One of the things I'm going to spend my new-found independent software development time on this year is doing TidyTuesdays in Clojure. It's no surprise that I'm a big fan of Clojure, or that I think there is a lack of good "how to do data science with Clojure" content out there. One of the big things I want to accomplish this year is filling this gap.
To that end, I'll be publishing "translations" of the data-fetching scripts into Clojure and implementations of example data analysis from TidyTuesdays, an initiative of the R for data science online learning community.
The idea is that they post a toy dataset each week along with an example article that uses the same or similar data, and then the community posts their solutions and what they did with it around the internet.
It's a new year! I always feel so ambitious at the start of a new year. This one especially, though. I got a very exciting early Christmas present this year.
Of course I happily accepted this super exciting opportunity. Ever since I started dabbling software nearly 10 years ago now my dream was to eventually someday, somehow, make a living on my own terms. I quickly learned that I am not cut out for tech startups, but there are lots of other ways to make a living in software. I'm not sure I'm cut out for those either, but the way I see it this year is my chance to finally find out.
I'm mostly optimistic. I definitely have tons of ideas for things to work on, and I have a ton of motivation to make this work. How amazing would it be to actually be able to make a sustainable living working on things that I find interesting and that benefit my community? I'm planning on giving myself this year to make it work, and if I have to I'll find a real job again next year. I hope I don't have to.
I'll be working on open source projects using Clojure, mostly focusing on data-related stuff. I have a long running project writing a book about doing data stuff in Clojure that I plan to spend a lot more time on this year. It turns out writing a book is so much work, way more than I thought at first, but I'm never giving up and I will finish it no matter how long it takes. I also have a million small ideas for polishing things around the clojure data ecosystem that I think would help make it feel more ergonomic for "data people". I'd love to build on some of the tools out there for combining data libraries, tidyverse style. There's also a lack of guides and courses for learning how to use the emerging "default" stack for data science in Clojure. I think I can help in all these areas.
I think it'll take some discipline and re-wiring of my brain to be successful, but I think I can do it. I'm so used to being given projects to do for other people and squeezing in my side projects around my working hours. What will it look like when my side projects become my main focus during full-time working hours?
I'll need to learn how to prioritize things without much external influence or direction. Case in point – I spent over an hour faffing with the styles for this blog. On one hand, I care more than I should about aesthetics and at the end of the day do believe that function should take priority. On the other hand, it's done now and I have a blog I like looking at!
Anyway I made this website to separate my work in programming from my other pursuits, like yoga and violin. My plan is to post periodic updates and other tech-related posts here. If there's anything you would like to see contributed to the Clojure ecosystem, let me know! I'm always open to suggestions and ideas and especially early on this year I would love to hear from the people who voted for me to receive this funding.
Wish me luck!