Why Have Side Projects? Whenever I am asked the best ways to learn data science, I always encourage folks to find a problem to solve that is interesting and unrelated to work. In other words, a side project.
The rationale for this advice is simple: learning new tech skills is difficult. Therefore, you should tackle problems that bring as much joy as possible while also avoiding email entanglements or late-night Slack boondoggles.
I have enjoyed NPR’s Planet Money podcast for many years. They always have an interesting perspective on matters foreign and domestic; macro and micro; trivial and critical. It’s also a space that doesn’t shy away from wonky, data-filled policy debates.
A recent episode, The Modal American, talked listeners through a full analytic pipeline including the research question, an explanation of the methodology and the results.
Planet Money’s specific research question was whether they could aggregate IPUMS data (Go Gophers!
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