2020 & Learning New Things

January 1, 2021

2020 was a difficult year for most people, this was true for me as well. Fortunately, along the way I was able to learn some new things. More specifically, I spent a lot of my time learning how to develop web applications (particularly in Django), which included:

  • Building a Content Management System (CMS)
  • Image optimization and various forms of cacheing
  • User authentication and security best practices (e.g., two factor authentication)
  • Developing APIs using Django Rest Framework
  • The benefits of JavaScript code compression/minification
  • How to adhere to SEO best practices for web content
  • Building Webhooks for 3rd party APIs
  • Building an application that handles multiple languages in a database, as an API, and that optimizes for SEO

It has been an interesting exercise to be much more hands on with JavaScript this past year, especially since my expertise is mainly in Python. As a data scientist, it's interesting to learn how the web is developed and how data is created from the web.

In statistics, the Data Generating Process (DGP) is an extremely critical part of approximating the world with mathematical functions. So, I wanted to learn very rigorously how the web is developed so that I could better understand the DGP and ultimately better approximate the things I'm particularly interested in.

As an entrepreneur this is a terrible way to allocate one's attention in order to accomplish one's business goals, but the knowledge I've gained over the year has been extremely valuable and it compounds significantly. I think the knowledge investment I've made this past year has better helped me prepare for much faster growth going forward.

What I've learned over the past 10 years is that investing in learning has exponential rewards, especially in time. Things that used to take me days or hours to accomplish can now be solved in minutes.

So, while my business didn't thrive this year, I do think I have learned a significant amount of information and that's invaluable.

Here's to hoping 2021 is more balanced on learning and execution. I'll try to write a little more frequently about some of the things I'm learning, so I hope you find it interesting.