A Nation Under Judgment?

Since starting work in November, my morning routine has become pretty regular. After my alarm goes off for the final time, I turn over and grab my iPad. I check e-mail, Slack, and so on, and then if I have some extra time, I browse Twitter. I set up my Twitter feed in 2016 after the election to hear the latest from two general categories of famous people: political reporters with the inside scoop on the latest from the Trump administration and political figures with similar (vaguely centrist) views to my self.

After reading about the mayhem that the president is subjecting our country to for a few minutes, I close the iPad portion of my mornings by reading a passage of the Bible and jotting down some notes on a Google doc. I do this to set a bit of a tone for the day; it’s then the last thing that I’m thinking about as I shower and head into work.

Lately, we’ve been studying the book of the prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah is one of those books of the Bible that modern-day American Christians usually skip over, which is exactly why we decided to read it. What message are we missing that our culture doesn’t want us to hear?

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What Insight Data Science Gave Me

Last fall, I participated in a job-seeking fellowship called Insight Data Science. The official program lasts for seven very full weeks, but the job-seeking process continues afterwards for anywhere between a few weeks and a few months.

I was one of the lucky ones to get a job in the month following the program. So based on that fact alone, you might imagine that this will be a glowing review of the program’s success.

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My Goal for 2019: Focus on Quality over Quantity

I started my 2019 blog reboot last week with retrospective reflections on my life in 2018, and as is common this time of year, I’d like to follow it up with my goals for 2019. In compiling this list, however, I found a unifying thread between the goals: In every case, I hope to replace a mindset focused on maximizing quantity with one focused on maintaining quality.

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2018: A Year of Small Transitions

It’s been a while! I last posted a blog post in February 2018, and I’ve more or less gone silent on social media in that time as well. As I’ll explain shortly, it’s been a bit of an uncertain and transitional period in my life, but I think that has settled down now. As one of my New Years’ Resolutions, I’m expecting to blog on a weekly basis once again, and given the circumstances, I figured that a good first post would be a simple update on my life.

Here’s the short version, if you don’t want to read all of my personal details: I left my church of five years to join a church plant / merger in March, defended my PhD thesis in August, and got a job, through a seven-week Insight Data Science fellowship, at a small startup named Kebotix in November.

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Google Sheets Kung Fu: Ten tips for writing functionality quickly

At a retreat I attended last month, one of the speakers illustrated his point that people have different skills by explaining that some people have a fascination with spreadsheet manipulation. The way he said it, he sounded baffled, but when I heard it, I knew he was describing people like me.

My preferred system is Google Sheets for its easy collaboration and anywhere-access. Last spring, in “Like Magic”: Five Google Spreadsheet Hacks to Save You Time and Money, I shared some of its features that I’ve learned about over the years which expand the scope and power of what you can do with spreadsheets. In this post, I’d like to address the complimentary question of efficiency: How do you build and write spreadsheet functionality quicklyAfter all, we’re using spreadsheets in the first place in part in order to speed things up relative to doing them by hand. But if designing the spreadsheet takes a long time, we’re at best cutting into those future time savings and at worst losing time in the whole endeavor.

So here are some tips for speeding up your own spreadsheet capabilities.

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