Today is Independence Day, and marks the first blog post I've written in several years. Think the last time I posted was about three years ago. A lot's changed.
The reason for this blog, and for this specific post, are much the same, and it's also directly tied to the theme of today's theme. To put it simply, this blog is a demonstration of freedom, the freedom to step outside the path I've been on and to choose something entirely different, despite the difficulties that come with it. What I'm speaking of is the choice to move from an IT networking career to that of a development engineer. Where the "freedom" theme comes in, is that I didn't go to school for development skills, nor for machine learning. I chose to do them. Networking came to me out of necessity during my college days, and fit my interests, and opened opportunities for me at the time. But I did not choose out of pure interest to go into networking - I chose it out of necessity, and stuck with it because of the new possibilities I saw with it. While networking then and even now still presents interesting work and awesome challenges, the future holds far greater promise, for myself and others, if I leave it behind in favour of doing development work. (One of my favourite qualities of this effort is that it is, for me, an autodidactic pursuit. That's where my Independence Day tie-in for this post really comes to light. More on this later.)
Most would call this a DevOps path, but I find that the less "Ops" I'm doing, the better building I do. And that's really what it comes down to: building something new. I've never had the opportunity to do that, outside of being a music producer, and I've never had any opportunity in any sphere to make something groundbreaking. It's one thing to build and maintain an OSPF network from the ground up, but another entirely to build an application that can learn the difference between a road and a ditch, and being able to guide a vehicle along it. That latter part is an idea of what I want to be able to accomplish with what I learn over the next years with machine learning - not necessarily self-driving cars, but possibly rocket navigation systems, or a ForEx market decision system. The possibilities are pretty limitless there. (I'll expand upon how I came to this decision in a later post.)
I'm using this blog for two main purposes:
- To commit to my learning and development goals, by publishing my results, challenges and findings along the way. The time I'm spending into these efforts is significant, so the least I can do is document my progress.
- To offer a resource to future learners of machine learning. The best way to know that you have truly learned something is by teaching it to someone successfully. For the time being, this is the best method I can achieve that.
Further posts will expand on what I'm looking to accomplish here, but for the time being those two ideas are what's driving me to share my experiences and ideas. Happy Independence Day.