4 there are just a ton of resources out there that will get you started. I’ve played with both R and Python and keep finding myself coming back to python, pretty much exclusively at this point. I’m sort of a non-traditional learner and get bored stupid fast and couldn’t hold a train of thought if I was pinned to the tracks, so to keep my interest I HAVE to hack away at code typically something written well above my abilities… Those little discoveries and aha moments are what really drive me forward.
If you want a gentle introduction the books series above will get you up and running quick. It’s also really well supported, Jason is really active on his blog answering questions etc and he’s just genuinely a nice guy. I like supporting people like that.
With the basics under your belt you can follow your own crooked path to discovery. More books, blogs, Github, Youtube and StackExchange will uncover all kind of stuff for you. It’s an amazing adventure and because of the nature of this competition, it will allow you to continually experiment and improve without having to adopt brand new thinking every few weeks. Discover, tune, refine, repeat, all in a consistent, competitive environment that allows for it.
One of the things that has really helped me in the last six months or so is setting up environments. Start with something like Anaconda and then struggle through installing things like Xgboost, LightGBM, Tensorflow, Tensorflo-GPU and LightGBM-GPU. Trust me, when you get done installing Boost on windows (required for LightGBM GPU) you’ll feel like a Rock Star (and you’ll be able to curse in half a dozen different langues.) Working on that lower level stuff, banging it out on a command prompt will give you a lot of insight.