Recommendatory Interleaf

Reading Time โ‰ˆ 15 minutes

Recommendations - Blog post backgroundThis registry was created to catalogue the recently published set of recommendations and share a couple of updates from my side.

Recommendations for Engineers

As of today (12/03), my recent list of Recommendations for Engineers managed to appear in my favourite tech newsletter (1st position), hit 2103ย page views and 14 stars on its GitHub repository. Those statistics motivated me to spread its existence even further with this blog index, since after its initial release in the last November, it counts 94 commits (updates) and counting (โ‰ˆ 0.87ย commits per day).

Enough on the statistical side, as at that point, you might still wonder what is inside this list that makes me want to brag about it today.

In short, I have aggregated all of my recommendations for aspiring engineers in a single place, coming from various areas of interest. The principal scope supports data science, programming, python, math, cybersecurity, business, and productivity. The entire content has been built for a vast amount of time thanks to my never-ending curiosity. With all of that, I intend to rise a bit of inspiration in everyone, as it already helps myself.

Although it is a personal list, do not hesitate to create a pull request if I missed something interesting or if there is a dead link. Once again, before moving to the next section on a different subject, you are more than welcome to review my:

 

Reason for my recent absence

Last time, I have been a bit off blog posting since my newest publication in July 2019, but it does not mean I completely forgot about this site and my online presence overall.

Principally, the reason for my absence was a new project to tackle at a railway company โ€“ Alstom, which I put a priority on, in order to deliver the best possible result and come back with a valuable experience. Apart from the working hours itself, I used to spend approximately 3 hours a day commuting with public transport, which I managed to use efficiently. All this time, let me consume lots of abandoned books, podcasts and audiobooks, focusing on my French and statistical proficiency.

In all this hassle, I did find some free time, which I used, for example, to scribble down my latest publication, but also to experiment with different learning methods that I am planning to describe in the upcoming posts. Nonetheless, I also had to give my mind a break and rethink my current actions and plans for the future.

Studying Machine Learning
Lately, reading is one of the main activities I devoted myself into

Not to waffle on all the news, and to maintain a structured article, let’s have a look at the succeeding sections.

๐Ÿ“… A brief timeline of my last events

As this is more of an “announcement” post, I will try to be as concise as possible and summarise below all of my recent activities (from June 2019 till March 2020). Please don’t mind me all the emojis.

๐ŸŒ Changes on this website

  • ๐Ÿ†• [June] New post about the art of writing: #10 โ€“ The Potential of Perspicuous Writing
  • ๐Ÿ†• [November] Completely new subsection on Recommendations for Engineers
  • โœ Updated my article on the use of Todoist with new projects, labels and priorities
  • โœ Added questions and answers on the FAQ page. Some of the responses have been converted into the Recommendations for Engineers
    • I’ve mainly explained the reason behind each of the individuals that inspires me
  • โœ More citations in the Favourite Thoughts segment
  • โœ Redefined objectives in Three Goals. Being honest, it is very challenging to keep up with all these challenges in the face of unscheduled life novelties
  • โœ Supplementary sections on the About Me page
    • Modified Extra-professional Activities
    • Summary of online presence within My Internet Persona
  • โœจ Redesigned newsletter signup form
  • โœจ Redesigned mobile navigation bar (visible on your smartphone)
  • โœจ Improved layout of the Favourite Thoughts page (it’s a bit more explicit and has a TOC)
  • ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ’ป Applied gzip-compressing to improve the site performance
  • ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ’ป Improved SEO score of the entire website
  • ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ’ป Specified 301 redirections. You can access all the posts using a number within the path, such as this one with pawelcislo.com/11. The same works for my social media, such as pawelcislo.com/twitter or pawelcislo.com/linkedin.

๐Ÿšน Latest episodes of my personal life

This part would definitely challenge my memory if I wouldn’t keep track of my daily journal. Living in the digital era, I also found it helpful to browse my photos with scrcpy conveniently.

