Dev Thoughts

Musings from my development journey.


Syntax isn't everything: NLP for Rubyists


Talk from Aja Hammerly on Natural Language Processing for the machine learning track at Rails Conf 2017.

What is NLP?

NLP is a field of computer science, artificial intelligence, and computational linguistics concerned with the interactions between computers and human (natural) languages.


Bad NLP requires too much specificity and requires a specific structure in order to be properly proc... Continue reading

Predicting Titanic Survivors with Machine Learning


Talk on machine learning by Ju at Rails Conf 2017.

I really enjoyed Ju's approach to approaching machine learning. Instead of jumping straight to the algorithm calls, he showed how to build a basic statistical analysis program, and then afterwards showed how machine learning algorithms can automate the process.

Tools to Use

  • Python
  • matplotlib.pyplot (can help with visualizations, plotting... Continue reading

Is it food? An introduction to machine learning


Talk on machine learning given at Rails Conf 2017, by Matthew Mongeau

Pattern Recognition

Pattern recognition is one of the keys to humans being able to understand what elements are based on historical fuzzy learning. Aka, being able to recognize when something is food vs when something isn't food.


Clustering and recognizing patterns of data to see how they fit together.

... Continue reading

How to Program - Justin Searls


Talk given by Justin Searls at RailsConf 2017.

Issues with learning how to program:

  • Schools do not teach flow, in other words, they don't teach you how to solve problems.
  • Learning how to program is more than syntax and even practical implementation.
  • Programming should have the goal of solving real world problems.

"Programming is a philosophical activity that occurs in ... Continue reading

Practical Debugging


Tools to Utilize from the Ruby Standard Library

What kind of problem are you trying to solve?

  • Interface - not understanding the dependent structure of methods or constants (why is this nil?, why don't I have access to a method?, What can this object see and do?)
  • State - when the assumptions you made about the current state of the program are incorrect (How does a value change at a certain point? What has been ini... Continue reading