Overall the office is a really friendly environment, is an open plan and has a ping pong table! Blogging and participating in alteryx challenges and makeover Mondays is encouraged to help build you brand and image so you can more readily get recruited in the future. Everyone is given a mentor and a pod, which is a group of data school members from other cohorts who run social events. The general messaging platform we use is an app called Convo where everyone is encouraged to post general queries and can keep in touch with all members of the data school.
So far what I have gathered about the alteryx and tableau core certifications, is that you can retake these exams as many times as you need. The alteryx exam can be taken after a week and the tableau one can be resat after 2 months. You aren't expected to pass the first time because you do take them so early, which is mainly done to gauge your level of understanding and so you have more chances to retake. Typically you train for 2 months and are then doing client projects, one per week, after which you will start 1 of your 4 placements. You do have some say in what placements you get but the decision is usually based third on your preference, one third on what the teachers think is best for you and a third on how your capabilities meet the needs of the client and what is available at the time. If your placement finishes early you can be put on 'bench' which is just some extra time you have to either get your advanced alteryx or tableau qualifications or do some work with TIL+, pro bono consulting. Usually after your placements a lot of the data school graduates go on to either work in the Information Lab core team, in one of their placement firms or are hired by other recruiters.
In my opinion, I have felt really welcome and have been really fortunate to have a really nice cohort. The first week was a bit of a shock for me because I had no prior coding experience but it is normal and there is a lot of support available. One of the data school members from a higher cohort offered to give some extra sessions on alteryx to help me before my exam next week. This was after reaching out and voicing my concerns so I would recommend speaking up sooner rather than later and no suffering in silence if you are. I hope this helps to provide a bit of further insight in to what the DS includes and hope that it convinces you to join us!