Did Expectations match Reality?

by Neil Lord

4 months, I was a giddy kipper having just survived my first week at Data School…in my excitement I wrote this blog outlining what I thought would happen in the following four months. Well now, sadly, this is my last week in the Data School before I have to go and work in the real world (I’ll still be a “Data Schooler” but not sat in a classroom learning stuff).

So did expectations match reality, am I living the dream or has this been a hideous nightmare from which I can’t awake?

Let’s find out…..

“I’m going to learn a ton about Tableau & Alteryx”

This is most definitely true! I thought I knew a fair bit about Tableau when I started, in fact I knew nothing. And whilst there is still a ton more still to learn I’m confident that Coach Andy has set me on the right path the Tableau glory. And Alteryx? I knew absolutely nothing Alteryx 4 months ago but now I’m confident that I can do most things with a workflow or tool.

But it’s not just Tableau & Alteryx you learn…you learn how to talk to customers, you learn Tableau Server, you learn design, you learn so much that most days your brain hurts and that’s a good thing!

“I’m going to meet some awesome people”

Another truth, not only do you get to know and love your DS cohort, you also get to know the whole TIL family. TIL is an awesome place to grow and develop, they are the nicest bunch of people you could ever hope to meet. And then there is the Tableau community, you may rarely meet them face to face but they are always there ready to help or give encouragement where needed.

And of course there’s Andy!

“I’m going to work in sectors that are far removed from anything I have experienced before”

Absolutely – Having worked in the Public Sector for many many years, this was all I knew but in the last 4 months I have been fortunate to work with a vast array of different sectors such as Commercial Shipping, Finance, Health Care, Charities, Retail, Airliners and sports! All of that in just 4 months!

“I’m going to be pushed far outside of my comfort zone”

This is real, I have was very used to sitting back and letting the world go by…not really taking the lead and always dipping my toe in the water first. Here you don’t get that opportunity it’s do or die (not literally of course). You have to do the things that you don’t want to do, everybody does but that’s what makes you better. Like writing blogs!

“I’m going to step out of the shadows and into the Tableau light”

I have no idea what I meant when I wrote this so …yes

“I’m going to have fame & fortune land at my feet”

Sadly this has not happened yet

“I’m going to become an amazing Tableau user”

The jury is still out on this one, I’ll let you decide

“This experience is going to make me or break me”

Some days I thought this had made me, other I thought this has broken me (dashboard week) but 4 months on and I’m still here and I’m ready for the next challenge. Coach Andy pushes you hard in an attempt to ram knowledge down your throat and you may hate him for it but it works, it really works.

“I’m going to have fun”

Yes, absolutely 100% yes! These pictures from the Christmas party say it all…

And that’s it, 4 months done another “who knows how long” to go.

I would just like thank you to Andy for putting up with us over the last 4 months, it has been a pleasure to learn from you. I just hope that you’ll acknowledge me once in a while.

Peace out