May 29, 2020

Feed Spider - Update 8

I’ve been doing a lot of reading and a lot of soul searching lately. Having to dig deep into Machine Learning wasn’t on my 2020 list of things to do. I’d really planned to spend this year improving my Apple platforms developer skills. Learning Python and a bunch of new concepts is a real detour for me.

To better understand if the Machine Learning was something I wanted go ahead with, I did some research on how much education you needed to get into it. It turns out there is quite a bit to it, but there is also a good deal of overlap with my existing skillset. For example, my business programming career left me with lots of skill manipulating and cleansing large amounts of data programmatically. That and being able to program at all are good starting points.

The other big prerequisites are math. Specifically linear algebra, statistics, and probabilities. I used to know how to do that stuff, but that was 30 years ago. The good news is that the Khan Academy has courses that I can take for refreshers. All this Machine Learning stuff is within my reach.

I’ve decided to go ahead and get proficient with Machine Learning. It is a skill not too far out of my grasp. Besides, I need something to do.

Coursera has a Machine Learning course that they are giving away during the pandemic. Coursera looks like a great way to get your credit card charged for classes you haven’t taken or signed up for. At least that is what the online reviews say. Needless to say, they won’t be getting a credit card number from me. I am going to take the free class. I’m dubious as to how good it will be, but as long as it isn’t giving my outright misinformation, I think I’ll be ok.

After that, I’ll be taking the Khan Academy classes to get my math back up to par. In the mean time, I’m following the Towards Data Science blog. They put out lots of good material and the more I read of it the more I’m beginning to understand.

All of this will take some time. If I make any progress towards Feed Spider, I’ll blog about it. Don’t expect much for a while though. 🤓