Linode

Leveling Up Natural Language Processing with Transfer Learning - Episode 315

Natural language processing is a powerful tool for extracting insights from large volumes of text. With the growth of the internet and social platforms, and the increasing number of people and communities conducting their professional and personal activities online, the opportunities for NLP to create amazing insights and experiences are endless. In order to work with such a large and growing corpus it has become necessary to move beyond purely statistical methods and embrace the capabilities of deep learning, and transfer learning in particular. In this episode Paul Azunre shares his journey into the application and implementation of transfer learning for natural language processing. This is a fascinating look at the possibilities of emerging machine learning techniques for transforming the ways that we interact with technology.

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Federated Learning For All With Flower - Episode 314

Machine learning is a tool that has typically been performed on large volumes of data in one place. As more computing happens at the edge on mobile and low power devices, the learning is being federated which brings a new set of challenges. Daniel Beutel co-created the Flower framework to make federated learning more manageable. In this episode he shares his motivations for starting the project, how you can use it for your own work, and the unique challenges and benefits that this emerging model offers. This is a great exploration of the federated learning space and a framework that makes it more approachable.

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Data Exploration and Visualization Made Effortless with Lux - Episode 313

Data exploration is an important step in any analysis or machine learning project. Visualizing the data that you are working with makes that exploration faster and more effective, but having to remember and write all of the code to build a scatter plot or histogram is tedious and time consuming. In order to eliminate that friction Doris Lee helped create the Lux project, which wraps your Pandas data frame and automatically generates a set of visualizations without you having to lift a finger. In this episode she explains how Lux works under the hood, what inspired her to create it in the first place, and how it can help you create a better end result. The Lux project is a valuable addition to the toolbox of anyone who is doing data wrangling with Pandas.

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Extensible Open Source Authorization For Your Applications With Oso - Episode 312

Any project that is used by more than one person will eventually need to handle permissions for each of those users. It is certainly possible to write that logic yourself, but you’ll almost certainly do it wrong at least once. Rather than waste your time fighting with bugs in your authorization code it makes sense to use a well-maintained library that has already made and fixed all of the mistakes so that you don’t have to. In this episode Sam Scott shares the Oso framework to give you a clean separation between your authorization policies and your application code. He explains how you can call a simple function to ask if something is allowed, and then manage the complex rules that match your particular needs as a separate concern. He describes the motivation for building a domain specific language based on logic programming for policy definitions, how it integrates with the host language (such as Python), and how you can start using it in your own applications today. This is a must listen even if you never use the project because it is a great exploration of all of the incidental complexity that is involved in permissions management.

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Teaching Geeks The Value And Skills Of Public Speaking - Episode 311

Being able to present your ideas is one of the most valuable and powerful skills to have as a professional, regardless of your industry. For software engineers it is especially important to be able to communicate clearly and effectively because of the detail-oriented nature of the work. Unfortunately, many people who work in software are more comfortable in front of the keyboard than a crowd. In this episode Neil Thompson shares his story of being an accidental public speaker and how he is helping other engineers start down the road of being effective presenters. He discusses the benefits for your career, how to build the skills, and how to find opportunities to practice them. Even if you never want to speak at a conference, it’s still worth your while to listen to Neil’s advice and find ways to level up your presentation and speaking skills.

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Let The Robots Do The Work Using Robotic Process Automation with Robocorp - Episode 310

One of the great promises of computers is that they will make our work faster and easier, so why do we all spend so much time manually copying data from websites, or entering information into web forms, or any of the other tedious tasks that take up our time? As developers our first inclination is to “just write a script” to automate things, but how do you share that with your non-technical co-workers? In this episode Antti Karjalainen, CEO and co-founder of Robocorp, explains how Robotic Process Automation (RPA) can help us all cut down on time-wasting tasks and let the computers do what they’re supposed to. He shares how he got involved in the RPA industry, his work with Robot Framework and RPA framework, how to build and distribute bots, and how to decide if a task is worth automating. If you’re sick of spending your time on mind-numbing copy and paste then give this episode a listen and then let the robots do the work for you.

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Keep Your Code Clean And Maintainable Using Static Analysis With Flake8 - Episode 309

When you are writing code it is all to easy to introduce subtle bugs or leave behind unused code. Unused variables, unused imports, overly complex logic, etc. If you are careful and diligent you can find these problems yourself, but isn’t that what computers are supposed to help you with? Thankfully Python has a wealth of tools that will work with you to keep your code clean and maintainable. In this episode Anthony Sottile explores Flake8, one of the most popular options for identifying those problematic lines of code. He shares how he became involved in the project and took over as maintainer and explains the different categories of code quality tooling and how Flake8 compares to other static analyzers. He also discusses the ecosystem of plugins that have grown up around it, including some detailed examples of how you can write your own (and why you might want to).

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Make Your Code More Readable With The Magic Of Refactoring Using Sourcery - Episode 308

Writing code that is easy to read and understand will have a lasting impact on you and your teammates over the life of a project. Sometimes it can be difficult to identify opportunities for simplifying a block of code, especially if you are early in your journey as a developer. If you work with senior engineers they can help by pointing out ways to refactor your code to be more readable, but they aren’t always available. Brendan Maginnis and Nick Thapen created Sourcery to act as a full time pair programmer sitting in your editor of choice, offering suggestions and automatically refactoring your Python code. In this episode they share their journey of building a tool to automatically find opportunities for refactoring in your code, including how it works under the hood, the types of refactoring that it supports currently, and how you can start using it in your own work today. It always pays to keep your tool box organized and your tools sharp and Sourcery is definitely worth adding to your repertoire.

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Be Data Driven At Any Scale With Superset - Episode 307

Becoming data driven is the stated goal of a large and growing number of organizations. In order to achieve that mission they need a reliable and scalable method of accessing and analyzing the data that they have. While business intelligence solutions have been around for ages, they don’t all work well with the systems that we rely on today and a majority of them are not open source. Superset is a Python powered platform for exploring your data and building rich interactive dashboards that gets the information that your organization needs in front of the people that need it. In this episode Maxime Beauchemin, the creator of Superset, shares how the project got started and why it has become such a widely used and popular option for exploring and sharing data at companies of all sizes. He also explains how it functions, how you can customize it to fit your specific needs, and how to get it up and running in your own environment.

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Practical Advice On Using Python To Power A Business - Episode 306

Python is a language that is used in almost every imaginable context and by people from an amazing range of backgrounds. A lot of the people who use it wouldn’t even call themselves programmers, because that is not the primary focus of their job. In this episode Chris Moffitt shares his experience writing Python as a business user. In order to share his insights and help others who have run up against the limits of Excel he maintains the site Practical Business Python where he publishes articles that help introduce newcomers to Python and explain how to perform tasks such as building reports, automating Excel files, and doing data analysis. This is a great conversation that illustrates how useful it is to learn Python even if you never intend to write software professionally.

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