This is a log of work I'm doing to get better at code/data science/machine learning/etc. It is a more day-to-day look at work I'm up to. If you'd like to explore a curated look at work I have done, checkout this github page for a portfolio of different projects. The portfolio includes projects listed on this site as well as smaller ones.
This page is here as an effort to never stop learning. Thanks and hope you enjoy.
Combining some work over the weekend. Finished DataCamp course on Building Chatbots in Python. Super cool and really interesting. Would definitely be awesome to work on a user-based interaction system using ML like this. Will be bookmarking RASA to explore more. Got sidetracked while reading Learning Python and made a dict and pkl shirt for MZ Tees. Ended up finishing chapter on tuples and files (284-315).
I think in my heart of hearts the thing I want to work on is going to be machine-learning-based and programming-focused, working on a team and collaborating on a problem much bigger than myself. That sounds great, but I trip myself up before even attempting to look for a job like that.
The biggest anxiety I have about getting a job is my personal feeling that I would be unqualified for a position, so my knee-jerk reaction is not to apply. I know it's not an uncommon anxiety to have, but it still remains difficult for me to overcome that feeling.
This has led to a lot of inactivity on my part that is not healthy or productive. I spend time actively avoiding working on my skills, afraid that if I try and fail (or are not perfect at something from the outset), it will prove that I'm not qualified and validate all those feelings.
And let me stop right here and say that even as I type this, I know that that's stupid. Of course it's going to be hard! Of course you will not be perfect from the outset! WORKING AT IT IS HOW YOU GET BETTER! But this fact that improvement takes effort—some of which will be difficult/frustrating/<another good adjective>—can be hard for me to acknowledge and overcome. But I know for a fact that I've gotten around it in the past.
For example, this website used to be pretty lame. I had to build one for a class I was taking in college, and it was not a great result. And then I made another one for another class. Also not great. But I got better at it. I actively wanted to make something cooler, which led me to slowly make this site from the ground up. Same thing goes for making icons. I was really intimidated by Illustrator (now using Affinity Designer; very happy with my one-time purchase!) and my first few designs were not great. But over time, I was able to make my ideas come to life more easily and now, after many icons made, I can see how far I've come.
Literally. For both of those projects I can actually see that I have gotten better by looking at what I have made in the past. I want to get better at coding/data science/machine learning in the same way. I need a place to see the progress I am making.
So this is that place: a page for me to demonstrate my progress in those things. And yes, while it certainly can help external people see that I am capable of doing work, the main reason for this page's existence—more important than anything else—is to prove to myself that I am making progress regarding my abilities and experience. It's one of those things that may sound obvious to you reading this but trust me: this has been a mini-revelation for me. I have to literally see my progress.
As a result, this page will inevitably be full of less-than-perfect work. It will be full of failures and learning experiences, but it will help me be more active and produce work that relates to my skills. I have to start somewhere because being inactive wishing I had the ability to code really well or work at some big company has demonstrably not gotten me anywhere.
This is a totally self-serving webpage, but it is public for two reasons. One: if it was private, I would have less of an incentive to try to add to it. And Two: I have to believe that I'm not the only one that can benefit from a page like this—even the mindset of it. I love seeing people's amazing work on places like Twitter and LinkedIn, but it has given me the implicit mentality that I have to make something really polished and amazing before it is worth sharing with people. And this has only exacerbated my tendency toward inactivity discussed above. And I know that polished work has behind it a bunch of struggles and difficult challenges, but it can be difficult to acknowledge that when you only see the amazing results, try something for yourself, and brush up against a bunch of difficulties.
So, hopefully you can find something helpful about this page. I know I will.
What's with the brackets?
The brackets spell out "code". The square brackets are the 'c' and 'd', the parens create the 'o', and the open curly brace is the 'e'. You can get it on a tshirt if you want. Helps remind me to keep working at it, but I understand it might bug people who just see some weird bracket syntax error. Oh well, logos can't please everybody…but they can go overlooked.