I’ve been looking into websites where I can learn Data Science, free or paid since I wanted to make learning DS a daily thing. I had some hard time keeping up with all the different courses and free resources, so I was researching if something like Duolingo for Data Science is available. I’ve heard of CodeAcademy, and have used it for a bit way before when I was starting to learn to code. I stumbled upon DataCamp and DataQuest. I won’t compare the two in this post, but after some research, I’ve decided to stick with DataCamp for a while. Here are my thoughts.
DataCamp offers a variety of courses, skill tracks and career tracks. There is Data Scientist with Python( or R), Data Engineer with Python(or R), Machine Learning Engineer and so on. There are a lot of different courses that cover a lot of technologies. I started with the Data Scientist with Python career track. The first course was the intro to Python, which was pretty easy. Then it went on to Intermediate Python and Pandas. Around Pandas and Numpy is where the difficulty ramped up a bit. I really liked that you do projects. There are many different projects to choose from. I did a couple of them. There is a Jupyter Notebook set up in the browser, and you follow the steps that are predetermined for you. The option to have the course Guided or Unguided was especially nice, as your hand is not being held during the Unguided project. It is a pretty fun experience, but filling out the code gets tedious after a while. So, now we move on to the…
What I didn’t like about the platform was that all the code was prewritten for you, and you just fill out basically underscores. It makes it kind of like Duolingo, where instead of learning you kinda guess more. Another thing was the videos between lessons. They were kind of not needed I would say. The concepts were very vaguely explained, and then again you had to read through them in the exercise, so I don’t know what was the point of having the videos. The video instructors had a title like “Data Scientist at Data Camp” or just “Data Scientist”, which I’m not sure is a convincing title to me. But I can’t say that their explanations were bad in any way per se, just that they were not really needed, and I ended up spacing out during the videos.
Depending on the price you are paying for DataCamp, it might be worth it for you. The $15 monthly subscription is not expensive, although you don’t get all the project as you would with the $30 monthly subscription. A couple of days after signing up they offer you a very good yearly deal, I didn’t take is as I wanted to explore the platform a bit more first.
I would suggest the platform to complete beginners to programming and Data Science. It is a nice and relatively inexpensive way to get your feet wet. But, for more intermediate learners it might not be the best platform. If you’re someone who has experience in programming, Kaggle with its micro courses and huge collection of datasets to train models on, might be a better choice.