Time to start learning something new

These past few weeks, I felt there was something going on. It’s the strange feeling of being treated with kid gloves, but you don’t know why. I think this is a good time to learn something new, in case I have to prove I can learn something new. I’ve decided I’m going to learn Python and Ruby/Rails.

Python is really popular at UCSD. It’s a good idea to prove I know it. Also, it looks like data science uses it heavily. Data science and “big data” seems to be the way to go to keep a job. I need to search through Coursera.com and edX.com for a Python course this year. Once again, it would be helpful to prove I know it.

Part of my Python learning will come from work, where I’m writing some scripts to scrape pages and pour the highlights into a database. However, I think it would be helpful to have my home machines set up to run Python 3 and Beautiful Soup 4. The virtualenv Python library looks really good. Virtualenv allows multiple Python environments with separate library setups.

Ruby/Rails looks like it would be useful for rapid website creation. Right now I use PHP to create websites. Building a framework to use PHP for websites takes a while. I’m not sure how useful it would be to learn Cake, Laravel, or Symfony if I can’t use them on the websites I have now. If I’m going to learn something new, Ruby/Rails seems to make more sense.

I have taken a MOOC on Ruby/Rails, through Berkeley and Coursera. I even have a certificate of completion, for what that’s worth. I still need to learn what I’m doing. I’ll probably get the pickaxe book eventually (http://www.amazon.com/dp/1937785491/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pd_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=241G17WBUNGO1&coliid=I2RDO4R9FOBUGV), but I want to get started on building something, so I’ll go with with Ruby/Rails tutorial at http://ruby.railstutorial.org/ruby-on-rails-tutorial-book

I like how Ruby/Rails has built-in tests. I want to learn how to bring that back to PHP. The PHP projects at work really need it.