This is not another article about success

by Rachel Costa

Because success is overrated, I decided to be more realistic and share 9 tips to survive the Data School experience

survive the data school
Andy Kriebel gave us a list of philosophical subjects to write about this week. My first one, published yesterday, was a compilation of my thoughts about the most challenging things in the Data School.

Today I should talk about how to be successful in the Data School, but as successful is overrated I will take a poetic license to change the subject (I hope Andy will forgive me) and write about how to survive the Data School.

Because it is a wonderful experience but as everything in life, it is better if you come prepared. 😉

1. Add Alteryx and Tableau to your dreams

Be selected to the Data School is only the first step of a long journey. Make sure you have space in your heart and in your soul to lots of Tableau and Alteryx knowledge. Also get used to frequent thematic dreams about both.

2. Be patient

Patience is a virtue. Be patient with everything: with yourself, with your computer, with the learning process, with the coffee machine, with Tableau, with Alteryx …

3. Get used to public speech

Fortunately, I’m a shy person who likes to speak in public, but if you are not and you are coming to the Data School, try to create your own methods to overcome that obstacle. Here we speak (a lot) in front of others.

4. Give yourself time

During the Data School we are exposed to lots of new things. Immediately absorbing all of them is almost impossible. So give yourself time to test, try, fail, do and redo things.

5. Ask Andy (and all the The Information Lab team)

Don’t be shy just because the question seems to be silly. Andy will answer it anyway (almost all the times. Hehehe) and sometimes something that seems to be silly is not necessarily that simple.

6. Learn keyboard shortcuts

Actually I am writing down this as a note to myself (I’m a tragedy to remember shortcuts. I am seriously thinking about keeping a piece of paper with them near me next year). The more keyboard shortcuts you know, the easier your life will be.

7. Be prepared to write blogposts about everything (Including your personal experience here)

It is part of the Data School routine writing about what we are learning. I confess that I have complained sometimes about this (I love writing, but writing in another language that is not your mother tongue is a really time consuming nightmare), but I also recognise that it is a very good way to consolidate the new things we learn.

8. Recognise your weakness, but also your virtues

Sometimes I spend too much time thinking about what I don’t know and forget what I already know. Don’t to the same! The Data School is a wonderful mixed group of people with very different backgrounds and saying that I mean that you will find people here that are extremely good in some areas. Use this in a positive way, as an opportunity to learn more about things you have never studied before. Don’t turn it in an endless comparison that always ends up with you concluding that yourself is worse than everyone else.

9. Enjoy the training period

You will have free beer and cool people around you + the opportunity to learn a lot while someone is paying you for this. Is possible to find something better than this?