I’m a self-taught programmer* and the CTO at SharpestMinds, where we have very small team (we just recently went from N=3 to N=4) and our engineering and development team consists of mostly just me. After leaving my PhD in Physics, I’ve learnt to code almost exclusively by building. Inevitably, I’ve had to refactor a lot […]
I sat down with Jeremie Harris recently (co-founder and COO of SharpestMinds) for the Towards Data Science podcast. We talked about quitting a PhD, learning programming and data science from scratch, and what habits can help you get there. Listen below on Spotify, or find it on your favourite podcast streaming service!
I gave a tutorial to the SharpestMinds community this week on Flask and Heroku that proved useful. So I edited it and uploaded it. I essentially live code a basic web app from scratch to host an image classifier. It is scrappy and cuts a few corners, but the result is a working MVP. I […]
Estimating the time for software projects is notoriously difficult. This is because the majority of the work in most software projects is “discovered” work. Work that was not obvious while planning that is discovered when implementing. If you’ve done any serious programming work, you’ll know what I’m talking about. “Turns out this 3rd party API […]
As SharpestMinds matures as a company, good design is becoming increasingly important. For most of the company’s lifetime, we embraced a design-on-the-fly, just-make-it-work attitude. Without much more than a text or verbal description, we would simultaneously plan, implement, and design new features for our web-app. This approach worked well enough while we iterated towards product/market […]
This is one of those decisions that is so context specific that almost all advice on it is worthless. Nevertheless, I thought I’d share the story of when I had to make this decision as a beginner programmer. There may be a lesson or two. In the summer of 2018, SharpestMinds was a platform for […]
Two years ago I left a PhD in physics, joined a startup, and taught myself to be a software developer. I had to radically alter the way I learned and approached problems. An education in physics is very much a bottom-up approach. Before you can grasp the intricacies of electromagnetism, quantum mechanics, and general relativity, […]