How one community member created a data science boom in Argentina
When Marcelo Ripoll developed his first computer program in 1984, data science was not a recognized term. His early work in the field started with manually calculating experiment results using none other than some background in statistics and a hand-written log of calculations.
Soon enough, Marcelo got his hands on a new Texas Instrument computer, and he was able to transfer his manual calculations into a computer program and then categorize the results. His prior studies coupled with this passion for capturing interesting results from data, led Marcelo to a colorful career in the field of IT, where he held several prestigious roles includingImage Laboratory Chief at the Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (I.N.T.A) – Argentina, chief of software department at Canon Printers laboratory, and chief of connectivity at Edenor electricity company. He earned a specialization in Oracle prompting him to become a database administrator before moving to IBM in 2006.
Over the past nearly 15 years at IBM, Marcelo has been a force in the field of IT and databases, holding several different global engineering and administrator roles, supporting giant client accounts and creating worldwide recognition for himself and his work. But when it comes to community, Marcelo has really tipped the scales.
Building a data science career plan
Marcelo designed a 3-year career plan for budding data scientists in Argentina – a first of its kind – to promote the field and help ease the complexity of navigating a career change. Some of the activities specifically outlined for program participants in Argentina include the addition of Data Scientist certifications into paths previously limited to IT Architect and IT Specialist, education on Ethical Challenges in AI, a new IBM University Data Science course, the establishment of a data science career leaders Technical Council in Argentina, Slack channels dedicated to help local students become data scientists, and continued local learning opportunities about Machine Learning, Data in Action, Data Preparation and Career Mentorship.
In one year, 60 data science professionals in Argentina have reaped the benefit of Marcelo’s program, completing their courses and moving into data and AI career paths.
Curating a growing list of data science tools and resources
In addition to the career plan, Marcelo has championed the acceleration of data science education in Argentina in a number of different ways. Check out some of the resources he’s created:
- An entire chapter in the Technical Council of Argentina dedicated to mentoring people about data science. The “Data Science Corner” includes project examples, intro to data science, tools for data science, events, news and books, and channels of communication
- A collection of Youtube videos: Data Science in 5 Minutes, Can You Become a Data Scientist?,Skills Needed for Data Scientist and Data Analyst, and What are the different roles in Data Science?
- A weekly lecture (blog) that references current topics in the data science community and incorporates his personal teachings to go along with it
- The launch of 3 new courses: How to create my first project as a Data Scientist, Technical Professions Certification Development, and Education roadmaps for IoT, AI, Data Science and Cloud
Marcelo continues to build the Argentine data science community, and we are thrilled to have his expertise and leadership within our IBM Data Science online community. Please reach out to Marcelo with any questions or comments, and share your data science accomplishments with us here!
What are some ways you have orchestrated similar data science activities in your communities? Marcelo’s contributions exemplify the mission of IBM Community: to nurture users, practitioners and enthusiasts in a peer-to-peer fashion, with the guidance of mentors and experts from around the world. Nominate yourself or someone you know to be featured in our Data Science Community Spotlight!