2019 Review & 2020 plan

This article will be my review for the year.
Yes the year is ending and it is time to summarize what has happened, good things, bad things and what is coming now.

Last year I did a bit of top blog posts on webanalytics and python for the year. To be honest, there are too much things that happened that year so I could do the same.
So I will selfishly focus on my blog, my life and my next adventures.

The things that I learned this year

So I learned quite a bit this year. I finished my book “Fluent python” that taught me a bit about different advanced programming concepts that, as a marketer, didn’t know. I also got more familiar into my consultancy role and took quite a toll on my blog productivity. I don’t think that I found a correct balance yet as my consultancy hours are still erratic and it is quite hard some time to find energy and time to write on my blog.

On a personal point of view, I do like to do other activities as well : hiking, running, biking, cooking, drink beers with friends (also when I am learning something, I am not writing). So writing on the blog is something that I like but I do it more when I have time and don’t take yet time to be consistent on it. I

From a professional point of view, you may have seen that I developed several wrappers for different Adobe APIs (Launch, Analytics and Admin console). That was fun and really boost my productivity for some tasks I have to realize with my clients.
I also learned quite a bit on Audience Manager, but I am not writing much on that tool (yet 😉 ). I also started to look at the new Adobe solution : Adobe Experience Platform.

Overall, I felt that I developed a lot my technical skills and less my business and analytical skills. I wanted to some analysis with python and some libraries (scikit / pytorch, tensorflow) as I did end of last year and beginning of this year but didn’t find time or project to do so.

The problem for consultants / employees that are good with technical skills, it is easy to get dragged to do technical stuffs all the time, while someone else does the business aspects. However I am still interested by the business / analytical side of my job. I think that my technical capabilities are more supporting my business knowledge as it is defining my missions.

It may be that I am not adjusting my speech to my audience. I am not afraid of discussions about DOM manipulation or an API based approached and that may be to a public that are more “Workspace oriented”. I would like to do reach that audience more often in the future.

Also, I am not sure how the philosophical bog posts have been (critically) received as I don’t have much comment on my blog (about them) but it is something that I would really like to keep. I think that it is important to use your brain to just think time to time. Not going full analytics mode all the time.

My plan for 2020

In 2020, part of my plan has been done for me but also I would like to go more into specific areas. This is not a resolution but more of a wish list, as consultants it may be that I will not have time to do everything I want to do.

Typescript

The people that know me are aware of my apprehension to use JavaScript. I use JavaScript almost every day at work and this is the main language for implementing Adobe Analytics, Google Analytics and usage in the TMS (Tag Management System).
The problem I have (my opnion) with JavaScript is that it is not consistent in its syntax and it requires quite a lot of practice to use it correctly. There are also a lot of hack in its language that require good understanding of the language syntax to be used.
It is a good language when you want to realize hacks or quick implementation but at the end you want to use another language for going to production or to provide a good support. Also “not small” JavaScript project (>500 lines) tend to be read-only.
They are quite difficult to deal with and debug.

However it seems that there is no choice around JavaScript at the moment, it is the language of the web and you have to deal with it.
Even Adobe has it for most of its solution (Target, Adobe IO runtime) so you better get ready to use it.

Looking for help on this, I found out that TypeScript may be the way to go forward (for me). It brings structure and consistency to a language that miss it so badly.
It also can transcript most of the code you write to any JS format (ES5, ES6, react, etc…) and this is very good. I didn’t touch this part of JS in my section but I don’t want to scared you :D.

Data Science articles

One of my wish is to have more time to do Data Science articles next year, the best would be with the usage of Adobe data (Analytics most likely). The probem is that my traffic and my blog isn’t big enough so I can do lots of prediction or classification.
After my 2019 year trying to find a project on my blog in order to realize, I may need to fake some data and that requires extra time and preparation for me.

All of my python articles require a lot of time for me to prepare because I have to create them, test them with the best of my capabilities and at the end write about them.

AA & AAM articles

Lately I developed a lot of python wrapper for the different Adobe APIs that I am using or I could use. This was fun and I hope helped the community but it is quite technical and even if I try my best to make these python wrappers the easiest possible to work with I can really understand that I lost some of the reader on them.

I am hoping that I will have more time to dig into some Adobe Analytics capabilities in the future and write about them. Giving tips and trick and sometimes update documentation from Adobe to the latest view.

On that case, I didn’t write a lot on Audience Manager and I may want to write more on that topic. I have more a technical view on this but this can still be helpful to people that want to consider this option.

Visualization

I have done some visualization this year and I have digged on Bokeh, that I love. This Python library is just awesome and I wish I could do more with it but I don’t have projects with it and I would like to have something concrete to use it more.

In any case, I would like to pass that learning to you guys. I do believe that visualization can help translate important findings in an easier way than with pure numbers. This is definitely a field that web analyst should dig.
I do like python as there is no cost to make it run and it has more versatility than drag-and-drop tools (PowerBI, Tableau) but if you happen to have possibility to learn those, don’t hesitate.
Way faster to have visualization through those tools, especially if you are not familiar with Python.

Rust

For some times now, I have realized that Python wasn’t enough if you want to program in a more robust way or for all use-cases that I have seen. Having a more low-level language would be a benefit in the future, in order to tackle some use-cases that are quite limited with Python.
After thinking to learn C for some times (python connection here), I have discovered that Rust may be the answer to lots of problem for me.
It works on the Internet, so it could replace JavaScript to some extent, it has a smart garbage collection (or no garbage collection at all if you are strict on that term), it is new and often reference as the first new language made for the XXI century.
Enough points that make me want to learn it to some extent in 2020 in order to have some view on it.

Run

Run is not a programming language but just to run 🙂 . For some times, with all of my previous projects going at the same time + your time spent for your client project I felt that I wasn’t balancing enough against my working life. I am not that analytics crazy guy that most of the persons imagine, it just happens that I am a very curious person and Analytics is a field of interest. I also love sharing what I know, for other people to comment or just because I wish people would share interesting stuffs they are doing. I do read a lot of non-programming, and non-analytics books, I do like philosophy, I do try to improve my German, going for a hike and / or for runs / or bike tour.
So this is for me as well as for any of you, always plan some fun time in your plan.

On top of all of that, I wanted (and still want) to refactor my APIs wrapper, project that has been started but due to my long working hours lately I wasn’t able to move forward with it. I had a partner on this and the poor guy did most of the work on this so far.
I will let you know when this project is done.

And you ?
What are your plans for next year ?

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