Weekly Journal: Week 1, 2019

I decided I would share weekly insights with you as a way to reflect on the week that was. I felt like there is so much we do every week that could be discussed, shared, considered further. I wanted a place for that to happen and so this is it…

It was a quiet week. The new year just started and most other people were away, so it was a great time to make some quiet progress. I have always loved working on those first few days of the year. I have fond memories of an empty university campus while fixing my design lab over 20 years ago.

We have been working on a project that is essentially a set of basic Python tools that can be chained together like building blocks to clean large data sets. I started this some time ago, but we have a client that has quite a specific and complex set of needs, so Michael and I have been working on expanding this toolset.

Coding again has been fun. It has been frustrating too. I can see many opportunities to use AI to do some of the complex ‘configurable logic’ work we have been doing over the past few weeks, but I can also see the real challenge is building effective datasets. Finding anomalies or gaps in the training and then adapting the training set. This is something I want to work on over the coming year.

In the meantime, I have found myself writing not-so-clear-code, only to gain clarity overnight and rewrite the whole thing the next day. Having said that – it feels good to get back into building some tools.

Interesting discoveries for the week

I have found Windows Subsystem for Linux is essential, especially in doing Python development when owning a Windows laptop. If you use WSL too, consider using WSL-Terminal https://github.com/goreliu/wsl-terminal/ which, when combined with Byobu can make your Windows box feel like the Linux workstation of your nerdy dreams.

Oh, in case you’re using BitDefender and WSL … I found after losing a whole morning, that the BitDefender Firewall needs to have a general outbound rule added (as opposed to just turning it off) otherwise some applications may not work within WSL at seemingly random — in my case, it was wget which made updating things a bit difficult.

If you’re interested in how you can improve the performance of ‘offline processing’ tasks (Using BASH), this is a fun article: https://www.codeword.xyz/2015/09/02/three-ways-to-script-processes-in-parallel/


If you’re interested, there is a Humble Bundle available at the moment with a whole library of great Python books. https://www.humblebundle.com/books/python-packt-2019-books

I also just finished reading 12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson. It’s worth reading, in fact, I would put it as one of the all time best books I have read. Ever… and I read a lot.


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