Learning Python

In preparing to start my data analyst Nanodegree through Udacity I have been brushing up on coding, more specifically, Python. I never took any coding or programming classes in school and the only reason I know so much about Excel and Access is because I taught myself at my last job.

I absolutely love taking large data sets and cleaning them up. Nothing gives me more thrill than making data more approachable. Unfortunately, I have always done this within Excel and Access. Cleaning through Python will absolutely be easier once I know what I’m doing, but right now…. I have no clue what I’m doing. Which is scary and frustrating.

I think it will help once I have specific projects and tasks, as right now I’m just playing around with silly codes like ‘calculate the total cost of your trip given certain inputs’. I would much rather work with medical data like I was as a PRA. Determining the rates of post-partum hemorrhage and how that compares post intervention was certainly a lot more interesting!


Moving right along…

My goals are coming along well, and yesterday I started my data analyst nanodegree through Udacity. I get off work at 2:30pm, get home as quickly as possible and pick up my daughter from the bus stop. Get her home, get her a snack and set up with either the tablet or an activity, and then get to work! I’ll be doing this schedule Monday through Thursday, which gives me 1.5 hours per day of study time. Fridays I have my younger daughter at home with me which will definitely be more challenging. I hope to get at least 2 hours in while she naps, and as she’s becoming more independent I can do a little while she’s awake as well. On the weekends my husband is home, yay! I’m scheduling a 3 hour block on each of those days. So here’s the final study schedule:

Monday – 1.5 hours

Tuesday – 1.5 hours

Wednesday – 1.5 hours

Thursday – 1.5 hours

Friday – 2-4 hours depending on daughter

Saturday – 3 hours

Sunday – 3 hours

So that gives me between 14-16 hours of studying per week. I hope that with that amount dedicated to learning it will go quickly. I’d like to finish my nanodegree by Memorial Day, as that’s when school gets out and then study time will be much harder to come by.

My hope is to be in a new full time career by the end of 2017. I’ve applied to several positions but since I have limited experience in data analysis I don’t expect anything to come from those applications. If only advanced Excel and Access were enough, I’d be set! Once I start publishing my projects from Udacity I can update my GitHub and resume which will help.

Getting things done, and it feels good!



  • Obtain my data analysis nanodegree from Udacity. I’ve been working on some python and SQL classes online to prepare for this. I’m ready to finally move my career forward. I’m stuck in a dead end position making $16/hour and at 35 years old with a college degree that’s really just pathetic.
  • Get a full time job in data analysis. Pretty self explanatory.


  • Get a 365 day streak on my fitness pal. I lost 20 pounds in 2016 and I have about 40 more to lose to get to a healthy BMI. CICO is really working.
  • Move my body more. I am ridiculously lazy. I’m pretty positive there are days where I only get 2,000 steps or even less. I need to make a conscious effort to get up and move more. Even if it’s just going for a walk around the block, I need to get this done.
  • Limit alcohol use to 1 day a week. This will certainly help with CICO!


  • Decide if we want another child. Our 2 sweet girls are really wonderful but sometimes I get a nagging feeling that our family isn’t actually complete. My age cutoff for getting pregnant is 37, so this is something we have to make a decision about very soon as I turn 36 this summer.
  • Go on more date nights. I think we had….. 3…. dates this year. Pathetic.
  • Be more patient and understanding with my husband and daughters. I lose my cool too often and I don’t want that to become the norm.


  • Try a new paper pieced quilting pattern.
  • Make a quilt for Cordelia’s big girl bed.
  • Make a wall hanging for above our TV.
  • Make pillows for our couch.

Bring it on, 2017!