2020 has definitely been an objectively crappy year… But in terms of programming experience, this year has been by far my most productive and enriching! It was my third year of coding, and second year of doing for work. I’ve learned a lot on the job and through self-study, developed my Python skills and even learned two new languages. Here’s how my coding year progressed:


  • Started a new job as a student in Data Science/Analytics at a digital funeral home (it’s really more exciting than it sounds).
  • Learned BigQuery on the job and improved my SQL skills.
  • Started learning JavaScript for automating Google Sheets and creating custom DataStudio visualisations.


  • Automated boring tasks at work with Python.
  • Analysed the text and sentiment of business reviews with Python.
  • Worked for the first time with speech-to-text for data analysis, using Python and Google Cloud.


  • Created my first chatbot with NLTK.
  • Built a simple FAQ chatbot with Rasa.
  • Learned to create a chatbot with Dialogflow.


  • Completed two DataCamp projects in R to refresh my knowledge.
  • Enrolled in a uni course “Introduction to NLP with Python”.
  • Started doing coding challenged on codewars, LeetCode, and HackerRank.


  • Created my data-related Instagram account @datalingo.
  • Completed the Natural Language Processing course on Kaggle.
  • Got my first coding challenges on Python and SQL for data-related job applications (and passed 2/3!).








  • Co-created a movie recommender system and improved my front-end skills (HTML, CSS, Flask) in the process.
  • Created a program that detects emotions from speech and classifies live voice recordings, as my graduation project for the Data Science Bootcamp. 
  • Created a tldr; program that does sentiment analysis, named entity recognition, and summarization of web-scraped speeches from the German government, so you don’t have to read it all. 
  • Started a mini-project of holiday-related programs that automate and liven up holiday wishes.
  • Made my first open-source contribution to the codebase of SpaCy, by updating the Romanian stop words.
  • Learned Java on Codecademy and Udemy over the holidays.


Overall, it was a pretty codeful year! I did put a tremendous amount of work into developing my programming skills and spent many nights and weekends on learning and fixing bugs. But the feeling of satisfaction I get now looking back at what I accomplished makes it all worth it. For 2021, I have many ideas for exciting personal and work projects, so I quite look forward to the new year!