beau hilton


layout: post title: “Coding is awesome and also not scary” categories: - technical tags: - machine learning - programming - education

- meta

Coding isn't scary. It's awesome.

I want to show you something.

It's a tiny piece of computer code. And it's freaking rad.

Ready?

AllTheData.describe

Looks simple enough. All I did was enter the name of my dataset, AllTheData, add a period, and write the word describe. Then I hit the play button and waited 0.143 milliseconds. And then I saw…

(output from some data set)

Yup. Averages, medians, and quartiles for every feature in my dataset. Table 1, if you will. With a single command, which I can type faster than I can go clicking around Excel.

This is why computers are cool, and why they're even cooler when we control them with code. We can do very useful but very complicated things with simple commands. Under the surface, that .describe command does a whole bunch of math that would be a pain to do by hand, and because we do this type of math so much someone made it dead simple to execute.

Let me show you one more example. It's essentially the same