I’ve just completed a feat I thought impossible 3 months ago I just got my 100th accepted solution yesterday. I thought I share my motivation, what I’ve learnt and my insights from answering questions on the Alteryx community.
A question I was asked recently, what motivated me to take up answering community solutions? The simplest answer is I wanted to give back to the Alteryx community, of which I previously and continue to benefit from. Like many Alteryx users whenever I have faced a problem that I couldn’t quickly solve, I have searched the community to see if similar problem existed and used and adapted a solution if present to my own situation. Being an Alteryx user of over 5 years I can remember clearly googling a problem in my early days of using Alteryx and finding no results, as the community had not been created then. The community is an amazing resource and is only so and will only continue to be, by the contributions of Alteryx users. Since I have benefited from the community with other fellow Alteryx users, volunteering their time on top of their day jobs I felt it was time I did so too and return the favour.
In my professional life the most consistent feedback I have received is my willingness to help others. I always have ample time to help anyone who is prepared to stand up and say they need help with a problem. I know for some people this a difficult task to ask for help, hence why I have time for anyone who does ask for assistance. If my experience or expertise can be a benefit to others and help them with their problems, I’m happy to share my expertise. I able to recognise that I have only gotten to where I am today, from having great mentors such as Tim Rains, Samantha Hughes and Iain Sterland who have freely shared their time and expertise with me. Therefore it’s only right to share my expertise as well to whomever may benefit from it.
What I’ve learnt
I have learnt a lot from answering questions on the community the first benefit is understanding the current challenges/problems that Alteryx users face. As a consultant at Keyrus one of Alteryx partners this is important as I am one of the trainers for our internal consultant population and additionally also one of the lead trainers for our Alteryx training course, we hold monthly training for new Alteryx users. This means I can adapt my training to keep it current and more relevant and focus on key areas I’ve identified from answering questions on the community.
The second benefit which I feel that is not spoken about often, is learning from when your reply to a question is not accepted as a solution. In some circumstances you can have a number of Alteryx users answering a question. As Alteryx is such a great tool and there are always usually more than one way to answer a question it’s possible for someone else to come up with a slicker solution. I love slick solutions if someone else comes with an approach using less tools and is simpler which gets accepted as solution. I use it as a learning opportunity and try to understand their approach to the question. The results of this just means my Alteryx knowledge just increases which in turns means I can tackle more questions on the community but also take that knowledge into my day job.
Recommendations to new/potential solution Authors
I was also asked recently was what I would recommend to any Alteryx user who wants to start tackling Alteryx questions? My honest answer is to just start the greatest hurdle is getting your first accepted solution. I know some Alteryx users may be concerned they don’t know enough or can’t compare against some of the Alteryx greats who also answer community questions. However my own opinion on this matter is the community will not reach its full potential unless everyone feels able to contribute. If you feel you can tackle a question I would encourage you to try, as I stated earlier if someone else comes up with a slick solution which gets accepted, then learn from that experience. Also if you do contribute it might be you who comes up with a better approach because the question is on a topic you have faced in your own work experience, then it would be you sharing your knowledge and expertise with the community which benefits everyone.