Chris J Powell

My First University Assignment

There are many things that I am good at, I know this because I have done them and I have been successful (either by making money or being told by peers and colleagues) so entering into a Data Science Course through is definitely a step out of my comfort zone but one that I absolutely must do to expand my horizons.


After sitting through the first series of lectures on the history of Big Data and getting a far greater appreciation of the challenges and benefits of leveraging Data Analysis and Data Science in real world actions I came to the point that I hit my first “Real World” assignment that involves the analysis of Real Time Twitter Feeds to look at the emotions and content of the world around me.  This hits me as very interesting as I have been toying around with the options of doing something like this to get a better understanding of the use of Social Media in a business environment for a while but never actually sat down and ran through the analysis.

Here is the Assignment itself:

  • access the twitter Application Programming Interface(API) using python
  • estimate the public’s perception (the sentiment) of a particular term or phrase
  • analyze the relationship between location and mood based on a sample of twitter data

What scares the absolute “bejesus” out of me is diving into the use of Python to do this.  I have had a book on the shelf about Python for almost a decade…it is one of only a few real books that I own that I have not taken the time to read because well when I started into the book…it instantly put me to sleep and I could not get behind the concepts but now, like an ever shining light that really has been calling me back to the world of programming…I am faced with needing to hone these skills and learn the art of Python.

Even though I am a little scared to put code out there for anyone other than myself to see (yes I have programmed stuff before but usually just Bash Scripts to make my own life easier) it is time to really work towards building Krispy 2.0.  The thing that intrigued me most about the Data Science Course is that it strikes a balance between practical and theoretical learning.  This is something that I always found to be lacking in University Level Courses as it seems that the vast majority of people that I know come out of University, book smart…but without a lick of understanding of how the world actually works and that may be why there is a general feeling of the world owing them a favor.  At 42 (well almost), I am back in school…and I kind of like it.

Today though, before I dive into the actual assignment, I am going to commit to some Python Training over at The Code Academy.  The reality is…I am so very much enjoying them…I couldn’t ask for a better way to spend my day off than learning something that I hopefully will be able to put into practice daily in the very near future.

For the next 13 hours I will be staring at this screen, focused on building a new skill.  Developing that part of my brain that while it has wanted out to run free, I have always had a fear that if I let it out…no one would be interested in what was there.  The time for fear is over…today is the only day that I have so I will venture forth, learn new things every day and if I get the opportunity…I am going to build things.  Yes that is right…Krispy is going to build stuff…stuff that I will use but in the future…stuff that others will use.

Cheers to all, and to all some good code!!!



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