Should the Python Fundamentals project be so hard?

Hi guys, just a quick question in regards to the first guided project on the python fundamentals section.

I had 0 coding experience prior to data quest. I breezed through the python fundamental missions and everything made sense. I have just completed the project but i really struggled. Most of the functions were not covered in the missions and although i understood the answers and could read the code i would never have been able to carry out the project on my own without the answers.

Perhaps my expectations on myself are to high, are the projects designed to be like this, should I have been able to figure it all out on my own? I feel like i took everything onboard from the course just a little concerned if i missed to much, do i need to go back until i can carry out the project without assistance or should i move forward?


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Hi @maxowenpersonal:

Personally I enjoy challenges, whenever I do a new project that is difficult, yes I might feel frustrated but it makes me feel a sense of accomplishment once I have done it. I think its more about the journey (how you struggle and how you seek help) than the outcome.

This is usually normal for newbies like you. Additional functions are put in to strengthen your ability to try to tackle problems by yourself through documentation, videos and other tutorials. When you struggle or fail at something, you are likely to get better thereafter.

High expectations are good and bad to a certain extent. It is good as it motivates you to keep learning to improve yourself and one of the important traits of a good Data Scientist/Analyst/Engineer is to continue to learn on the job. I think its better to set SMART goals for yourself so that you have a realistic target, so try not to ask too much from yourself for the first project. You can of course take a few peeks at the solution for the first few projects.

There is a practice mode section. That should do the trick in helping you reinforce concepts. If unsure of new functions, its alright to look at the documentation (everyone does that). Try to apply the new functions you learnt in one project to another (where suitable) thereafter without looking at the documentation to “test” yourself.

Hope this helps!

Start doing more practices.

Emphasising on the start regardless on how small or big the task is.

Recommend to start with a small task with an achievable goal. With a small task, very difficult for procrastination from stopping you to accomplish your goal.

Once you start off, whenever in doubt, use Google to answer your own queries and look at documentation.

You have to be more specific with each individual missions.

If you have any question about the mission, don’t hesitate to ask in this community on a separate post, but try to see if you can help yourself to learn by answering to your own question first. Google search, stack overflow, and YouTube are a good resources on finding knowledge. Use these resources wisely!

Also, my post on Additional Resource Wiki has a guided path for beginners in coding or Python.

Use the Python Tutorial to better understand the Python Mission, make sure you know to do the following:

  • Basic control flow logic

    • if
    • if and else
    • if, elif, and else
  • Write a loop

    • for loop
    • while loop
  • How to use a list

  • How to use a range

  • How to use a string

  • Differences between break and continue statement

  • What is pass statement

  • How to declare a function def

  • Python Tutorial Chapter 1 to 5. You can select the Python version within the tutorial.

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Oh, I understand you, you have just described me. Don’t worry, just keep going. Next 2 projects have to be easier. The first one really hard.

I have to confess that this project stopped my progress completely. As a working parent with limited time and energy, the length and difficulty of the project has me stuck like a fly in a spider’s web. And then I got into a Coursera course that breezes along quicker…began using Data Camp, which also goes more smoothly…and so on… I think I’ll return to the project soon, but I wish this project had been more like a small mountain hike instead of a Kilimanjaro. I’m sure it’s a great learning experience and a great project for folks with more time to focus.

@carlthoren: understand where you are coming from. I have also taken courses from Coursera and DataCamp. However, their teaching methodologies and pedagogy is different from DQ, which I must admit is more beginner friendly compared to DQ.

Don’t feel pressured to finish the project quickly, pace yourself. Perhaps 5-10 mins every day if not every alternate day etc. It will definitely be difficult when you are starting out. If you unsure of certain aspects of the project (e.g. how to load data, what kind of code to put into a function), you can always Google it, seek help from us here in the community or read up others work or the documentation for inspiration to keep you going.

Hope this helps! Never give up and keep learning!