Will I opt for Dataquest, after reading all the reviews?
One of the dataquest reviews from Prerit on the website who pursued a dataquest path, “I wouldn’t be where I was without Dataquest.”
I am a beginner in the field of data science. And to be honest I wanted to start my career path in this particular area for a very long time. But, I could not find where to start with, until I attended the summer training that everyone in my year of college is supposed to take.
The course started by teaching python for a week. Which I had already mastered . But, after that first week everything rushed so fast because there was so much to cover in so little time. The next thing I know was that I was mixing up all the codes and the concepts. I was confused with all the algorithms. It was becoming too difficult to catch up with the everything. There was so much to take in and no time to practice.
But, to tell you the truth, the training gave me the exact kind of exposure that was required to pump start my path in this field.
Although, the teachers taught everything they could with their hundred percent. I was missing practice which was required to understand the theory and grasp the mathematics topics better.
After the training, I had no clue where to look so that I am able to make up for the practice I missed during the program. And hence I started my hunt for cheap online courses that help me out with the coding and the mathematics part better.
What did I find?
There are a lot of courses available online that are cheap or for free, such as the ones available on coursera and udemy. One of the best courses to pursue for the machine learning path is to start with the andrew ng course which is available for free on coursera. It is the perfect course for beginners of machine learning. Also there are some brilliant but expensive courses available on edx as well.
There are a lot of books to read from in the field of data science. And so, I have read a lot of them. The books taught me well the theoretical concepts that were required and helped me brush up the topics I had already learned.
But nothing I read or studied was able to explain me the code for the algorithms and the mathematics that was required.
So I had to resort to finding something different and challenging for me to continuing my learning process for coding. I started looking up on the web and asking friends for the one ideal path for me to follow. Of the many platforms that I found and was recommended, Dataquest was the one that grabbed attention. It was different.
The image below was one of the first things you get to see when you open up their website. It was way too catchy for the reason that I wanted to learn to code based on the concepts that I had learned.
When you scroll down a little bit more they are provide three points explaining what a typical course would be like :
- In our interactive lessons, you’ll learn a new concept, write code to apply it, and get feedback all on the same screen.
- The guided projects, you’ll use the concepts you just learned to answer real-world questions on real datasets.
- In a typical Dataquest session, you won’t go more than five minutes without writing code!
After reading the three points I was a lot excited to right away subscribe and start with the course. But before I started up my journey on this platform, I wanted to jot down all the pros and cons and know if it was worth it at all.
So I started by exploring their website a little bit wherein they have provided reviews of some of their students. Next I went online reading all the reviews I could find for dataquest.
After I finished my researched, here is a list of what all I found out.
What did I find?
There were a lot many websites where people had written a blog about their personal experience of dataquest. Almost all of them only presented the pros of the course.
Also there were other websites such as reddit and quora where I found a lot of mixed reviews from a really wide range of people. All of them had different experiences while pursuing the course. Some of them loved it and recommended to go with dataquest. Others had problems with a lot of things such as the cost, their method of teaching and slow coding platforms.
I have made a list of every pro and con that I could find in the reviews. I have first explained what dataquest is providing and then written my review.
Dataquest offers four paths to choose from to start the journey. They are provided in different levels depending on your expertise in it. In each path there are a number of courses that are to be taken to complete the path.
When I started exploring their website and course, the one thing that I liked was that they were providing the course in python language. The one that I will choose for myself is ‘Data Scientist in Python’ path.
And hence so I viewed its career path. Starting with the beginners path I guess they will take up the route for intermediate and expert level.
I did not read any much reviews on the paths and so my review on the courses is based entirely on the fact that I read about it on their official website. I liked the fact how they told us what will be in on our portfolios after completing the particular path and also how nicely they have written about the skills that one will gain.
When I clicked the pricing option on the menu, this is what I found.
Dataquest is providing their services for just $22.92 per month for the basic subscription and $33.25 per month for premium subscription.
