COVID-19 destroyed all our travelling plans for this year. This meant, however, the time I would usually spend in planning trips or processing photos was now free 🤷♂️. So, I invested it into growing my Twitter audience and building my side projects iwanttoreadmore.com and Simple Photo Gallery..
Growing my Twitter audience
I've had a Twitter account since 2009, but I started using it more actively this January. I really started tweeting a lot in August and got some first "results" in September. If you want me to write more about my Twitter growing strategy vote here .
At the end of August I had less than 200 followers. I managed to get 819 new ones in September and 549 in October for a total of more than 1550 currently. What really helped was some mentions from bigger accounts, especially by @svpino. Tweeting without many followers is mostly like talking to the wall, so things are now more interesting 😁.
Topics I write about on Twitter
In the last two months I started explicitly focusing on tweeting about machine learning, computer vision and self-driving cars. There seems to be a huge interest in these fields and many people want to start working in them.
Last Friday, Santiago (@svpino) organized an interesting online talk about how to get started with machine learning. He invited me together with @AlejandroPiad and @yudivian to discuss the topic. I found the questions that the people in the call answered very interesting and I think we managed to give them good answers. In a nutshell - it is really easy to start with machine learning if you are a developer! And no, you don't need math for that! Check out fast.ai if you want a good way to get started! If you are interested in more tips for getting into machine learning vote here .
✨How do you get into Machine Learning? ✨— Santiago (@svpino) October 30, 2020
Streaming live *TODAY* at 4pm EST here on Twitter!
Tune live and reply to this tweet with your questions!
My guests:@haltakov @AlejandroPiad @yudivian
We will be covering a lot of ground!
Machine Learning paper reviews 📃
One type of content I started posting regularly is reviews of popular machine learning papers as Twitter threads. The idea is not to explain all the details of the paper, but rather the main ideas and learnings from the paper. The review of AlexNet was especially popular:
It's finally time for some paper review! 📜🔍🧐— Vladimir Haltakov (@haltakov) September 28, 2020
I promised the other day to start posting threads with summaries of papers that had a big impact on the field of ML and CV.
Here is the first one - the AlexNet paper! pic.twitter.com/QNLPIMZSIa
Self-driving cars 🧠🚙
I also started a new feature where I describe in more details the different roles in a self-driving cars project. My goal here is to show people that there are many ways to enter the industry - not only as a Machine Learning engineer. More to come here as well .
How to become a self-driving car engineer? 💻🧠🚗— Vladimir Haltakov (@haltakov) October 26, 2020
Well, there is no easy answer - building a self-driving car requires expertise from many different fields.
The good new is that there are many paths that will lead you to a job in this industry!
Read more details below 👇
I also analyzed the recent release of Tesla's Full Self-Driving BETA based on videos from a couple of people posting on Twitter, Reddit and YouTube.
Another popular tweet was my analysis of the different approaches towards self-driving by different companies. There was also an interesting discussion on Reddit.
Self-driving car approaches 🧠🚗— Vladimir Haltakov (@haltakov) October 27, 2020
Some interesting self-driving news lately:
- Waymo launching test fleet without safety driver
- Tesla launching a beta of their Full Self-Driving
- Mercedes announcing a level 3 traffic jam pilot for 2021
There are 3 very different approaches 👇
Cognitive biases 🤔
Another field I find very interesting is cognitive biases. These are effects that make us take irrational or wrong decisions in our daily lives. It is a good idea to study them and try to overcome them. I tried to deliver them as small interactive games. If you want me to post more about cognitive biases vote here .
Building I Want To Read More
I invested some time in building my side project I Want To Read More. It is a service that helps bloggers get feedback from their readers about the topics they find interesting. You can actually see it in action on my blog - check out the small vote links in all of my articles (like this one ). I wrote more about the idea and how it started here.
I got some great feedback from the Indie Hackers community and did a complete redesign of the website. It is now much clearer what the goal is and how it works. I also switched from Bootstrap to TailwindCSS - definitely worth it! This helped me to make the website much faster and hit 100 on all Lighthouse scores.
I suck at visual design, so what really helped me here were the TailwindCSS templates by @Mike_Andreuzza.
Building Simple Photo Gallery
Unfortunately, I didn't really find time to work much on Simple Photo Gallery. However, it got featured in the Unicorn Feed Newsletter by @Mike_Andreuzza. For this, I created a real landing page (instead of the GitHub README) where I better explain what it does. It was also a nice opportunity to get my hands dirty with TailwindCSS.
Pumpkin for Halloween 🎃
When I was a kid, we never celebrated Halloween in Bulgaria. This year was the first time that I craved a pumpkin together with my 2-year-old son. He really liked it, but it was hard to keep him away from the knife 😃.
Whole Europe is now entering a second wave of COVID-19 infections and as it seems travelling won't be possible for quite some time. A small consolation is that I'll have more time to continue working for my side projects... 🤷♂️
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