AMA Archive | Dataquest Content Team AMA!

Hey Mary, thanks for the question!

My favorite part of being a content author at Dataquest is being able to help students learn topics, especially if it’s something they’ve previously tried to learn and struggled with. It’s great to see the impact that we’re able to have on student’s lives.

How do you decide what content comes next?


I used to participate on the soon-to-be-obliterated Slack Community a lot. I really like to help people and I would answer questions on there.

The team noticed this and we started talking about me contributing in a more official capacity. This eventually evolved into a full interview process which I successfully completed. I was then made an offer and I accepted :slightly_smiling_face:


What’s your favorite course you’ve written so far?


What’s coming next with the R Path?


Thanks for the question @dmc!

We plan new courses based on research we’ve done on the most important skills for data analysts and data scientists and student feedback. You can check out this article here for more details on upcoming courses.

Thank you for the question, @ianc. Right now we are actively working on Probability and Statistics content. This content will become Step 5 in the Data Analyst in R path. There are three probability and statistics courses in this Step: (1) Statistics Fundamentals in R, (2) Intermediate Statistics in R, and (3) Probability Fundamentals.

Beyond that, we have many more courses planned! You can click here for a link to all of our in-progress and planned courses.

@dmc, that’s a tough question because every course I wrote is special in its own way.

The first two courses I wrote were Statistics Fundamentals and Statistics Intermediate (Averages and Variability). Statistics is a math subject I enjoy a lot, and it was very nice to explore stats more by teaching.

The Python Fundamentals course was an amazing teaching experience! The challenge was to make it accessible to people with no programming background and that really forced me to be a more efficient teacher. I like this course for the teaching lessons it taught me!

My favorite course though is Probability Fundamentals! This is a course I just finished writing a few days ago, and it incorporates all the teaching experience I’ve accumulated so far. I can’t wait to have this live on the platform, we’ll launch the course over the following weeks!!

Hi. Does anyone know if tensorflow will one day be included in our learning?


Has anyone published any journals or scholarly material?


What’s your most challenging course you have written so far?


Hi @alvinctk, thanks for the question! Three of our content authors do have PHDs. We can post some of the material they’ve written to Discourse asynchronously.

Does the content author test his/her course by working on the platform?


Hey Carlos,

Thanks for the question. Eventually, we’d like to include courses about tensorflow and other similar libraries, but we don’t have a firm timeline for adding the course to our curriculum right now.

For the coming months, our focus is on tools that will help student work towards entry-level data roles, and our research indicates that tensorflow is more likely to be a tool used later in your career than initially.

What are the main workflow of writing a course?


Hey, Alvin. Thank you for the question.

Short answer: Yes.

Long answer: the course development process goes through several stages, each of them with its own interface environment. We do extensive testing in each of these environments, including the production environment, which is the one students use.

Hope this clarifies things.

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I realise sometimes a solution isn’t written in the most efficient way or doesn’t follow that particular language style.

For example:

If x == 3:
return True
return False

You can just do this
Return x == 3


@alvinctk, Python Fundamentals is by far the most challenging course I wrote!

Generally, it’s difficult to teach people the fundamentals of a technical subject, and programming is no exception. People have diverse backgrounds, some know programming, some don’t, some are confident with math, but others struggle.

And background it’s just one thing you need to be aware of when you write a course – you really need to think about a lot of things. How do people go though the course? How much time do they have to put in per day/week? What are their goals? Does the course helps them reaching these goals?

The Python Fundamentals course was very challenging to write because our aim was to teach the fundamentals of Python programming and data science to people without any programming or math background. It took us several months to write this course, and we’ve optimized it repeatedly since launch based on student feedback, and it’s still something we want to continue to optimize to improve the teaching experience.

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Hey Alvin!

At a high level:

  • Research the topic
  • Outline the course
  • For each mission
    • Write the code and create a rough plan for each screen
    • Write the text of the mission
    • Add diagrams
    • Submit for internal review and then implement the feedback from those reviews
    • Release mission to beta testing
  • Once all missions have been beta tested, I go through all of the feedback as well as the course data and make changes for the course
  • The course is ready for release! After the course is release we monitor closely to fix any issues that made it through our review process and to make sure the course is aligned to our internal metric standards.
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How do one access the previous version of the course?

Every updates of course are roll out in the same course URL on the platform.

Will there be a feature to select the version of course that you have access to during your subscription?