Skills I Want To Develop Over The Next Year

Published on Nov 7, 2020

This week's news has been absolutely exasperating, so I'm gonna go ahead and live off social media for a while to focus on reading good books and think about the future. Good thing I trimmed my TweetDeck.

I spent the last two years honing my writing and web development skills. I still have a lot to learn, but I have become quite proficient at both. I'd need more difficult projects to improve, and that's currently being taken care of. 

What about new skills though? I've listed down 7 skills I'd like to focus on over the next year:

  • Search engine optimization: as a website owner, I know the basics. But there are many subfields I wish I knew more about, like keyword research and content strategy. Marktech tools are often expensive, and I think I can do a great job at automating some common tasks with a few scraping functions. First, I need to learn more about the industry—the tools and the players. Then I'll be able to judge what I need to know for my own projects and perhaps work on some new stuff.
  • Natural Language Processing with Deep Learning: I studied Machine Learning for a year at Stockholm University, but even though I know the basic concepts of deep learning and speech and word processing, I don't have the know-how to build production-ready systems. I'll need to read more books about each subfield and get acquainted with related Amazon or Google libraries and web services, before adding more advanced NLP features to my products. Data science is already an opportunity-filled field, and it will only keep growing. Web development won't be enough in ten years, so I'd better put my long engineering studies to good use.
  • Video editing: I'll make my video debut before the end of the year, so it's the perfect opportunity to dive into video editing little by little. I'm already familiar with photo editing software (even took a course on image processing in college), but video editing is definitely a skill I feel I'm missing. Not just to make Youtube videos, but also to build richer web experiences with technologies like CSS animations or three.js, or animate.js. 
  • Permaculture Farming: I've already prepared a small plot of land to grow things, but I'm waiting for Spring to actually experiment with more crops. Jerusalem artichoke and wild leeks have been growing in the garden lately, so that's basically the only things I "harvested" this season. Not very exciting, but warmer days will eventually come.
  • Wood carving and bushcraft: While pruning trees this Autumn, I grew interested in woodcraft. I find it both soothing and fascinating. Fortunately, I have many tree branches and logs lying around the family property, so I made myself a mic holder, a phone holder, and a pilgrim's staff. I'm looking forward to buy myself a whittling knife to see if I can carve some things and maybe make whole sculptures or more useful bushcraft items. 
  • Public speaking: It's also part of my video projects, but I want to learn more about public speaking. I've already downloaded books about the matter and remember a few exercises back from when I was attending acting classes, but I need actual deliberate practice.
  • Swedish: I miss travelling, and I'm nostalgic of my time in Sweden. If the pandemic hadn't been a thing, I would have just come back from a bikepacking trip around the Baltic Sea. If I had to choose to settle down in a country, it would either be Switzerland or Sweden, so I might as well learn to speak Swedish since I already can move to French-speaking Switzerland just fine. I worked for 6 months in Geneva and studied a year in Stockholm, but I never got to speak anything else than French or English. I love Spanish and Italian as well, but I don't see myself moving to Spain or Italy any time soon.

That should be entertaining enough to spend winter in autarky.