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getting sidetracked by a new idea

September 19th, 2020


I was hoping to have a new post out soon-ish. But I may take a short break to build a side project that's partially just for me.

The original goal was to have a post about the top data science books. Basically the same structure as the last few posts I've done. Web scraping, random data analysis, terrible heuristics, etc, etc.

But as I was going through it, I realized this it was odd I needed to go through all this effort in the first place. I actually buy books about data science and coding. With my own money. How is it that I need a sketchy web scraping script to find good ones to read? Shouldn't there be at least a website or two that tracks textbooks? Ranks them by Amazon or Goodreads rating / rating count. Or something along those lines?

Apparently no.

Which is ok - honestly maybe no one wants it.

Well no one else wants it.

I want it.

So here we are. It seems there's a non-zero chance that I build a small database of coding textbooks by Amazon id & GoodReads id that periodically pull the review counts and average ratings of those books. I'd have to manually add and tag new books, but I think that's do-able. And maybe add pictures. Pictures are nice.

Is this a dumb idea? Eh, probably. Off the bat, I don't know how long I'll keep it updated (it's not going to be fully automated like next novel project). It might be stale within a year, which would mean the project wasn't useful. But given there aren't thousands of new coding texts a year, that may be fine?

Honestly, it may just be nice to organize texts for my own use. Do I want to learn more about Kubernetes? Boom, Kubernetes section. Data Architecture? Git? Bash? You get the point.

what's next?

If I actually build this little site, it'll probably end up taking a week or two. Really depends on my schedule. If said schedule permits, maybe I'll try to write one post in the interim while I build this idea...

If you'd like to hold me to this timeline, get @me. Or don't.