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  #21  
Old 11-27-2018, 08:54 PM
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In the short term, R will give you some easy to use tools you can play with in your first day/week of learning. Python is very different, and can do much more, but it will take some time to learn various functions and useful tools.

Id say learn both at the same time, but youll probably take to R much quicker.


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  #22  
Old 11-27-2018, 10:56 PM
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I'm biased af, but if you're in insurance and want to pick up a language, R is the way to go. The latest applied actuarial research is pretty much all done in R*, and R has great tooling for general business analysis tasks with shiny/tidyverse/tidymodels.

* E.g. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers....act_id=3288454, https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers....act_id=3270877, https://arxiv.org/abs/1804.09253
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  #23  
Old 11-28-2018, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Enough Exams Already View Post
That may be because the IT department has nowhere to turn for support issues on freeware/open source software; safety may be the excuse rather than the reason. With proprietary software they can punt issues to the vendor's support department.
This is where Microsoft having an implementation of R, and having its own alternative repository to CRAN (MRAN) can be useful.
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  #24  
Old 11-28-2018, 08:18 AM
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I think it's fairly common, whether or not it's reasonable, for IT departments to be wary of freeware/open source software. I think it took us years to convince our IT folks that R, Python, and other programs are safe.
Can you do some explaining to me? How can IT people, presumably people with more tech education than people like you and me, not know this. When people with less tech education, like you and me, know this? Especially with Python which is a language that every person who has taken a programming course knows about.
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  #25  
Old 11-28-2018, 08:33 AM
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tech education <> programming, I don't think. Or am i missing your point?
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  #26  
Old 01-28-2019, 09:58 AM
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I honestly think you will be rewarded long-term for learning both. Python is immensely useful, even for just ad hoc file system automation and data-cleaning tasks. It's cross-platform and extremely portable. It also has a very intuitive syntax that most people will pick up rapidly, especially if they use it to solve actual problems on the job.

R is also very powerful, especially for advanced statistical applications. You can do things in R with a single line of code that would take millions of rows in Excel. And like Python, simply learning R will advance your general programming skills.

I think it's best to have an "and" mindset instead of an "or" mindset with programming languages. Using this *and* that is more powerful than always trying to decide on this *or* that.


I'll also throw in my own $.02 that Python is easier to learn and more flexible, but R is what the SOA is supporting with it's new analytics exam.
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Old 01-28-2019, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Colonel Smoothie View Post
Can you do some explaining to me? How can IT people, presumably people with more tech education than people like you and me, not know this. When people with less tech education, like you and me, know this? Especially with Python which is a language that every person who has taken a programming course knows about.
Not all IT folks get deep into coding. They usually branch off into other specialized areas. The database engineers at my company can't figure out simple list comprehensions in Python for love or money, but they can make Hadoop hives and SQL databases dance and sing.

And once you get into your specialty, how often do you go back and re-study basic stuff? (When was the last time you worked basic calculus or financial accounting problems on your own? I doubt I could evaluate an integral with a trig substitution from Calc II today with a gun to my head.)
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  #28  
Old 01-28-2019, 05:25 PM
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I'll also throw in my own $.02 that Python is easier to learn and more flexible, but R is what the SOA is supporting with it's new analytics exam.
CAS has launched a predictive analytics credential called CSPA. One of its exams also requires R programming knowledge.
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  #29  
Old 01-28-2019, 07:36 PM
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Which should I learn first? R or Python? I know nothing about either.

which is more widely adopted, in case of me needing to look for something new? (I'm P&C)

My work IT dept, is always skittish about installing new software. Are either of them more problematic than the other? (e.g. license fees, or anything else that could make an IT team skittish?)

sorry , don't know what other questions to ask. Am I forgetting anything?
I have a similar question, but I am still trying to get into the field. Which programming courses would look best on a career changer's resume? I have passed exams P and FM, but have yet to land an interview for an actuary or related job. I do not particularly want to leave my current employer before August 2019, because that might jeopardize a trip that my wife and I are planning that month. However, I do want to start applying for jobs with a stronger resume after the trip. The options for strengthening my resume that I know of include programming courses and a third exam. I have completed one online course in SAS and would like to learn some R and Python, perhaps with LinkedIn learning or Coursera. Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks in advance.
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  #30  
Old 01-28-2019, 08:14 PM
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I have a similar question, but I am still trying to get into the field. Which programming courses would look best on a career changer's resume? I have passed exams P and FM, but have yet to land an interview for an actuary or related job. I do not particularly want to leave my current employer before August 2019, because that might jeopardize a trip that my wife and I are planning that month. However, I do want to start applying for jobs with a stronger resume after the trip. The options for strengthening my resume that I know of include programming courses and a third exam. I have completed one online course in SAS and would like to learn some R and Python, perhaps with LinkedIn learning or Coursera. Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks in advance.
Study for the third exam.
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