From Farnam Street Sunday Brain Food newsletter (21-Nov-21):

“You can’t replace reading with other sources of information like videos, because you need to read in order to write well, and you need to write in order to think well.”

— Paul Graham

I think this relates:

Writing is often the process by which you realize that you do not understand what you are talking about.


November 26, 2021

I wrapped up Amazon’s Exam Readiness: AWS Certified Machine Learning – Specialty course today.

It’s the preparation course to take just before the AWS Machine Learning specialty exam, but I’m nowhere near ready. Instead my strategy was to get a high-level overview of what the AWS ML ecosystem looks like, then diving into those tools themselves.

My experience with ML so far is just creating and training and running jobs locally, so excited to see how that gets spun up in the cloud.

I’m also very curious to see how Amazon SageMaker works in practice, and if it can make something of a Machine Learning engineer out of me, very much a non-engineer.

I’m working out a checklist of my next steps – what I’m planning to follow all the way to the AWS Certified Machine Learning – Specialty examination. These are some of the templates I’m also following, just for reference:

  • How I prepared for the AWS Certified Machine Learning Specialty (TowardsDataScience)
  • My Path to Passing the AWS Machine Learning Certification (Adam DeJans, Medium)

I’m also looking into the PluralSight/A Cloud Guru learning paths, which are larger than just this ML specialty, but probably provide the best combo of learning/action to really understand what I’m working with.


November 20, 2021

I just signed up for the Buildspace project “Build your own NFT collection on Solana” which starts in early December.

I enjoyed the Buildspace project on Solidity, and while I have zero intention on launching my own NFT collection, it should be interesting to see exactly how the process works.

I’m also (somewhat) interested in Solana. Ever since Packy McCormick wrote about it in August, it has been interesting to compare how it works against Ethereum. Faster, cheaper… but not necessarily more user-friendly. That still seems to be the biggest roadblock for all of the cryptos/smart contracts/web3 platforms.

And just for transparency – Solana is the only crypto I own, and it’s a whopping $30.


November 18, 2021

I’ve been working on the AWS Certified Machine Learning – Specialty off and on for about a month or so.

In September, I passed the AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner certification, with the plan of moving right from that into the machine learning certification.

Next is the AWS ML ecosystem. I’ve used AWS at a very high level for a few years, but not with any types of ML workflows or tools.

  • Some of the concepts from the Cloud Practitioner were familiar, but it was good to better understand how I could start leveraging some of the data analysis tasks I do on my computer into the cloud.
  • I don’t necessarily do enough where I need the cloud architecture from a performance perspective, but I think it opens up a lot of possibilities in my workflow.
  • I have done a few machine learning courses online over the years. But I wanted to start to learn how I could do it with the AWS tools – which is probably how I would use it professionally if I were to start having to leverage machine within my day-to-day workflow (currently I don’t have to, but there are a lot of initiatives at my company that are shifting in that direction).

What I’ve done so far and what I’m doing next

  • I’ve completed most of Amazon’s Exam Readiness: AWS Certified Machine Learning – Specialty course to get a high-level overview of what I’ll be working with.
  • Then my plan is to follow with Amazon’s Machine Learning Learning Plan – that is, starting to actually put those tools into action. Then I’ll plan on taking the exam.
  • In the meanwhile I’ll be sharing some of my progress and maybe some of my workbooks that I’ll be putting together as I go through the process.