Attending my first workshop in AI hosted by PyData-Ghana has been an eye-opening experience. I looked forward to having a wonderful experience and it was nothing short of that. Oh, and I have to mention that, the reception was very heart warming. On my way to the venue, I was called to make sure I knew the direction and this gave me a sense of belonging to an awesome family. Knowing that PyData-Ghana was on the lookout for me to ensure I didn't get missing was really flattering I should say.
Having in mind that we were neophytes, our facilitators laid a pretty good foundation for us on the first day by helping every individual with the needed installations and also took us on a ride in the basics of python programming. The coaches came down to our level with much patience which I found amazing. The capstone set on the first day made me anticipate day two so badly. The principle behind the k-neighbor algorithm was explained to us before we applied it to our dataset and this made me better appreciate what was going on in the background as I executed my code. It drew my mind to an algorithm in a workflow in my field of study, bioinformatics. This was an “Aha” moment for me. I could now better appreciate what k-mer distances were because the k-neighbor algorithm explanation was made simple and relatable that it paved way for better understanding. My interest in machine learning was stimulated some more and as we went through every line of code, I started to think about what I could do with the skills I was going to acquire on this exciting journey.
Our mentors and facilitators ensured us that they were going to check up on us and also help us track our progress and this was encouraging and stirring. It is beautiful to have a community of like-minded people who are ready to help you grow and not just that but also help you be a blessing to other people. This brings me to a quote shared at the workshop that kept me thinking.
“If I have seen further, it is by standing the shoulders of giants”. A quote by Sir Isaac Newton.
This quote impressed deeply on me and I have drawn inspiration from it that, we will learn more and be equipped with the appropriate skills, guidance, networks and tools by standing on the shoulders of others. It doesn’t end there, but that I also can give back to the community by simply being a shoulder on which someone would stand on to see better just as we have stood on the shoulders of others.
With my experience at the workshop, I have decided to fully embrace my journey in the field of machine learning, knowing definitely that, I will encounter bugs whilst working but not also oblivious of the fact that, there is a community ready to cushion me. There is a Chinese proverb that goes, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a step”: I believe the step I took to being a part of the workshop was all I needed to kickstart. I believe that the future is open (just as it was written on the python-tee Mannie was wearing that day). This was really AI made easy.