Machine Learning, Django, Git, and Virtual Environments in Python

This week I have learned some of the best practices for coding including using a virtual environment for my python packages and using Git as a way to keep a log of my codes throughout projects. The benefit of running on a virtual environment is that the many packages that Python offers are constantly being updated and one may update their packages and not realize that a prior program they made is no longer compatible with the new package. This is where virtual environments come in handy, they store older versions of packages so that your work environment can be frozen in time for that given project while you can start a new environment for your next project that requires up to date packages. The VirtualEnv package can be found here and it is a must for running any applications on a server.

The second tool that I am learning is Git and the tool called GitHub. I am still in the beginning phases of realizing the power of git but so far from playing around with it it offers the potential to take snapshots of your project as you move along so that if something breaks you can tell git to move backwards to any point in time you desire. This is one example of the uses of git. GitHub is a repository for code and collaboration and many of the Python tutorials that I have done have code stored on GitHub.
I completed a very simple machine learning task on Kaggle using the Random Forest Algorithm from SciPy. This expired competition is called Predicting a Biological Response and I scored in at about #358 out of the 700 submissions. I also completed most of the videos as well as various exercises for the Andrew Ng led Machine Learning course.

To further my Django application development skills I finished the book Instant Django 1.5 Application Development and all of its exercises. This was a great applied way of building web frameworks quickly. Solely reading about web development from a book is not effective for me with regards to retaining material and this books excels in being a feet first applied approach.


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