Back in September I finished the Data Scientist (with R) career path from DataCamp. This career path is a series of 23 online courses that start with a general introduction to R, introduce the important functions and packages for modern R usage, and give a sampling of machine learning techniques. Along the way, these courses introduce data analysis concepts that go beyond the specifics of how to code in R.
I found the courses to be a mix of review and new material, however my 8 years of experience with R made the review portion of that inevitable. That being said, I almost always learned of some quirk in R or a new way of doing something that was simpler than the hack I’d been using for years. For someone new to R, these courses will be helpful in getting used to the quirks of R without having to bang your head against the wall too often.
After initially completing the courses I thought that they were interesting, but that their main use would be giving me brief introductions to topics for further study. In general, I’ve found that to be a pretty accurate assessment over the last few months. For example, while these courses gave me an introduction to the
purrr package, it was only after reading through the package’s documentation and doing some tests of it myself that I was able to start to get a good grasp on the package. That being said, one of the more useful parts of the classes has been the ability to go back and review the material from the classes at a later date. While I may think I understood one of the topics, getting a chance to review it with a fresh problem in mind has been incredibly helpful.
Overall, I found the DataCamp courses to be pretty useful. Hopefully my time with them will continue to pay off in the coming months.