  • June
  • July
    • ๐Ÿ“… Attended symposium in Alstom Utrecht to share feedback on students’ projects
    • ๐ŸŽฎ Completed To The Moon game (I bet the story will immerse everyone)
    • โšฝ Started weekly football games with my colleagues in Brussels. Before, we managed to get the appropriate equipment
      • together with another player, we committed to managing the data of each player (goals, assists, attendance)
      • later, thanks to all this information we began using different algorithms to select the teams automatically
    • ๐Ÿ“š Listened to Steve Jobs biography (my review)
    • ๐Ÿ“š Accomplished reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck (my review)
    • ๐Ÿ“š Published The Potential of Perspicuous Writing (10th blog post)
    • ๐Ÿ“ผ Watched The Great Hack (documentary on the Cambridge Analytica case)
  • August
    • ๐Ÿ“– Changed the way of reading books by selling my Kindle Paperwhite 3 and switching to Kindle Oasis 3. Cannot regret this decision ๐Ÿ™‚
      • I have also started utilising more often the feature of annotating Kindle books and taking benefit from syncing the reading progress between the Kindle Cloud Reader and the e-reader
    • ๐Ÿƒโ€โ™‚ Specified recurring tasks in my Todolist to exercise at home & run more often
      • as I am writing it, this decision did help me to establish a new habit!
    • โœจ Redesigned the look of all the covers of my Instagram stories
    • ๐Ÿ“š Finished Naked Statistics audiobook (my review)
    • ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ’ป Learned the principles of RegEx so to use it in my next project
    • โŒš Started using Mi Band 4 with Notify & Fitness app
      • it quickly allowed me to generate interesting statistics on the way I sleep and run
      • up till now, I am still taking advantage of the generated data to optimise my physical performance
      • I still consider if I should achieve the same level of collecting and utilising data as Dmitrii Gerasimov
  • September
  • October
    • ๐Ÿ“š Consumed Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future and left my summary online
    • ๐Ÿ“š Read The Hundred-Page Machine Learning Book by Andriy Burkov and shared my summary online
    • ๐Ÿ“ผ As most of you, I didn’t miss to see Joker
    • ๐ŸŽน Picked up Roland-A49 and began seeking for more time to practice my music production skills
    • ๐ŸŽ“ Finished all the 5 weeks of the DataWorkshop challenge. The best part was to work with the simulation of a self-driving car
    • ๐ŸŽถ Had my 1st dubstep party in Ghent (Monstercat Uncaged)
      • my shoes were crying for help, but I also managed to dance 25.58 km during that night
    • ๐Ÿ“… Attended School of AI meetup in Brussels
    • โœ Updated my article on using Todoist after being contacted by someone from Pennsylvania Tech (as they wanted to share my idea with their students)
    • ๐Ÿ“ผ Watched Data Science Pioneers: Conquering the Next Frontier at a local meetup in Brussels
  • November
    • ๐Ÿ“… Hat party at my friend’s apartment. Hou Hou Hou!
    • ๐Ÿ“š Read Unlocking French with Paul Noble (my review)
    • ๐Ÿ“š Listened to Learn French with Paul Noble โ€“ Complete Course (my review)
    • ๐Ÿ“… Last session of DataBeers Brussels #13 this year. After the presentation, we voted for the favourite beer of our members
    • ๐Ÿ“š Finished listening to Next Steps in French with Paul Noble (my review)
    • ๐Ÿ“ผ Watched Pi (1998). How to stop thinking about algorithms now?
    • โœ Explained the reason behind each of the person that inspires me in the FAQ section
    • โœ Published my Recommendation for Engineers
    • โœ Wrote a quick article for my employer on the use of Anki/SuperMemo. I’ll try to rewrite it with much more details on this blog at some point
    • โ›ธ Ice skating again after such a long time
    • ๐Ÿ“Š “In November, you had 942 users visit your website (Google Analytics)” <bragging>. Well, cannot hide it’s quite an achievement
  • December
  • January
  • February
    • ๐Ÿ“… Another hat party at my friend’s house (and here I am, shining with my wizard hat)
    • ๐Ÿ’ผ Finished my mission at Alstom. Since it’s quite a tradition here in Belgium, I brought some croissants for my last day
    • ๐Ÿ“š Self-taught myself some automation with Practical AutoHotkey (my review)
      • later, I implemented a few scripts that save me a lot of time till this day
    • ๐Ÿ“… Attended 2-day Grakn Cosmos 2020 in London
      • The conference focused on presenting the application of a knowledge graph, NLP, and ML pipelines in various industries, with a focus on life science, IoT and cybersecurity
      • I met a lot of inspiring people to whom I connected and keep in touch until this day
    • ๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ’ป Pushed my Log to CSV project on GitHub
    • ๐ŸŽ“ 3-day graduation of The AKKAdemy program in Geneva
    • ๐Ÿ” Trip around Switzerland with some of The AKKAdemy brave warriors. You can find some photos in my “Switzerland” Instagram highlight from:
      • Interlaken (the city itself + Schilthorn mountain)
      • Thun Castle
      • Zรผrich (Fifa Museum)
    • ๐Ÿ’ผ Back in AKKA Belgium office to work on an internal data visualisation project
    • โšฝ Regular football games brought even better results
    • ๐Ÿ“… Attended Data Access & Sharing forum at Microsoft Innovation Centre in Brussels
  • March

