For the year 2020, I already began to execute some plans to do a few different things, here at GeoMetrick Enterprises.
Activities from 2019: The Web-site
Last year, I totally revamped the GeoMetrick Enterprises’ web-site so that the “Out on a LIMS®” blog was incorporated into it.
I can say there is still plenty of work I could do on the web-site. However, I spent most of the rest of 2019 trying to “make Google happy.” While this isn’t something that is truly able to be accomplished, I did my best to improve the searchability of the site, drive more activity, and all the other types of things that are required to get better rankings within Google.
All the while, I began to suspect that I wasn’t as interested in all this Google-focused activity as I thought I’d be. Sometimes, it seemed to be contrary to the types of activities I thought truly added value to this blog.
Activities from 2019: Learning
As for my own learning activities, I took my usual approach. Basically, when I’m interested in something, I get technically hands-on as much as possible.
So, in discussions with other people about topics such as AI (Artificial Intelligence), Machine Learning, data lakes, workflow tools and DevOps, I picked some technical aspects of some of these and learned them enough to get a basic understanding.
I went through a Python course, learned a bit of the Agiloft workflow tool, played around with MS Power BI (Business Intelligence), and generally hacked about in my MS Azure account. Let me be brutally honest, though. Sometimes, I just like to go into MS Azure and play around with the apps and tools in there just for a bit of fun and not with any real focus. So, not all of it is about “learning.”
And, as so happens with many of us when we learn new tools that we don’t end up using, I’ve forgotten most of what I’d learned. Although, just earlier this week, I was explaining the particulars of Python to someone I know. I was surprised to find that I remembered a lot more than I’d realized.
In any case, I always see these tasks as important. While I might not end up directly using much of it, I find two particular things to be true:
- You can never tell when it might come in handy to know.
- The very essence of learning these new things expands your overall knowledge to better understand the IT ecosystem better.
Let’s be honest, here – if all I did was spend my time with LabWare LIMS Basic, it wouldn’t add value to what customers are trying to do. So much of our jobs is now to understand how to interface with other systems, for example.
Plan for 2020: The Web-Site
I’m going to do my best to stop focused as hard on Google. It’s just too easy to watch the analytics and get pulled-into improving them. Instead, I want to do meaningful things that make the web-site and blog more interesting.
This is a fine line, of course. If the search engine doesn’t give good rankings, fewer people will read. But if the content is too focused toward the search engines and less towards what readers find meaningful, fewer people will read. So, it’s not a straightforward effort.
Plan for 2020: Learning
Rather than focusing on specific applications, I’m going to work on learning higher-level concepts. For example, instead of merely taking a Python course and working with MS Power BI, I’m taking courses that focus on learning the higher-level issues of AI (Artificial Intelligence) and Machine Learning.
With that said, let me make a side note – I’m also playing around a bit with various learning platforms. While I’ve tried a number of them, so far, I’m currently focusing on the LinkedIn Platform. So far, the courses have been quite good and it’s handy that they can be added to my profile. However, I think calling them “Licenses and Certifications” is misleading. I’m not getting any type of license nor certification. I’m definitely not claiming to be an expert having taking these courses.
Shaking Things Up
Every year, I’d like to learn something new and significant. I always find that that helps me do a better job for customers. Sometimes, it’s directly related to the tasks they’re asking for. Other times, it’s more in the way it helps me see their issues and work with them. Regardless, I’m trying to make 2020 a significant year in many aspects, with learning being among them.