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Comet Office Hours: Recap for July 18, 2021

Welcome to another recap of the Comet ML Office Hours, powered by The Artists of Data Science!

Before we jump into this week’s recap, a quick notice:

We won’t be hosting Office Hours next Sunday, July 25th, and will instead return to our regularly scheduled programming Sunday, August 1st. Same time, same channel.

Sad news, indeed—but the reason we need to cancel is actually super exciting! Harpreet is leading a session at DataScienceGO—a virtual, 3-day DS conference (July 23-25) with a wide range of sessions and events, including a Career Day, Session Day, and Bootcamp Day.

You can learn more about the conference here:

And be sure to check out Harpreet’s session specifically, SQL from the Ground Up.

Here’s a registration link, as well, which includes a free ticket option for the first two days!

Onto our weekly recap! This week, the group had an interesting mix of technical and philosophical discussions (which you should certainly check out in full), but I’ll cover two threads I especially appreciated:

  • Tips for learning SQL—and more broadly, tips for getting started in a new role when you feel like you need to learn a lot of new skills quickly
  • The worst kinds of career advice we’ve received or seen floating around the Internet

As a reminder, we’d love to see any and all of you at these hourlong sessions—so feel free to register for upcoming Office Hours sessions here!

As always, there’s a lot more in the full session (which you can find on Harpreet’s YouTube channel), so be sure to check it out, alongside all of Harpeet’s other excellent content.

Tips for learning SQL…and setting expectations in a new role

The first conversation I’d like to highlight has a couple different and equally interesting threads. The first—tips, tricks, and resources to learn SQL. Harpreet offered a rundown of a few resources, including a course he teaches as part of his work with Data Science Dream Job:

  • Azure Data Studio — A great tool for helping visualize the transformations in your ETL pipeline, among other things
  • Harpreet’s course as part of Data Science Dream Job
  • And an upcoming session Harpreet is leading on SQL at this year’s DataScienceGO virtual conference (July 23rd-25th)

Of course, there are a lot more SQL resources out there, as it’s one of the more common database languages out there. This collected list on is a good place to start.

The context in which this question was asked is also worth covering. Essentially, Harpreet was fielding a question about starting a new role and having to learn new skills on the job quickly—which basically turned into a conversation about setting expectations and calibrating your approach when just starting out in a new role. The full exchange is worth a watch:


The worst career advice you’ve received is…

In classic Comet Office Hours form, the conversation at some point turned in a more philosophical direction. This week, one of those threads centered on career advice—which, if you’re looking, you can find in uncountable quantities.

Specifically, the group discussed the worst pieces of career advice they’ve received or seen, and the resulting conversation brought to the fore several dynamics that the group finds particularly distasteful:

  • Controversy masquerading as advice, for the sake of garnering attention
  • “You’re not a real data scientist unless you do XYZ”
  • Advice presented as fact or dogma—basically hardline claims that don’t allow for nuance or context

As someone who feels that imposter syndrome and is susceptible to internalizing these kinds of messages, I found this exchange (in full below) to be particularly impactful.


Resources Mentioned

In addition to the wonderful back-and-forths throughout the session, there were a whole lot of interesting resources mentioned, both by Harpreet and many of the attendees. Here’s a quick list, in case you’d like to check out what is capturing the community’s attention.

Enjoy the Conversations Above? Join Us!

We run these virtual Office Hours every Sunday at 12pm ET (New York, NY). Completely free to attend and participate, and we’d love to see any and all of you there, help address any questions you might have, and just hang out and talk all things data science and machine learning!

Just another quick reminder, we will not have Office Hours this upcoming Sunday, July 25th. We’ll resume the sessions Sunday, August 1st at 12pm ET.

Register for Comet Office Hours

One last thing…

We recently launched The Comet Newsletter, which offers a weekly inside look at all things data science and ML, featuring expert takes and perspective from our team. We have big things planned for both Office Hours and the newsletter, so be sure to subscribe if you haven’t already!

Subscribe to the Comet Newsletter


Austin Kodra

Austin Kodra

Austin Kodra is the Head of Community at Comet, where he works with Comet's talented community of Data Scientists and Machine Learners.
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