Dataquest Direct is your friendly, school magazine where you can read articles written by your peers in the Data Science Community. Hop in to see some long, thoughtful writing created by our awesome community of Data Science learners.
In this article, I’m want to inspire you to write an article in it and share some writing tips to help you write it.
Why you should write in Dataquest Direct:
Writing isn’t just for “writers”. The art of writing well is for everyone to learn - programmers, marketers, managers and leaders, alike. And yes, data scientists and analysts too!
Here are some benefits of publishing an article in Dataquest Direct:
1. Build your own online presence
When you write your story, you can potentially reach thousands of people. It’s an opportunity for you to build your own audience. An opportunity to build your own following. An opportunity to make your personal brand in the field. How exciting is that!
And it’s not just thrills and excitement. Remember, working professionals are learners too; learning on the job is a real thing. This means that many a times, the people who read your articles will be working professionals. Helping them means that you get to grow your professional network.
Every time you publish some of your work online, you’re increasing the chances that a potential employer or client is going to come across it and get in contact.
2. Improve your resume
Written articles can also be great to include on your resume. After all, working in data science isn’t just about having programming skills! Being an effective data scientist means being able to communicate clearly and effectively about data. Having published work on your resume is proof of your data communication skills.
3. Learn the art of written communication
Writing teaches you the art of writing. It’s kind of circular but it’s true.
Make no mistake, the art of writing isn’t about grammar (although, that’s important) and flowery language (definitely not important). It’s about conveying your thoughts with clarity in simple language.
And learning this art is important even if you absolutely know that you don’t want to write blogs/articles for a living. It’s important because all the jobs have some form of writing involved - messages, emails, memos and the whole spectrum.
Apart from that, when you write you learn the things that you thought you knew but didn’t really know. So, writing is an opportunity to improve your existing knowledge.
4. Teach and help other learners
When you write, you share your specific experiences with others.
That is also why you have all the reason to feel confident that you have something important to contribute, regardless of your expertise. You have a story and you can say it. Tell them how you learned, what you learned, and where you learned.
You can write articles and blog posts to share these experiences with others so that they can have it easier than you did. And of course, you get the gratification in knowing that you eased your readers’ learning journeys!
5. Dataquest will help you spread the word about your article
Dataquest will share your article in our marketing channels to show it to our Twitter audience, our LinkedIn audience and our newsletter subscribers. That’s tens of thousands of data science practitioners!
This amplifies all the above mentioned benefits of writing.
Submission Guidelines for Dataquest Direct
Hopefully, the last few paragraphs have motivated you to write in Dataquest Direct.
Here are a few guidelines that we expect you to follow when writing your articles. These guidelines are there to ensure a good experience for the readers:
The first one is obvious - you should only share articles that you have written yourself. Don’t plagiarise from other sources.
Add a cover image on the first line. Humans are visual creatures and adding beautiful, relevant images to your article makes it easier to read.
But beware of copyright infringement. Don’t add images from Google Search.
Do not use images (including logos and gifs) you found online without explicit permission from the owner. Adding the source to an image doesn’t grant you the right to use it.
Use Unsplash or show off your data analysis skills by creating a pretty visualization using your favorite library.
We only accept articles with a read time of 3 minutes or more. That’s about 800 words. If yours is less, dive deeper into the subject until you have more to speak about it.
Be mindful of spelling, grammar and punctuation errors. Having a wide vocabulary is not important but using correct grammar is. You need to be extra careful if you aren’t a native English speaker. Using tools like Grammarly can help.
Format all code using Markdown - no screenshots.
Don’t use clickbaity titles (like “You won’t believe what happens…”).
Writing advice for new writers:
If you have decided to take on the leap and start writing, I have a few pieces of advice for you. These are some simple tips that most new writers aren’t aware of. I learned some of them the hard way and now you can learn them all with ease:
Be mindful of your writing style. All learner-facing content should, first and foremost, feature a tone that is warm, welcoming, inclusive, encouraging, and friendly. Data science is especially complicated and it can be intimidating. The less intimidating you make your writing, the more people it will reach.
Be prepared to throw away a lot of what you write. The most used key on a writer’s keyboard is the
Backspacekey. So, don’t be afraid to rewrite it if you have to.
Reread it. Delete it. Replace it.
Add links to your Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media profiles at the end of your articles. This is key to building your own audience.
Share your articles with your connections on social media.
Don’t just share the link and say “I wrote an article, go read it”. Introduce them to the article - share an excerpt, talk about what motivated you to write it and get them curious.
Ideas for articles
Still not sure what to write about? Here are ideas:
Write better explanation for concepts that often trip learners. As a learner, you are in a favorable position that allows you to empathize with the problems of other learners like you. Write an article to solve that problem.
If you are a Learning Assistant or a @moderators or a @champions, try to expand your existing posts into standalone articles. You already spend a lot of time answering student questions. So, you are in the best position to understand which concepts often trip learners.
Found a useful topic, tool or library that we don’t cover in our courses? Write a “how-to” or a “getting started” guide for that.
Tell us about all the lessons that you learned with difficulty. Tell us about all those hard-earned moments when you really understood a complicated concept.
Tell us your story. All of us are hungry for stories. Tell us about your learning journey, tell us about your motivation and tell us about your successes and failures.
Did a cool project? It’s a great idea to walk us through it - tell us what inspired you, the difficulties you faced, show us some code snippets and share what you learnt.
Let’s make this magazine an awesome resource for every Data Science enthusiast!