July 11, 2017

Harry: “Dataquest helped me start my career in data”

While working as a geophysicist for an oil services company, Harry Robinson found himself interested in data.

“My job involved lots of data, but it was always at arms length. We were applying algorithms, but I never got to see them.

“I wanted to know what was happening and why, so I could interpret the results.”

He decided to try and learn some data skills to help out with his geophysics work.

“I did lots of searching and reading online. Sometimes you spend 45 minutes working through a tutorial to find that it’s not very good. You can waste a lot of time without the right guidance.

“Next, I tried using Codecademy. I liked the style, but it was too easy. It spoon-fed me the information and I wasn’t learning.

Finding Dataquest was a refreshing change. “They get the balance right. Each concept is clearly explained without moving so slowly that you get bored.”

He found the real-world data sets and scenarios helped him apply what he’d learned at work. “I was able to use Python and matplotlib to build visualizations of well data.”

Dataquest not only teaches you the fundamentals, but also teaches you how to keep learning…so you’re never stuck.

As he continued to learn, Harry developed a hunger to work more with data. “The more I learned with Dataquest, the more I felt constrained at work and wanted to work with data in more depth.”

At first, he found searching for a job difficult. “Because I was a geophysicist, companies found it difficult to understand how my skills were transferable.”

“I discovered that when I communicated how I had applied the skills I learned, I started having success in interviews.”

Harry used a portfolio of data science projects to help show his skills. “When I was in the interview, I showed them my portfolio and it put me over the top. They told me my portfolio was strong, and it helped me get the job.”

Harry now works as a data strategist for marketing agency Share Creative.

“I couldn’t do my job without the skills I learned at Dataquest. I constantly use Python and pandas to do analysis, automate reports and build models.”

“Dataquest not only teaches you the fundamentals, but also teaches you how to keep learning. They show you how to use documentation and Stack Overflow so you’re never stuck.”

Harry’s favorite part of Dataquest was the community. “It was integral to my experience. I’ve been part of other platforms before, but the community isn’t there, it can be abrasive. I’ve never felt like that a Dataquest – everyone is happy to invest in the problem, there’s a grass-roots vibe.”

Asked what advice he has for budding scientists, Harry recommends taking your time. “Don’t try and rush through learning. From my experience it is more valuable taking your time and knowing a few things really well, than knowing a little of everything.”

“It’s important to keep learning. My passion for data hasn’t dried up, I use Dataquest every week so that my skills are fresh.”

Celeste Grupman

About the author

Celeste Grupman

Celeste is the Director of Operations at Dataquest. She is passionate about creating affordable access to high-quality skills training for students across the globe.

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