Bummer of a Summer of Data Science Challenge

Sep 20, 2018 | 3 minutes read
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The Summer of Data Science (SoDS) ended a few weeks ago and unfortunately I did not complete all of my goals :(. Times like these call for looking at the original goals and reflect on what I did or didn’t do towards that goal.

1. Complete 50% of the Data Scientist Track on Data Camp

When I started the challenge, I was at 14%. As of the date of the end of the challenge, I think I was around 42%. Close but no cookie. But I’m still pretty impressed with how much I done though. I will try to complete 50% by the end of the year and once I do that, go from there with goal setting for this course.

2. Complete my showcase site

I am proud to say that I was able to complete this goal. Here it is! I also used blogdown to make this site.

3. Clean and organize my data for my first dissertation topic.

In the words of Lana from Archer(an animated series everyone should check out), “Nooooooooooooooooooooope.” This did not happen by the end of the challenge, but I did finish cleaning one set of data last week. I feel like I can clean the two other data sets by the end of next week (fingers crossed).

4. Finishing a rough draft for manuscript #1

Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. That’s all I can say about this goal. But I will make sure I have sure I have a working manuscript of the first topic by Halloween.

I almost completed this goal….I wrote two blog posts during this challenge. However I got a bit under the weather due to the weather and fatigue and there went that third blog post. I was going to write this blog post right before the challenge ended to close it all out, but it is what it is. Blog post still got written though.

All in all, I only completed one out of five goals. :(

Lessons Learned

The first lesson I learned during this challenge is that less is more. When I do a challenge like this again next summer, I will have fewer goals to work on. It’s important to take note of your schedule during the summer and how you are feeling. Summer doesn’t neccessarily mean “free time” and it seems that each summer has been busier than the last. Also, it’s good to do a self-check in. You need to make sure to make goals in accordance to your well-being. If you’re wanting to accomplish something but have not been feeling well, it’s okay to just have one goal for the SoDS(or none…rest can be best). Every little bit counts at the end of the day.

Another thing I will do is be more specific with my goals. As I mentioned before, using the SMART approach (Specific Measurable Achievable Relevant Time-Bound) is a good way to do it, but I still failed in doing so because I neglected the ART part of SMART. Going forward, I will be more realistic what I can achieve in a given time period in setting my goals.

At the end of the day, goal setting is trial and error or invention and re-invention(however you want to see it). Even though I only accomplished one of my goals, I still don’t regret doing this challenge because at the end of the day I feel that my knowledge and experience in using R has increased. When the next SoDS challenge comes around, I will make sure to do a self-check in and make make SMART goals accordingly so I can work SMARTer not harder!

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