#ReflectiveBlog - My DS6 Experience

by Alex Jones


Well, that’s a wrap – as they say in the movie industry – DS6 is officially finished and we are each of to our respective first client projects around the globe.

Having spent 4 months in close proximity to one another, we’ve experienced a range of highs and lows together and got to know each other really well – so it’s bittersweet to part. That said, I think we are all ready to escape our little room on the 4th floor of 33 Cannon Street and practice what we’ve been taught.

Jamie and I are off to San Diego to work, which is exciting. Solar Turbines have previously taken 2 pairs of DSers before us, so they’re undoubtedly expecting us to be of a similar calibre – no pressure! Specifically, we are keen to get back into Alteryx – as we haven’t used it for a while – and build on our knowledge of building macros and analytic apps for a real-life client.

Anyway, to reflect, I thought it may be useful to share some key highs that may be of use to the incoming DS7:

  • Teaching the group back complicated Tableau / Alteryx principles – and more importantly reinforcing the understanding, namely with LODs, Table Calculations, and Predictive Tools.
  • Andy’s presentation-practice each Friday – you’ll start out hating it but embrace the fear and you’ll soon end up loving it.
  • Achieving the highest mark in our intake for the Tableau Desktop 10 Qualified Associate exam (96%) – made me very proud – and a useful point to mention in your first placement interviews!
  • POD nights out – once a month meetup to collaborate, find out how each DSr is progressing, and talk shop.
  • Getting involved – most memorably with climbing, ping-pong, and golf – TIL’s a great company to be a part of not just work for, make the most of your time here.
  • Learning from seriously intelligent and industry-leading teachers – from other members of the DS to all the TIL Core team.
  • Network outside of the business within the communities – you can learn a lot and there’s always free pizza!

And, some lows/areas of caution:

  • Feeling out of your depth in the first few weeks’ – this is inevitable, as people learn at different speeds, so expect it and don’t fear it. More importantly, make sure you know what you don’t know – as burying your head will only cause more strife in the long run!
  • The first two months I chose to stay up late most nights and work on weekends to ensure I was taking full advantage of the time I was given to train – this definitely lightens as you learn more and can do things in Tableau / Alteryx quicker, but worth being aware of.
  • If you don’t something, stick your hand up and keep sticking it up until you have a clear understanding – it’s the teacher’s job to make sure you get it.

Ultimately, the above is a list of things that came to my mind when remembering back over my DS time; however, you’re almost certainly going to experience your own in addition as the programme continues to evolve.

One tip for the future:

At the end of your first four months, make sure you can safely say that you know how lucky you are to be here and have made the most of the opportunity – have a great time!

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