2018 Closeout / Going '19

02 Jan 2019

Wrapping up 2018 in a Paragraph

One of the things I remember from a blog post early in 2018 was setting a goal of blogging more frequently in 2018. After a decent start, I ended up with exactly the same amount of posts as I completed in 2017. This post would’ve been the tie-breaker, but alas, I wasn’t able to complete it in time. I suppose that makes for an easy goal in 2019 - write more than 9 blog posts! One down, 9 to go…

One goal (or pseudo-goal) that I did accomplish was landing a new job. I started in May, and so far, it’s been really satisfying. Learning the new role, new processes, and new people has exercised my brain in a major way. After a couple months of shadowing and reading training material, I started contributing meaningfully to the group, and have continued to develop throughout the year. The days are full, but I do feel like a fully-fledged member of the team now. There are still some nuances and details around project timing that I have to get used to, but those wrinkles will iron out soon enough.

Data Science on Hold… For Now

The new job was definitely one of the highlights of 2018, but there is one thing that has suffered a bit as a result. I haven’t been able to maintain momentum in building my data science skills. I wanted to make sure that my focus was the new job, so something had to give. My hope is that once I get a little more stable in the new job (getting really close), I can start to ramp up on data science skill-building and learning again. Ideally, I’d like to find ways to apply those techniques to the day job. That’s one of my professional goals for 2019. I have a few leads for cross-functional projects, working with folks in Analytics. It sounds like there is a need for people with these skills and fresh ideas. Maybe I can showcase what I can do and land a job that’s even closer to where I want to go, working in data science and analytics.

@Ruchowdh Bringing New Year’s Cheer

To be frank, I came across the above tweet from Rumman Chowdhury on New Year’s Eve after having had a few drinks with great friends. Though I was feeling the spirit(s) at the time, I made sure to revisit the tweet thread a couple days later, in a better state of mind for learning and reflection. The takeaway after reading through several of the responses is somewhat of a mixed bag. However, combining this with some other tweets and stories I’ve read and listened to recently reinforces the idea that learning is a lifelong process not limited to the first 22 years of your life. The data science and machine learning skills that I’ve been working on for the past couple years energized me in a way that I hadn’t felt since my undergrad days. I definitely think I’m on the right track. I have to find ways to keep up with that learning until I achieve my goals.

2019 Goals

I want to be realistic about my goals for the upcoming year. However, putting them in writing is supposed to help hold me accountable, right? Knowing that this year has another big addition to our family, my goals will be simple:

  • Develop and complete a data related project at work.
  • Write more than 9 blog posts this year!
  • Read more - I have a decent backlog of both fiction and non-fiction
  • Declutter and work toward minimalism in terms of material posessions
  • Keep up with making music, it’s been a great destresser and is fun!

I think that’s a good start. I hope to accomplish more, but come May, things are going to get quite interesting! If you made it this far, thanks for reading. I’ll be back soon (I hope!).