The Last Week of August#

August is a funny month in Spain. Ever since I moved here in 2001, there has been a tacit agreement that not a lot happens in August that isn’t postponed until September. It’s a month of partial down-time. Many businesses close for the month, holidays are taken and the heat and habit determines a lower level of productivity. The summer heat dictates a more gentle pace of live and the country withdraws in preparation for the restart in September. Mine has been no different, work dried up for the first two weeks and the heat this year was more than the norm. I was fortunate to be able to use the time to get some programming practice and courses under my belt. August for me me though, always feels like I could have done more, but then some rest is important.

The Job I Didn’t Apply For#

There’s a company in Dublin that was hiring at the beginning of the month. An old work colleague is the founder and they were looking for new people to expand their sales team. It seemed like an opportunity to get into an AI company and put my sales experience to use. I signed up for LinkedIn premium (something I’ve resisted since the beginning) and embarked on a flurry of sales courses. My rationale was that since I have eight years experience in B2B sales those skills were easier to brush up on, rather than trying to prove my self-taught Python skills.

Nine courses later, and worthwhile course, mind you, I knew it wasn’t going to be the job I was going to apply for. I’ve always enjoyed sales, but there is a lot of water under the bridge since my last job. Learned a lot, but really could have spent that time getting a few Python projects up on my Github.

August Python#

With renewed clarity, I got back to Python. Completed a DataQuest course on " Python Functions and Learn Jupyter Notebook", an Eduactaive course on “Python Data Analysis and Visualization”, mostly numpy and matplotlib, good stuff, and two other LinkedIn courses “Python Data Analysis” and Building a Recommendation System with Python Machine Learning & AI", a low level look at the field.

I also earned my first “ninja” belt at PyBites. It’s a great site, and I’m weigh up the monthly fee against what is my first experience of a friendly python community.

I do wish I’d found it earlier, before I committed monthly budgets to other services. Maybe it’s a better buy than LinkedIn premium.

The plan, Stan?#

There’s a nine hour course on LinkedIn relating to recommendation systems which I’m very interested in. There’s a 22 hour learning path on DataQuest Become a Machine Learning Enginneer. I have to say, these courses should be named with employers in mind and not the course buyers. Wouldn’t “Machine Learning Engineering” be a better title to have appear on the certificate? Just saying.

Then there’s Educative’s Data Analysis and Visualization with Python course that I’m halfway through. So yes, it’s been and continues to be a productive August, taking advantage of the down-time at work and getting skilled up, in both the soft-skills of B2B sales and Python. Not too bad.