by Jeong-Yoon Lee

Thanks Hui Jun Ng for A2A.

I can share about how to become a Kaggle Competition Master. There are 2 other kinds of Kaggle Masters: the Kernel Master and Discussion Master 1.

I wrote Jeong-Yoon Lee’s answer to What does it take to rank within #10 on Kaggle? What is an ideal learning path for a beginner in data science? What all technologies and skills does one need to acquire and in what order? How long does it take? before and it is, not surprisingly, relevant to this question as well.

At the time of writing (7/9/2017), there are about 1,000 Kagglers who are either competition Grand Masters (92) or Masters (868).

The requirements to become a Kaggle Competition Master are:

  • Gold Medal: top 10 in 1 competition
  • Silver Medals: top 5% in 2 competitions

Earning 2 silver medals is something that you can achieve eventually just by practicing at Kaggle consistently. As you learn from best practices shared by others on Kernels and forums at each competition, you will get closer to the top.

However, earning 1 gold medal is different. Even many (26) of top 100 Kagglers have only 1 or 2 gold medals. It requires good data science skills such as ETL, EDA, modeling, validation, and ensembles as well as other things such as creative post processing, hacks, good team work and lots of luck. :)


To share my story, honestly I don’t remember how and when I became a Kaggle Master because I didn’t compete for it.

When I started Kaggle 6 years ago, I was fascinated by the idea of competing against other data scientists across the world. Also I was amazed by top Kagglers on how fast they came up with great solutions at ANY competitions.

I just wanted to learn from them to become a better data scientist. So I kept participating in competitions, talking to them, teaming up with them, and learning from them.

Let me rephrase what I said at Jeong-Yoon Lee’s answer to What does it take to rank within #10 on Kaggle? What is an ideal learning path for a beginner in data science? What all technologies and skills does one need to acquire and in what order? How long does it take? here:

I never thought that I would be the top 10 because there were so many Kagglers who were (and still are) much better than myself. I just enjoyed competing at Kaggle, worked on competitions regularly, teamed up with great people, and was really lucky.

If you enjoy the journey itself, whether you make the top 10 or not doesn’t really matter, but at the same time, if the chance comes, I hope you will be there ready to take it.

Enjoy!

Footnotes