Ramazan Abylkassov

Speciality: Pediatrician. The Yessenov Data Lab winner.

Ramazan Abylkassov, a graduate of the Nazarbayev University residency program, is 29 years of age. Last year, facing tough competition, the resident of Astana managed to win the Yessenov Data Lab (YDL) Program contest and became the student of the Summer school for analysts, which has been held by the Shakhmardan Yessenov Foundation for the past six years. What does he remember about the contest, and what are his aspirations now? What is the impact of the skills acquired at YDL, and what could he advise this year’s competitors? Ramazan answers these and other questions.

Why did you choose to study medicine?
It happened during my school years when the time came to think about my future profession. While choosing it, I identified my strengths and heeded friends’ and parents’ advice, as my classmates did too. I was very good at biology. Since a friend of mine had chosen medicine, I decided to take the path of least resistance.

How did you realize that it would be a good idea to get data analysis skills?
I realized it when I immersed myself in professional work. Efficiency is being increasingly determined by data management and analysis skills, whether in clinical practice or in science. In my opinion, in the near future these skills will be as important and normal in many professions as proficiency in Excel and Word is today.

Ramazan, how did you learn about the YDL contest, and how do you evaluate this experience?
I got information about it from social media due to targeted advertising on Instagram in particular. It was my first experience working with data, and although it was a steep learning curve, I was excited about it. The tests and final assignments at the end of every week I remember most. We could compete with each other to see who is the best. So I looked forward to Fridays because I have a strong competitive spirit.

What can you tell about your Summer school experience?
The online format of the training course was convenient for me. There were also assistant lecturers who were willing and able to stay after working hours, and provide individual consultations on complicated tasks. I really appreciate it, and that helped me a lot. Due to the personalized approach I had an opportunity to better understand the current curriculum as well as get answers to questions beyond it.

What are some life hacks you would like to share with those who are planning to participate and win the contest this year?
If you’re, like me, far from programming, I would highly recommend taking a short introductory course on Python immediately after receiving confirmation of your victory in the contest. It is important to prepare well for school. For example, to arrange the most convenient workplace with reliable Internet access. I would also recommend positioning two monitors in front of you. This will allow you to follow the lecture and practice at the same time. And there is one more thing. If there is a question which you are embarrassed to ask, your fellow group members most likely also want to ask it. But they are also embarrassed to do it. So go for it!

What do you do now, and what are your plans for the coming years?
I decided to delve deeper into data engineering. It will help automate flow and storage of data that I would like to get while working in the medical field. I am sure that this knowledge will significantly save my time and effort. I’m going to take it seriously in the next couple of years.

Ramazan, how do you spend your free time, and what do you love to do?
Of course, I like reading books and doing sports in my free time. But I also like to play board games and watch feel-good movies at home with my friends. Before the pandemic, I regularly played table tennis, but have not returned to these trainings yet. Hopefully I will do it soon.

16.05.24, Stories

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