Photo by — @simonmigaj taken at Husfjellet, Norway

Learning Programming over the Winter Holidays?

Some Reflections on an Attempt to Spend Part of the Holidays Learning

For many in medium or large companies work is starting to phase out. There are plenty of jobs that will keep on going, however a large part of the people in Norway where I live will at least will consider taking a few days off. It could be hard taking the time to learn whether you have family or not keeping you busy. So I thought I would share some thoughts on this topic.

Personally I have a few different books (physical books) that I will bring with me when I travel to stay with family. However I picked up a few courses at online learning sites during the sales happening in November. The question is what do you want to learn or train?

Depending on your level this may likely be very different. Therefore I thought to reflect a bit about my plans to learn programming this Christmas although it may go horribly wrong. I have a few quick thoughts here on how to approach this:

  1. Why am I taking off magical time with family or friends to do this?
  2. Talk to my partner about time commitment. I think this is where it could go very wrong for many! That is including myself.
  3. Communicate this to family I am staying with and agreeing what room and what times that I could set off to learn.
  4. Find strategies for learning on the go. There are a few small programming games that are quite fun to engage with on a smartphone.
  5. Look through curriculum and consider what parts I want to get through at the given time slots.
  6. Consider if I have anyone that are taking on a learning challenge during the Holidays to buddy up.

So immediately that is my thought. When it comes to the specifics I want to start on a personal Python project and get a bit more familiar with Kaggle as a platform. I have videos and material from the curriculum in a few Computer Science course modules that I can run through as this will be the most relevant in academia.

Why Learning During the Holidays?

Programming is fun and fascinating. For myself I want to understand more about programming as I will be writing my thesis on developers this Spring, that is the plan. I had been thinking about picking up some more maths as well and how I can integrate learning numbers during my everyday life, Mathemathics can be useful these days. I know I never want to be the best Mathematician, however I have an aim of what level I want to get too, this in turn may help my programming.

Yet I was thinking to make an agreement with my boss or senior manager in KPMG too of what type of skillset that could be helpful on a small scale over the Holidays towards spring. I have spotted that the data visualisation in the team can be a bit lacking at times and there are some very interesting things out there to use, then again this has to be balanced with the actual things that I am expected to learn — more technical than visualisation (although I know that can be very technical).

Therefore in a sense I think there is a balance to be struck or negotiation with myself as you may notice in this text. Do I decidedly want to learn one thing, or do I want to stretch myself in different directions? This is the case of balancing and I do not have the answer yet.

Do you have a Holiday project? Please tell me about it in the response section!

This is #500daysofAI and you are reading article 192. I write one new article about or related to artificial intelligence every day for 500 days.



AI Policy and Ethics at Student at University of Copenhagen MSc in Social Data Science. All views are my own.

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