My 2015 includes learning Python, an open-source programming language that will help me manipulate giant databases and create some super interesting/ridiculous programs. I learned turbo pascal (HA HA HA HA!) about fifteen years ago so this should be easy as pie (mmmmm pie). Okay, okay, all I’m hoping is that knowing a bit of SAS and SQL plus some old pascal will make my journey a little easier.
Unfortunately, as I’m starting to see, knowing tiny bits of other languages makes it a little bit tricky. While every program shares the same general logic of if then else loops, every program has its own personality, its own grammar. The trick is matching up the grammar with the program. Not so simple since I already mix up SQL and SPSS syntax all the time.
Here are three
crazy annoyances interesting things I’ve learned about Python so far.
1) Python let’s you count to ten using eleven numbers.
Why? Python starts counting at zero. As in, 0, 1, 2, 3. Not 1, 2, 3, 4. This will be why I go over a section of code again and again and again trying to find one lost item.
2) Python let’s you type ^V by simply clicking on Ctrl and v simultaneously.
Did you seriously think hot keys from one program should work the same way in another program? Psh. If you STILL think you want to paste, you need to right click on the spot and…. That’s it. Right click.
3) Python is a good way to learn what EXACTLY three spaces looks like.
Because a tab isn’t a space. And two spaces aren’t three spaces. And four spaces aren’t three spaces. But if you like getting error messages, feel free to use any character that produces a blank space except for 3 blank spaces.
I did it. Yes. I broke down and spent my Christmas money. Let’s put aside the fact that I still get Christmas money from the moms and move on to what I spent it on.
In just six to eight weeks, this pretty little plum coloured Fitbit will arrive at my door. (The “make it pink so girls will buy it” marketing scheme works on me but plum is just as good.)
Supposedly, it will monitor my heart rate all the time including when I am awake and asleep. It would have been cool to have it a few weeks ago when my four wisdom teeth were ripped out of my face but I’m sure some other quite unpleasant event will greet me soon enough.
I’m quite looking forward to learning:
– how consistent my sleep is, and how many times I wake up at night
– whether my heart rate speeds up or slows down when I get ready for work or leave work, or when I go toy awesomely fun ukulele class
– how incredibly nuts my heart rate is when I speak at conferences, show up at cocktail hour, plow through a crowded exhibit hall. Though I may seem calm and relaxed, it really takes a ton of mind games to turn quiet me into loud me.
And at the same time, I’ll be wondering… If someone gets their hands on my data, what will they do with it? What products will they develop as they learn about me? What heart rate medications will they need to sell to me? What fitness products will they need to sell to me? Will I need to buy the shirt version to measure electrical outputs? The sock version to measure sweat outputs? The earbud version to measure brainwaves? What will marketers and brand managers learn about me and my lifestyle?
Now that I think about it, this is MY form of gamification. I can’t wait to see charts, watch trends, and compare Norms. And now that I’m learning Python and rstats, I would love to get my hands on the dataset of millions of people and millions more records. With permission of course.
I see the writing on the wall and it says data science. As more and more devices join the internet of things, as more shoes and fridges and chairs and hairbrushes upload data about frequency, duration, latency and more to the interweebs, it becomes more and more clear to me that manipulating ridiculous volumes of data is the future of marketing research. No more will we ask people how often they buy and wear shoes, or which shoes they wear in which weather. We will simply read the writing in the cloud. Marketing researchers cannot rely on their old standbys while everyone else learns the always evolving tools of the research trade.
I see the writing on the wall and it says Python. A few days after internalizing that writing, I made a purchase of two paper and ink products that will never break upon being dropped on concrete. These two things, ancient learning tools called ‘books’ will be my friends for a while this year.
And interestingly, shortly after these ‘books’ came into my possession, I came across this post by Amy. I’m good with SQL and good with Excel but what about the two items in between? Well, R and Python, here we go!