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!).


  • Started creating my Data Science portfolio on GitHub. check it out
  • Created several short programs for automating various tasks. check it out
  • Completed home assignments on Python and NLP for the uni course “NLP with Python”.


  • Used GitLab (instead of GitHub) for a team project.
  • Completed a uni team project on sentiment analysis of German product reviews. check it out
  • Passed my uni course “NLP with Python”!


  • Completed my uni-related psych-verbs project, about the classification of Romanian verbs of emotion. check it out
  • Learned Python for financial analysis on Udemy.
  • Learned MongoDB on MongoDB University.


  • Started a Data Science Bootcamp!
  • Learned to implement algorithms and data structures in Python.
  • Learned Julia for data analysis on Julia Academy.
  • Created an animated scatterplot of Gapminder data. check it out


  • Analysed and predicted the survival of Titanic passengers using ML classification models. check it out
  • Analysed and predicted the demand for bike shares based on weather data using regression models. check it out
  • Competed in two Kaggle challenges (Titanic and Capital Bikeshare).
  • Built a bot that scrapes music lyrics and predicts the artist from input lyrics. check it out
  • Analysed and predicted the temperature in Berlin using ARIMA models and Prophet. check it out


  • Learned AWS (EC2 and RDS) and built a business dashboard with Metabase connected to a PostgreSQL database. check it out
  • Learned Docker and built a pipeline for streaming tweets, analysing their polarity, and posting them in a Slack channel. check it out
  • Co-created a Markov Chain Monte Carlo simulation of customers in a supermarket. check it out
  • Learned Deep Learning and built my first neural network models for classifying images of clothes. check it out
  • Built a Neural Network model that generates texts in the style of E.A. Poe poems. check it out
  • Created a Slackbot for student support with Rasa. check it out


  • Co-created a movie recommender system and improved my front-end skills (HTML, CSS, Flask) in the process. check it out
  • Created a program that detects emotions from speech and classifies live voice recordings, as my graduation project for the Data Science Bootcamp. check it out
  • Created a 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. check it out
  • Started a mini-project of holiday-related programs that automate and liven up holiday wishes. check it out
  • Made my first open-source contribution to the codebase of SpaCy, by updating the Romanian stop words. check it out
  • 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!