Alex Olteanu
Jun 1, 2017 · 2 min read

LATER EDIT: I’ve recently started to work for Dataquest.io, but when I posted the reply below I wasn’t. Everything below remains unchanged.

Congratulations on your new job, David! I’ve been keeping an eye on your Medium posts ever since I first read your article about your DS curriculum, which I found helpful and inspiring.

However, after reading through this last article about your DS Career Guide, I really need some clarifications on the fact that you heavily recommend DataCamp because I’ve just become very suspicious. Here’s what grounds my suspicion:

  1. Class Central doesn’t allow DataQuest (DQ), the main competitor of DataCamp (DC), to list their free courses. However, they allowed DC to do so, treating them preferentially, and treating DQ economically unfair. I know about this from DQ’s slack channel, as I’ve taken some of their courses, and joined their channel.
  2. While I totally understand recommending DC for R, it’s really hard to understand what makes you recommend their Python track. DQ’s curriculum is way much stronger on Python. I’ve recently done DC’s pythonic content on K-Nearest Neighbors, as it was free and it was thought by a scikit-learn contributor. Besides taking me only about 2 h to finish it, I was pretty shocked by their cookbook approach. Then, I went on to do DQ’s course on KNN — it took me about 20 h to finish it, and I learned some neat stuff about what’s happening under the hood.
  3. The way you recommended DC resembles much more an advertisement, rather than a distant, unbiased recommendation. Also, there’s an obvious inconsistency between the article’s title, “The best Data Science courses on the internet, ranked by your reviews”, and recommending DC’s visualization course without it having any reviews, as you also remark:

Data Visualization with ggplot2 Series by DataCamp

Endorsed by ggplot2 creator Hadley Wickham, a substantial amount of theory is covered in DataCamp’s Data Visualization with ggplot2 series. You will know R and its quirky syntax quite well leaving these courses. There are no reviews for these courses on the review sites used for this analysis.

Just to be clear, I’m just suspicious, and nothing more.

So, please, clarify this issue for me, as my confidence in the quality of your recommendations, and consequently Class Central’s, has just dropped significantly because of this.

Alex Olteanu

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