Two weeks ago, the year 2018 ended and 2019 started. As always, the start of a new year is the perfect moment to look back at the previous year and forward to the new!
2018 was quite a busy year with loads of new experiences and 2019 has already started out with a pretty big change from my side. Let’s get started with looking back and looking forward to what 2019 is going to bring!
Crazy Data Science
The first highlight is absolutely the Crazy Data Science pet project! While we (Tomaž Kaštrun and myself) came up with the idea at the end of 2017, it really took flight in 2018 ultimately leading to a full evening filled event in which we tried to start a metal band using data science.
With Crazy Data Science we try to make the world of data science more accessible to everyone. We use “interesting” use-cases to walk viewers through, showing how we resolved it using a wide selection of data science tools and techniques that are available. Last year we analyzed and generated new song lyrics for the famous metal band Slayer, we found Wally / Waldo using machine learning in the visual puzzles, predicted whether or not you would survive in a horror movie and even analyzed how “metal” a song is.
From the feedback we received from attendees of the event and viewers of the videos we learned that Crazy Data Science is absolutely something that we want to continue! As a matter of fact, I already include more and more Crazy Data Science in my regular sessions at conferences. For instance, in my PASS Summit session I included a data set that we used for a Crazy Data Science experiment instead of the regular (and a bit boring) data sets.
We also have some more Crazy Data Science experiments lined up for 2019 and it is something that is on my attention list. Unfortunately producing the content, experiments and video’s for Crazy Data Science is quite challenging. It takes a lot of time to come up with an idea that we believe is suited, getting/preparing a data set that works with that idea and ultimately building something that viewers can also reproduce if they want. We are working on it though and plan to up the number of new videos and events!
Another huge highlight for me personally was being invited to speak at PASS Summit this year. Not only was it the first time I visited the event, it was also the first time I was invited to speak! Quite a highlight in my speaking career since it is one of the biggest data platform events in the world.
Session wise things went great. Room was filled, attendees were happy with the session and I got some great ratings as well as feedback. All in all, a great experience and hopefully one I get to repeat in 2019!
Something that is not necessarily having a huge impact but gives me a lot of happiness was the upgrade of my home office. I work a lot from home so having a nice place to sit and work is definitely very important. Before I finished the home office I would frequently work from behind the kitchen table. Though the coffee machine is really close, it isn’t the best place to work when you need some concentration so having a dedicated space now is awesome!
Looking forward to 2019
I started off 2019 with quite a big change in my work situation. Leaving Data Masterminds was a very difficult decision to make but I am very excited to start building my own company Dataheroes in 2019! Naturally, growing and building up Dataheroes is going to be my main focus in 2019.
Next to that there are a load of things coming in 2019!
First of all, I am going to start by telling you there are going to be two announcements soon™. They are still NDA at the time of writing this article (sorry) but I expect to be able to share something in the very near future.
In my list of “things that need love in 2019” are also a number of pet projects. I already mentioned giving more love to Crazy Data Science, but I am also working on some more things. I love building new stuff. It helps me understand (new) technologies better and hopefully ends up being useful for more people. Nothing specific on the list right now but my mind comes up with new ideas on a regular basis. Many never make the translation from my whiteboard into a solution but I think I got a couple that can potentially make the cut.
I’ve also set a personal goal to blog more. I know, this is something that comes back every year right? But this year I am serious J.
I am going to say 2019 is going to be a very exciting year full of new challenges and fun!