I think that the pay is cheap enough for the amount of skills they are providing us in return. If I get at the conclusion of starting to learn with dataquest, I will go with the basic subscription.
3. Time Duration
Dataquest estimates that Data Analyst in Python takes about 160 hours or 4-6 months to complete and Data Scientist in Python takes about 240 hours or 6-8 months to complete.
The other two courses are of less duration. That is, the Data Engineering path is estimated to take 80 hours or 1-3 months and the Data Analyst in R path is estimated to take 30 hours or 3-4 weeks.
Taking into consideration the vastness of the topic, I suppose that 6 to 8 months for Data Scientist path is fairly enough time. Also this is more than enough time to grab up on the topics and skills and to master them.
4. Teaching Philosophy
The website provides us with this as their teaching philosophy, giving me the intuition that they will first teach, then help me code and visualize real world problems.
From what I read in the reviews I could conclude that dataquest does not provide videos explaining the concepts. Rather they give notes written down which we are supposed to understand ourselves. I think this is a con for the people who have never been through the topic before. For me, I have already understood the theory. And so, I think this will be easy for me as I would not have to waste time watching videos. I would just give the notes a look and I will be ready to start coding for the topic.
5. Side Courses
As it is already said, the website only provides the written material. Hence, there comes some time when one will require to refer to other sources for better understanding the topic.
While researching I found some reviews where the people said that the courses was brilliant but they had to refer to outer sources as well like reading some specific books and taking the andrew ng machine learning course on coursera.
I think this is neither a pro nor a con. If we are made to look up to refer to other sources for better understanding it will immensely help in gaining more knowledge. But because I will be paying so much for the course, I would have liked it if dataquest had provided better explanation in the first place so that I would not be required to go to other platforms.
6. Coding Platform
I have not used the coding platform that dataquest provides.
But there were some reviews on reddit stating complains about how slow the coding platform is on weekends. There was another review stating that the person could not just copy paste his codes from one platform to another. This means that if he did his coding and debugging on jupyter notebook. And not use the platform provided by dataquest, simply copy pasting the code may result in errors. He stated that this problem is there due to the internal coding that has been done in addition to the code that they demand.
Hence, overall my conclusion for the coding platform is that it might be a little slow. Also I would have to adjust to use their coding platform only.
7. Jobs after Course
Dataquest does not guarantee that you will land up with a job after you complete their course. All the reviews of the people that they have published on their homepage landed up with a job sooner or later after completing their course.
But as far as I can tell, those people did not just do the course. But they also upgraded their skills from other resources. There were a lot of reviews for dataquest from people complaining that they did not end up having a job even when they completed their path. I think what they missed was the fact that the ones that surpassed them were referring to other resources to learn as well.
There was no review stating that there is something wrong with the slack community that Dataquest provides.
Dataquest has a really active community where you get replied to all the questions and queries you have.
This is what my impression is for the community after reading reviews. Also I think they are helpful and this might be a useful feature. This is for the fact that we will be required to complete challenging tasks.
My overall reviews on Dataquest
Keeping in mind all the pros and cons, and the loopholes, here is the answer to whether I will take in the data scientist for python path on dataquest or not.
Weighing the pros which include the fact that I am being provided with challenges to code more and not focus on theory. This was something that I wanted in the first place. Also I think the price is not so expensive for the fact that they are providing so much that can help me boost my career.
But there are some downsides too for dataquest including the problem of coding platform. Also I will have to refer to side courses for help which is a downside. Also the certificate they are providing does not make up to be of that much importance. But they are helping me build a better portfolio and which helps in long run.
So all in all, I would actually love to try Dataquest. But I will try to commit more hours every day. And finish the course in less time because 6 to 8 months is a whole lot of time. So, I will study and work hard to finish the course faster.
And in the end, I will surely keep you updated with my experience of trying dataquest.