Phew… That will be it.

What is next?

Now, let’s not dwell on the past and talk about what’s in front of us.

Below you can see a piece of note I reuse to store all the ideas to write about. This year it’s counting 11 written posts (including this report) and 18 waiting in the queue (1.5 year ago it wasn’t like that). For the moment, the subjects balanced between productivity, community events and a few technical matters. The line of ideas waiting to be described still considers a bit of learning-based concepts, accompanied by data science technicalities and other hard skills domains. There might also appear more data engineering topics, such as setting up big data pipelines into production, rather than common analytical procedures.

Post ideas
As of today, my current list of post ideas in the “To Do” section counts 18 (but knowing myself it is a highly approximate number with my tendency to restructuring and adding new ideas)

On top of that, I am considering to convert the entire website to Gatsby.js framework, although I usually receive positive feedback about the structure/performance of this place.

Why Gatsby.js?

Two of my blogging inspirations:ย Victor Zhouย andย Tania Rascia are presenting a perfect example of Gatsby’s benefits. Whenever I step on their posts, I take my time admiring the smoothness of transitions between different pages and the overall user experience. In fact, I’m formally coming for the exceptional content they produce concerning machine learning and web development.

Transfer from WordPress to Gatsby.js is surely time-taking and pretty stressful, but in the end, it’s full of positives. Mainly, we’re taking advantage of the increased performance since our website becomes a single page app (SPA), which results in no reloads while traversing the HTML documents. Above all, this is an excellent web dev practice with a focus on JavaScript, which is especially important to me for the D3.js framework!

Any particular plans for 2020?

Back in January, I have shared my initial set of intentions on what to prioritise for the next 12 months. Let’s have a look and reflect on them after the last 2.5 months.

My plans for 2020
My sketch of 2020 from January

January was filled with Python, Tkinter and RegEx. Later, 1st half of February was taken by tech conferences, The AKKAdemy graduation and exploration of the Swiss mountains. Now, my mind is mostly focused on data visualisation in D3.js, putting more effort into my French fluency and preparing for the practical experience in data engineering (Hadoop ecosystem, Docker and Kubernetes). Apart from that, I will try to present more projects with the use of AI, such as a simulation of self-driving car.

Summarising: so far, so good. Although this year didn’t start well for the global population as we already know from the news, I believe that for me it’s heading in the right direction. Reminding myself of the last point from the aforementioned graphic, I shall not forget to have fun throughout this process, and not stress as much if things do not work as I planned.

For the moment, let us all do our best and enjoy our life. Till next time!

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