Sometimes learning is not fun

January 1, 2018
By

(This article was first published on R on R-house, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

Happy New Year!

I’ve spent the time between Christmas and New Year being more productive than I would usually be, trying things out in R, some (relatively) successfully, others…not so much.

I thought it would be worth writing about how embarking on Data Science isn’t all plain sailing, and can at times be incredibly frustrating! You often see people who make everything seem so effortless and it’s easy to get such a skewed perception of how things are going to go. To quote Luke in ‘The Last Jedi’ – “this is not going to go the way you think!”

My success in setting up this blog has been shadowed by some very late nights staring at the screen in utter despair wondering why a relatively simple build command simply will not work. I read the manuals over and over again, I search Google using every conceivable combination of search terms I can think of, and still I am left utterly flummoxed.

I’ve also been toying with putting together a script to allow me to access and modify my Flickr photosets via the API. Despite copying some code I found from Learning Social Media Analytics with R, I still have not been successful in submitting a request and getting a sensible response. All of this business about ‘keys’ and ‘secrets’ is just incredibly confusing. I’m sure I’ll get there in the end, and when I do, I’ll write about it.

Lastly, I tried setting up a new project in RStudio and linking it to Git and GitHub…something which is probably appallingly simple for some people, but it just completely defeated me, especially when I Googled how to do it and saw the sheer number of steps you have to go through. That really deflated me.

There is a really enjoyable part of learning, but the frustration component can really make you feel like quitting sometimes. I find temporarily quitting and coming back to it another day before I completely lose the will to live is a good strategy. However, the value of going through this is not lost on me, and I guess it’s something that a lot of people have had to struggle with.

No one said it was going to be easy…

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