New to Data Quest!

Hey guys,

My name is Rohan and I am new to Data Quest and have an interest in the data field but have no experience and I am starting from scratch. I just started yesterday and I am 4 modules in and I felt good at first but I am feeling very iffy after the third and fourth modules. I kind of got what was going on but at the same time, I felt that mostly everything after the “for loops” concept was difficult to understand. I got through these modules and I would get close to the answers for most of them but sometimes it would be a stupid mistake or a major one in terms of me forgetting a function. I got through these modules by using mostly hints and after about a while I would just give up and seek the answer and figure out why it was the way it was and it totally made way more sense. Did any of you guys find yourself struggling like this? If so, what did you do to understand theses concepts? Whether it was doing it all over again, or analyzing the logics behind the answers etc. I do not want to learn like this especially for the harder concepts. Also for those of you that self taught yourselves, did you guys do the modules first and then the sample questions and the projects? Or, was it some other format? Any study tips and study formats are greatly appreciated!


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Hi @rohanpatel749 and welcome to the DQ community!

I started DataQuest from scratch as well about 8-9 months ago. Although I would consider myself a “technophile,” I had no previous experience in coding and thus had similar feelings to yours starting out. I felt good for the first few missions and then noticed I was looking at the answer after being stuck for a while. This really made me feel bad…but I realize now it shouldn’t have!

I think this pattern is quite common and you shouldn’t beat yourself up too much about it…just a little bit! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: Confusion and struggle are integral to learning. I think what’s important is whether you feel like you’re actually learning core concepts and picking up good coding skills or are you just going through the motions in order to get that little “ding” and checkmark at the end of each screen?

I would also add that you shouldn’t feel like you need to memorize everything and need to have perfect recall when it comes to syntax. I think it’s more important to remember what is possible and then seek out documentation in order to implement it if need be. Google is your friend it is not considered “cheating” if you can’t remember exactly how to code something. (Thanks @nityesh for teaching me this valuable lesson!)

Definitely. You are not alone. For me, the solution is summed up in one of my all-time favourite quotes:

If you’re going through h e l l, keep going.
                                 — Winston Churchill

Learning does not come immediately after reading some new concept for the first time. It comes when you try to recall it and implement it later. In other words, learning takes time. And I don’t mean the time between reading it and doing the related exercise in a DQ mission but rather over weeks and months after first seeing it. At least that’s how I feel. And thus, I just keep going! :sunglasses:

One thing I would suggest is to take advantage of the community here. Always put in your due diligence first of course, but I find a lot of times just explaining my confusion to someone else can often help me gain a better understanding before I even post the question. I highly recommend reading this post as well as this one since they will increase your chances of getting a quick reply and they really help out those of us who like to help.

I typically do all the missions of a particular course in order which usually ends with a guided project. I cannot tell you how much these will push your learning! I find that’s where most of my learning comes from. I highly recommend taking your time with these and really push yourself to get the most out of it. That said, when I find a concept tricky, I will sometimes do practice questions before jumping into the guided projects (like SQL for example.) When complete, upload your project to the community for some peer review and feedback. You have some amazing people here who are great at providing feedback on projects (quick shout out to @Elena_Kosourova, @artur.sannikov96, and @brayanopiyo18, y’all are incredible human beings!)

And last but not least, look at other people’s projects after you complete yours (or even while you’re working on yours to get some new ideas). I found this intimidating at first because it made me feel like “everyone knows more than me and I can’t possibly learn as much as other’s have”…BUT…with time, it will come! Eventually it will be your projects that make other people think that way. It’s just a matter of time and effort.


Hey Mike,

Thanks for the guidance during this learning process. I will implement this forsure. I will do the course sections first then do the projects and do extra questions on concepts. And will definetly post questions and compare projects. How much would you say you spent time on the concepts you didnt understand and looked at the answers? What ways did you study those concepts? Any extra resources or did you just do the additional mission problems?

@rohanpatel749 I took a long while to master the basic syntax of python and core concepts like data structures, loops and flow control (before I came onboard to DQ). I took about 8 to 9 months in total before I would say I was comfortable with it so don’t be discouraged. I felt that doing exercises outside of DQ and watching some youtube videos helped me quite a bit. Try to use different modes of study.

CS50’s material will help you to solidify your foundation so I advise you to go through the lecture and the problem set.

I think this is essential, especially for concepts that you are unfamiliar with. You may need to change your mindset a little on this because the reality is that you cannot fully learn a programming language and when its time where you chart into foreign territory (or syntax, methods etc), you will definitely struggle, but this struggle is for good, since it will enable you to learn… and feel good about yourself after you finally understand and feel comfortable with it.

Still quite alot for me till this day. Sometimes by just reading, the concept doesn’t really sink in fully for me so I still need videos to solidify my understanding.

CS50 as mentioned above, FreeCodeCamp also has some exercises on Python

In addition, I also use the exercises in this book (comes with solutions):

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Thank you Ryan. Will definitely try to implement this and feel it out. I will definitely check out these resources whenever I am stuck and just immerse myself in this. Right now I am on the course of learning Python for data analysis.

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