Hello Alteryx Community!!
We are @kat and @NicoleJohnson! Back in 2018, we took the Grand Prix by storm and made it the year for women solvers, taking the Grand Prix Champion title home at both Inspire Europe and Inspire North America!! We are excited to answer any questions you have today around our Grand Prix experiences: how we prepared for the race, what the competition was like, our favorite tools to use, best songs on our playlists that got us pumped up... whatever you want to know!!
And if you’re interested in competing in the Alteryx Grand Prix (you should!!), check out this blog post about registering for Grand Prix 2021!
We’ll be online for the next hour (10-11am PST) to answer alllll your questions - just leave a comment below! Ready... Set... Go!
Kat & Nicole
PHOTO: Kat & Nicole after Kat's Grand Prix victory in London (along with pit crew extraordinaire, Dan Hare!)
I agree with @kat - there isn't necessarily a single challenge or set of challenges that is going to prepare you for the Grand Prix... but what you CAN do is pick a bunch of the intermediate challenges, for example, and then see how fast you can solve them. Don't make them pretty, and don't worry about extra tools & such, but see how quickly you can think ahead and get some answers on the canvas. And THEN, once you've solved it one way, go back and try to do the same thing again, but use different tools... I think that's one of my top pieces of advice. You should always have in mind a few different ways to solve the same task/step - because, inevitably, you're going to have a moment of stage fright where you completely forget how to build a DateTime formula or something. So you'll have to lean on another option - use RegEx, or the DateTime tool, or whatever. So training your brain to think of multiple paths to get to the same outcome is going to be a good way to get familiar with a bunch of different tools & methods, which will come in handy when the lights are blaring and the crowd is cheering and you start to forget how to do things you've done 100 times!! 🙂
@mceleavey I remember watching the Grand Prix the year after and also struggling to keep up with what was going on. I think it actually looks more intimidating from down there than it is at the computer. There's your encouragement for when they allow partners again 😉
Ha, speaking of Grand Prix beers... I had one on my desk, attempting to calm my nerves before hand... and then promptly knocked it all over the desk in the middle of Round 1, while trying to get my mouse to work when the batteries died. GOOD TIMES.
So the moral of THAT story is that you should probably not have open beverage containers on your desk while Grand Prix-ing, and have a wired mouse/keyboard ready on stand by 🙂
That's a great suggestion @NicoleJohnson - the more ways you have the more you can lean on.
Also about not making it pretty.... I remember a moment during the Grand Prix where I noticed I was doing the whole tab indentation on my if statement... 😂 had to have a quick stern word with myself about speed over pretty 😁
Hi @tsilva4, my number one prep was just doing all the weekly challenges. And adding to that, I never looked at the solution before solving it myself, even if it took a really long time (Challenge 100.... 👀). That helps train you to think about the solution yourself and not just recognize a good solution.
I also made sure I was aware of what each tool did so that there wouldn't be any surprises.
Doing the Exam is probably good too, as that is a real-life, under pressure, time-sensitive scenario, really putting you through your paces and highlighting any week spots.
@tsilva4 - "did you have any favorite training Alteryx or prep exercises you used to prepare you for the Grand Prix?"
I guessed that Predictive would be my weak point (I was correct haha), so I do remember spending a bit of time doing the Predictive weekly challenges to prepare... but as there weren't a ton of them to choose from, I also spent some time dissecting the examples that were available in the tools themselves, and the sample workflows and tutorials in the Help menu. It was good to just get familiar with the tools & some of the ways to configure them, and it was helpful to see some structured examples rather than "just winging it," which is typically how I was approaching the Weekly Challenges 🙂
I will also add that there are SO MANY MORE resources available on the Community now than there were back in 2018... between the plethora of Knowledge Base and Tool Mastery articles, the interactive lessons, the enormous library of videos... this is a gold mine. Focus on your weak spots with the Academy resources, but then also make sure that you are really confident in the things you do know - if you can take care of the data prep & blend super fast because you're a wizard at the favorite tools, you'll have more time to tackle the harder tools to figure them out!