DS6 Expectations from a Newbie

by Alex Jones

Sitting in a hotel room in a rainy Kyoto I was nervously about to undertake my final interview and presentation for a spot on DS6.

As a bit of background, my nerves were slightly higher than usual as I had missed my original appointment the day before due to an unfortunate spillage incident that caused my laptop to fizzle – naturally, the video proof I had kindly sent into Andy had been passed around the interview team, which they made no secret of sharing with me. We got off to a fun start!

Being on holiday had left me with a really limited time frame to punch out a final presentation viz; however, I had managed to cobble together something that I was happy enough to talk through. The whole process went smoothly and allowed me to ask loads of questions (which I would recommend to any future DSers). I received my offer shortly after, which I was pumped to accept.

As I now sit here at the end of my first week in DS HQ, I cannot stress how much I’ve enjoyed the first 5 days and how much I’m looking forward to the next 15 weeks of learning Tableau and Alteryx. It’s basically the dream – I get to improve my technical skills, enjoy myself doing it, and learn alongside 7 other super DSers.



Having a background in developing dashboards for massive public sector organizations, I feel as though my biggest challenge / limitation is a lack of creative design experience. My dashboards were always focused around being to the point, simple but smart in design, and static – as they were built in Excel. So, in going forward, I’m most looking forward to overwriting some of my previous learning around ‘only using pastel colors’, ‘designing onto white backgrounds’, and ‘making the content as simple as possible’.

As a positive, all my Excel knowledge was learned autodidactically out of a natural love for simplifying data for stakeholders, which is confidence instilling, as my motivations are very much the same – to learn Tableau and to continue delivering much-needed insight for clients.


Going forward:

My plan is to post at least once a week to the DS blog keeping those interested up-to-date with what I learn that will hopefully have the supplementary benefits of both reaffirming the content in my mind and also sharing that learning with the wider Tableau community.

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