From Bootcamper to Coach

Today, I’m on my way to Baltimore to coach at Wellstone Action’s 2016 Data Bootcamp. I’m going to be helping a team of bright, driven progressives get some of the skills that they need to be junior level data directors on a campaign or within an organization.

Am I Ready to Coach at Data Bootcamp?

I’m excited, but I’m also a little a little nervous. I’m excited because I’ve been given an amazing opportunity to help peope learn the base of skills that they need in order to support successful political campaigns or drive change on social issues. I get to help them as they struggle with VLOOKUP and write SQL statements for the first time. I get to be there when they learn about the possibility of incorporating maps into their work when they learn to use QGIS. And I’m going to get a much-needed refresher myself.

Even with all of this, I’m nervous because less than 2 years ago, I was exactly where my bootcampers were. When I arrived at NOI’s final Data Bootcamp back in 2014, I had no clue how to use VLOOKUP or why I would even want to, I had never used SQL outside of the classroom, and the idea of incorporating maps into my work hadn’t even occured to me. I learned a lot that week and I’ve come a long way since, but I still feel like I have so much more to learn.

Can I do this?

Am I ready to try to navigate these folks through this journey? Will I have all of the answers to their questions? Will I be able to help them if/when they get stuck?

I sure hope so because I’m already on the plane and I can’t go back now.