Coding workshop off to a good start


Participants of the Python learning workshop were shown how the coding program can be used to build websites, software applications, run statistical tests and instal chatbots. (Right) Koh says Python has become a popular for its ability to execute tasks with less coding.

IMAGINE having messenger windows that can give you automated answers and online entertainment channels that know what kind of movies you like to watch?

These features are a result of an algorithm from a computer program that enables incoming data to be studied and then used for a specific intention.

The program is Python and during the ‘Python and Machine Learning Workshop, 42 participants were shown how this user-friendly coding program could be used to build websites, software applications, run statistical tests and install chatbots.

“It is easy to understand and with continual development, it can only get easier,” said speaker Koh Wyhow, who is a self-taught user.

Koh said Python has become a popular computer program language for its ability to execute basic tasks with less coding, in certain cases up to 10 times shorter than other programming languages.

A data science manager with SMG NEO, the analytics division of Star Media Group, Koh guided participants through a day-long session, starting with simple codes to come up with charts from surveys to generating complex financial reports.

Showing an example of how Python can be relevant in everyday life, Koh cited how Invoke Malaysia, a research centre, had used it to come up with a model of the GE14 outcome.

“People were profiled based on their past voting preferences.

“When data charts showed that the gap between the two opposition parties was too close in a certain seat, this intelligence was used to better the chances of the desired candidate,” said Koh.

He added that telecommunication companies and banks also use Python generated coding to identify new market segments and to calculate the probability of borrowers defaulting on their loans.

The data analytics are based on the correlation between users and their call plans and the borrowers’ past credit records.

To give participants a glimpse of what they can expect in future workshops, Google Cloud regional customer engineer Tan Chee Keong was invited as guest speaker to show how the program was applied by the web search engine for its products.

Participants had the chance to forward questions in relation to careers in the data field to Media Prima data science and analytics head Peter Kua and EY Analytics manager Desmond Chook. The session was moderated by Star Media Group analytics senior general manager Freddy Loo.

Conducted and delivered by SMG NEO, the introductory workshop will be the first of many series to come.

For details, email events@thestar.com.my
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