Questions

I feel the best way to learn new skills is to incorporate them with a topic you like very much. This helps you get through the ruts, to keep going, to meet your goals.

For my projects, the topic will be sports. To start it will be about basketball. I, after all the years of hate, am now a basketball convert.

The questions I have as of right now are:

  • What makes the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls the greatest team of all time?
  • How do the 2014-15 Golden State Warriors compare?
  • Was James Harden really “robbed” of the 2014-2015 MVP award?

So, now onto the data collection and setting up my local environment. Tools will be Python or R, maybe load the data into MySQL or simply use CSV files. I’ll probably get 100% of the data from Basketball Reference.

Projects

The best way I have found to learn new skills is to start my own after-hours projects. When I wanted to learn web design and HTML, I created a web site for a hockey team I played on. When I wanted to learn PHP and JavaScript and SQL, I worked on a web app of my own.

For learning more about data analysis and data science, my projects will first be simply answering questions. Since I am a naturally curious person, the questions come easy. Now with the data retrieval skills of SQL, I can begin to answer.

Onward

I’ve chosen to focus the next stage of my career on data. Specifically, I will be working towards a career in data science.

Easier said than done.

The problem is I am just starting out, with just about over two years of experience with SQL, and about 5 of PHP programming. Many more skills are needed however. I’ve done very little with Python. My Excel knowledge is limited, but I know more than I do of R.

Then there is my mathematics knowledge and experience. I won’t get into that pain. I can, however, say my favorite math class was always statistics.

The last stats class I took was before 1995.

But I didn’t know SQL or PHP before. I didn’t know JavaScript. I didn’t know CSS or HTML or Photoshop.

But I know those now. And I self taught myself nearly all of it.

And in time I will say the same of the data science skills.

You Are Not a Lottery Ticket

Great talk from Peter Thiel.

You are incredibly biased. There is no luck.

It is worth it for us to explore thinking about the future.

Decisions

Many times in your life you will have big decisions to make. ¬†Most of the time you will think you made the right one, and even though you didn’t, you’ll convince yourself the decision was the right one.

Sometimes, though, the decision will feel right, right from the start.

Leaving Apple without a job lined up feels right. From the moment I gave notice it felt right. And I believe no matter what happens, it is, in fact, one of the best decisions I have ever made.