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Wednesday, February 20 • 1:00pm - 1:50pm
PRO WORKSHOP: From 0 to ML: Everything You Need to Know to Start Your First ML Project

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This talk will help software developers identify problems that are good candidates for machine learning (and those that are not), and go through the steps involved in transforming a rule based system into a machine learning model. Being a software developer who recently started working on a machine learning project that serves over 600,000 merchants at Shopify, I have had to quickly bootstrap my machine learning skills. And it turns out it’s not as complicated or scary as it sounds! Certain problems are inherently good candidates to be solved with machine learning. I will start off by discussing how to identify them, including some real life examples from my organization. Once identified, I will guide the audience through how to define their problem as a machine learning model: identifying their features & labels. I won’t go into detail about training the model, as there are many frameworks out there for that with good documentation. Once the model has been defined I will discuss how to “productionize” it, describing our current setup, how we got there, and some of the challenges we face: monitoring/alerting, “online” training, and changing model features as data changes. This talk intentionally treats model training as a black box, as it is the most well documented step of the ML process. The most challenging and nuanced aspects are identifying problems, defining a model, and productionizing it. I will walk the audience through these steps in detail, using real life examples, and they should leave feeling better prepared to tackle some machine learning problems of their own.

avatar for Kirsten Westeinde

Kirsten Westeinde

Senior Software Developer, Shopify
Kirsten Westeinde is a technology enthusiast and a lifelong learner. She is a senior software engineer at Shopify, where she solves challenging web development problems every day. She has worked with Ruby on Rails for ~5 years, and is constantly adding new tools to her technology... Read More →

Wednesday February 20, 2019 1:00pm - 1:50pm PST
Grand Ballroom - Stage B