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Andrei Maftei Gets a Step Closer to Creating an AI for Medical Diagnoses with JetBrains Academy

In this interview with Andrei Maftei we continue our series of interviews with people inspired to learn programming through JetBrains Academy.

Andrei Maftei
“Learning Python with JetBrains Academy brings me closer to achieving my next goal – solving medical problems for doctors through AI. The fact that I can do this through a project-based approach, where I can “get my hands dirty” with the code, makes me want to learn programming even more.”

Check out Andrei’s success story on Reddit

— Hi Andrei! Could you please start by telling us a little bit about yourself and your programming journey?

My programming journey started a long time ago, back when I was in high school where I studied Math and Informatics. Back then, I programmed a bit in Pascal, but it didn’t really interest me very much. It even felt like I would never be able to learn a “computer language”. This is why in college I decided to study Finance instead. After college I tried a few different jobs in very different areas – a sales representative, farmer, renewable energy worker, handyman, and even a robot operator! At the last job I learned a few things about what happens under the hood of computers and how you can program a robot to do the things you want. That was an amazing experience, which as I now realize, brought me closer to the world of programming. That’s why after years of trying to find my place in this world and after many struggles to find a field of interest, I’ve started to rediscover both the interest and pleasure of coding.

— That’s definitely not a short road to programming! What do you currently do?

With my wife being a doctor during the pandemic, I had to stay home to take care of our son. I am also a part-time freelancer. One of my recent projects was to create some web scrapers. The skills I gained from JetBrains Academy helped me develop them! Currently, I’m working on a personal project that should act like a “friend” for doctors, especially radiologists like my wife. I have always been attracted to solving problems through technology. So I want to develop an AI that can help them identify different diseases in their early stages and help them provide a more accurate diagnosis based on the CTs or X-Ray images. This way, doctors can help patients more efficiently and give extra attention to other cases.

— How does JetBrains Academy help you on your way to creating an AI for medical diagnoses?

Learning Python with JetBrains Academy brings me closer to achieving my next goal – solving medical problems for doctors through AI. The fact that I can do this through a project-based approach, where I can “get my hands dirty” with the code, makes me want to learn programming even more. Armed with all the new skills I’ve acquired since I started learning at JetBrains Academy, I am pretty sure that I can find my place in the world of IT when this pandemic is over.

— Being proficient with Python is critical for creating an AI. Do you feel more confident about Python after learning at JetBrains Academy?

Yes, I do! After completing my first project I realized that this platform had everything I needed for learning and mastering Python. It has all the necessary theory, lots of practice, and projects of different levels. I haven’t skipped any of the 3000+ coding exercises because I know that in the end I will benefit from solving them. I also like that the entire program is well-structured and divided into stages. It all helps make me more and more confident in my programming skills.

— What’s your favorite project in the Python Developer track?

If I have to pick, it would be PageRank and Text Generator. The first teaches some Math and gives a very good overview of NumPy, a library for the Python programming language. The second gives lots of valuable insights about NLP (Natural Language Processing).

— What’s your advice to anyone thinking about starting to learn programming?

For all my fellow learners and those who are thinking of starting a career in programming, I have one piece of advice: never give up! There is always a solution! For me, this was Jetbrains Academy.

We’d like to thank Andrei for sharing his learning journey with us. We are very proud to see everything you have accomplished and wish you good luck in your quest to help doctors all around the world!

If you use JetBrains Academy and would like to share your learning journey too, please let us know by leaving a comment below.

The JetBrains Academy team