Happy new year!! 😅 Better late than never right?

I know it’s a bit late to do a review of the previous year but then again.. who sets the rules? 🤷 Anyway, I’m just happy that I’m resolving (once again) to get back to writing and I have a feeling that this is it. Even if it’s not, at least I tried and will come back later. Baby steps right?

As much as I’m not sure how consistent I will be in updating my blog, I am excited about the plans I have for this year. So, how about a little recap of 2021 then get right into what I have planned for this year.

2021 in Review

2021 was a great year for me. It had its ups and downs but it was generally an okay year. From working on a project from start to finish to securing myself a new job at the end of the year!

At the beginning of 2021, I was busy with building Masakhane Web, a machine translation platform for solely African Languages. We managed to publish the platform and got good feedback from it. This was one of my biggest accomplishments because I had never worked on an ML project from concept to production. It was scary and a lot needed to be learnt within a short period of time. Shout out to Tony, who helped me set up the front-end bit. Feel free to reach out to him for any Web related projects! He’s really good at what he does! I learnt quite alot in the process.

Apart from that, I was still trying to figure out what to focus on in my career. I was doing a little of everything; Machine Learning Research, Engineering, as well as Data Science from my day to day job. Which explains the bio that was on my home page.

I wear alot of hats and still figuring out what exactly I want to focus on in my DS/ML career but all in all I consider myself a data and applied research scientist. I’m somewhere in between research and production where I find solutions to practical and real-life problems and implementing them. But at the same time, I also enjoy doing data science to generate business insights and build products around them. So, welcome aboard and buckle up! This is my journey into self discovery.

Just sharing for reference to those who might not have read it before. I now have a clear view of what I want to focus on.

In 2021, I was planning on either moving up in my career into bigger roles/titles that were more challenging or do something different like focusing on Machine Learning Engineering or a whole other field to practice data science in and the universe did its thing. In November 2021, I started working at Visa Inc. as a Data Science Manager 🎉. Upwards and across it was!

Something else I was proud of is setting up this website! It was a long time coming but I finally updated it. I didn’t like the look of my previous one, which was one of the reasons why I lacked the motivation to write. So, change was needed and fast, if I ever wanted to write again. I bumped into Eugene Yan’s website and loved how it looked and copied almost everything on it! I also really love his content. If you’re interested in building data science/ machine learning systems, make sure to subscribe to his newsletter and go through some of his articles. You’ll thank me later!

I sure had some more small wins, but these are the ones that stood out for me. Let’s see what I have planned for 2022.

2022 at a Glance

Since I’m starting the year at a new job, I’m really pumped. I now recognize myself as a Data Scientist in payments! I still enjoy doing ML Research but most of this year will be spent focusing on being good at my job and learning everything that I can about it. I am also very interested in becoming a machine learning engineer and hoping to get a certification on the same by mid of this year.

My good friend, hey 👋 Gerald, recommended a wonderful free course on machine learning engineering that I am working on completing soon! If you’re interested, ping me and we can be study buddies 💪 Find the course here. I will also blog about my journey learning MLE which I’m excited about.

Since I won’t be working on many things on the side, I’m planning on mentoring more people this year that are working on getting started in Data Science. So, if you’re wondering if this is the right career for you or if you’d like me to help you out in your journey, feel free to reach out. I have 2 people that I’m mentoring at the moment and looking for two more. Ping me if interested :)

I am also hoping to write more this year. I think I only wrote two articles last year, therefore I only have to beat that and I’ll be happy 😅 . On a serious note, I want to write at least 12 blog posts this year. That would be a massive win on my end. I would also love to read more. Banking on 12 Books this year.

In summary, here’s what I’m looking forward to this year:

  • 💻 Machine Learning Engineer Certificate
  • ✍️ Write more!
  • 👩‍🏫 Mentor more students!
  • 📚 Read More!

Feel free to comment below if you have any year goals similar to mine and we can keep each other accountable!