#Writing a #book on #MachineLearning, what I’ve learned so far.


For those that don’t know I’m currently in the middle of writing a book for Wiley called “Machine Learning, A Hands On Guide”, it’s fun but it’s also one of the hardest (but most rewarding) things I’ve taken on. So beyond all the things about decision trees, clustering and bayesian networks I go on a very practical level with Spring XD, Hadoop, Sqoop and Pig to get things done.

One thing I have learned it’s nothing like writing blog posts 🙂

Talk To Your Network Before You Take On The Project.

I spent some time talking with my family about doing a book and knowing that it’s going to be a timesink but a worthwhile timesink. So think about the day job, any startup projects you’ve got and other social commitments.

Also have a talk with those who’ve done it before. I had many an email between some highly trusted and well known contacts, I won’t name names I’ll save that for the book. They told me how it was, the expectations and the motives they had for doing such things.

Table Of Contents Will Change

The Table of Contents (ToC) will change, because you will change it. It’s like looking at a painting from different angled, you’ll see something you want to tweak. That’s fine.

Read All The Stuff The Publisher Sends You

Regardless of how much stuff there is too, it’s all goldmine information and it will save you time in the future. How to format everything, how to use their templates and how to upload your chapters, read it and then read it again.

Microsoft Word

No matter how much you’re a pure Mac user, or how you advocate open source tools and would never cross to the dark side, trust me, you’ll save an awful lot of time by writing with Microsoft Word. On this occasion the word processor from the dark side has worked beautifully.

Discipline is never an end in itself, only a means to an end

Procrastination is your number one enemy, “I’ll do that tomorrow” or “later on tonight” usually doesn’t happen at all. My system is quite basic, if I’ve given myself three weeks to complete a 36 page chapter then it’s going to a target of two pages a day. Sometimes I’ll do more if I’m trying to complete a section. If you can work like that then you’re going to deliver on time.

More to come…. once I’ve done a bit more. If blog posts seem well spaced out, you now know the reason.


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