After some initial requirements gathering from my ex-students, I am going to bucket the support group into two categories:

  • Job seekers
  • New professionals who already have a data job but they want to improve

It doesn’t mean we are going to meet at different timings. However, it means we are going to focus on each group’s objectives differently.

How do we get started with the Data Science Support Group?

There are individual goals and group activities for everyone.

Individual goals are objectives that you want to get out of the support group, while group activities help to enrich your knowledge and broaden your horizons.

At this juncture, we’ll focus on the individual goals first.

To illustrate what I want to do for you, let’s take physical training as an example.

It’s not difficult to exercise. Run in the park, do a set of static training like pushups, sit-ups and pull-ups. 

But you have the following problems:

  • Lack of motivation to carry the exercise out
  • Lack of results because you might be doing it wrong
    • And doing it wrong can cause injuries

It’s only recently that I realize that my form and certain muscle groups are severely lacking. All of a sudden, I realized the importance of a trainer.

And that’s why people pay money to work out with a trainer in a gym.

These days, gyms incorporate science to aid you in your workout, such as measuring your calories burned, your muscle and fat composition, and all that fancy tools at your disposal.

Most importantly, they track your progress. When you reach a milestone like losing a certain amount of weight or gaining muscle mass, you feel good about yourself.

Let’s bring you back to Data Science. You know that you can get a lot of material by yourself. But I suspect that many of you don’t know what to focus on first, and how to improve in order to get to where you want.

That’s why we are having a support group. You need the guidance to be the best which you can be.

Let’s Track Your Progress

To begin a support group, each of you is responsible for detailing:

  • The objectives and goals that you want
  • The steps you have taken to achieve your goals

My role as a coach is to guide you in your steps to take in order to achieve your objectives. This means you should:

  • Create a Google Doc, or some document-sharing services like Dropbox Paper, and share it with me.
    • All these things are personal to you. If you don’t mind sharing your activities and objectives with other folks, then by all means.
  • Write out the things you have been doing so far to get to your goal.

This exercise is important. If you don’t track what you have been doing, there is no way I can advise you further because I won’t know where you are to help you in your progress.

Then, when we do meet as a group, I would be able to tell you specifically how you can improve and get to your objectives, and your peers in the support group will also be able to motivate and help you as well.
So if you can do that, we can start our Data Science support group.

Note: This support group is for my ex-students only. I’m experimenting with ways to help coach people in technology and data science, and hence I’m doing this study for myself.

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