A recent interview process required passing some coding challenges.
When I first started programming I spent a decent amount of time on Project Euler, but since then I rarely do these crack-the-interview coding challenges. I find project-based work more interesting, I work mostly with data, and – based on what I understand from experienced interviewers – facility with brain teasers and coding challenges correlates less with good programming than time spent programming correlates with good programming. Anyway, I spent a few afternoons working through coding challenges on Codility to get a feel for the types of questions that get asked of software engineering candidates. Continue reading “A Few Nice Coding Challenges”
I recently did some A/B testing work through the Facebook advertising platform, and gave a quick presentation on the pros and cons of the platform. Here’s a summary.
- Inexpensive, low ceilings
- Demonstrated to work at scale, sophisticated distribution
To clarify my perspective on the platform, some background on the work we did:
We ran some A/B tests through the platform targeting a specific population, evaluating different levels of resulting engagement for statistical significance. I assure you, nothing fancy. Continue reading “Understanding Facebook Ads: Pros and Cons”
Decorators are intuitive and extremely useful. To demonstrate, we’ll look at a simple example. Let’s say we’ve got some function that sums all numbers 0 to n:
count = 0
while n > 0:
count += n
n -= 1
and we’d like to time the performance of this function. Of course we could just modify the function like so:
Continue reading “Decorators and Metaprogramming in Python”
Getting Useful Information Out of Unstructured Text
Let’s say that you’re interested in performing a basic analysis of the US M&A market over the last five years. You don’t have access to a database of transactions and don’t have access to tombstones (public advertisements announcing the minimal details of a closed deal, e.g. ABC acquires XYZ for $500mm). What you do have is access to is a large corpus of financial news articles that contain within them – somewhere – the basic transactional details of M&A deals.
What you need to do is design a system that takes in this large database and outputs clean fields containing M&A transaction details. In other words, map an excerpt like this: Continue reading “Shallow Parsing for Entity Recognition with NLTK and Machine Learning”