November 9, 2020

When will you be proud of your data science work?

When is the right time for you to share your data science work with others? At what point will you feel comfortable enough with what you have done to proudly show it to your friends, family or mentor?

Your answer might be:

  • when I did everything right,
  • when I haven't made any stupid mistakes,
  • when I came up with a smart solution.

My answer was: "When I'm confident in my code."

And let me tell you this, after graduating university, doing a masters and years of work experience, I'm still not 100% there.

The fact of the matter is, whatever level we are, we tend to take our progress for granted. Every time we pass a threshold our standards rise and we start comparing ourselves to people who are one step ahead of us.

We start seeing mistakes that we didn't realize before. Honest mistakes of yesterday start looking like stupid mistakes today. And smart solutions we came up with last week look like an obvious given we should have known already.

We do this over and over and over again. After every achievement, we raise the bar. It becomes an ever-rising bar... Impossible to catch.

This is good in the sense that it makes us push ourselves and get better. But it also stops us from honestly sharing our progress with the world because we never feel adequate. Even though there is so much to be gained from sharing and learning together.

So if you were waiting to feel good enough about your data science skills or to feel completely confident in your code, take this as a sign that you don't need to wait anymore. Flaunt your progress, be proud of it. Share it on LinkedIn, tweet about it, send it to friends who are data scientists.

You will be surprised at how faster you can progress once you're open to receiving feedback.