Learn Data Science (or any skills) with “Deliberate Practice” | by Zijing Zhu | Aug, 2023


Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

A look back on what I did right

Recently I read a book named Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise written by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool. The book challenges the common myth that expertise comes from natural talent. Rather, with ample examples in different domains, it proves top performances can be achieved, and skills can be learned through such a technique called “Deliberate Practice.” In the book, the author provides examples of various skills, such as excelling in musical performances, wartime aircraft battles, and strategy games like chess and Go. Reading this book brings me a deja vu as I reflected on my own journey of learning data science skills fast towards mastering.

In my previous articles, I shared how did I become a data scientist:

and the seven principles I follow to be a better data scientist:

In this article, I want to share the techniques discussed in Peak as Deliberate Practice and illustrate them with my own learning journey. Hope it will be helpful for those who aim to learn data science or any other skills.

Deliberate Practice vs. Naive Practice

First thing first, what is Deliberate Practice? In contrast to naive practice, which is essentially doing something repeatedly and hoping the repetition itself will do the job. For example, play the same song every day with a guitar to be a guitar guru, or run the same trail every day at the same speed to prepare for a marathon. Indeed, repetition brings familiarity. You might become an expert in playing one song and lose some weight through the daily run. However, expertise in one song or trail won’t make you a top guitar performer or runner. No…



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