encourage you to reapply and continue to study and prepare in the meantime. We will provide you with feedback and will recommend study materials. It’s a good idea to review our video tutorials and webinars to brush up on your skills.

If I have additional questions, how can I get those answered?

Submit any additional questions via email to [email protected]. Thanks for your interest!