I began writing these stories as a way of journaling and reflecting on my progress as a python coder and as a way of documenting my journey into Machine Learning. These stories are not intended to teach or suggest anything other than what my own personal journey as a self taught coder has been. I believe that most self taught coders probably go through a similar journey, especially if they have not been exposed or experienced professional, corporate experience. I have received criticism that this is simply a journal. Well, yes, that’s exactly what it is. …


I began writing this story as a way of documenting the journey of creating a massive, clean, tidy and Machine Learning ready database for the analysis and prediction of harness racing results. What I did not understand at the time was that this process becomes very reflective and as I worked through my model, and my code, I realize that so much has changed in my evolution as a Python programmer that if I were to write this code today, I would do it completely differently.

So, I think that from here on what I describe in these stories will…


The calendar of race events (Meeting Calendar) is constantly in flux as race meets are added, removed, and changed. The crawler I have written runs every 6 hours using a Cron scheduler on Google Application Engine and it initiates a Python script that requests and processes a URL.

The Python script exists within a container instance on the App Engine Standard Environment and is free to run. So long as the script itself executes completely within 10 minutes then the Standard Environment which is free, is a perfect way to do this. …


Data for this project is available from the early 80’s at (this link) and there is even an organization https://www.rise-digital.com.au/ that has an api available ‘freely’ to use. The problem with rise is that I have attempted to obtain access from them several times and not heard a response. Their terms of service clearly states: ‘RISE values creativity and encourages broad use of the API to encourage wagering’, but their lack of response clearly demonstrates their actual values.

The only option I have because I do not have access to the API is to build a series of web crawlers…


Flickr/Andrew Sutherland CC BY-SA

Back in the late 80’s I worked as a Test Engineer with Alcatel Australia designing test software and hardware for the testing of AXE exchange equipment. We used Hewlett Packard 3065 test stations that used a bed of nails to detect everything from shorts and opens to complex CPU patterns to help ensure that our manufacturing process was error free.

I happened to work with a test engineer who I think was polish and he liked to place bets on Harness Racing. I had seen my father place bets all my life and I recall one Saturday afternoon where my…


Everything has a beginning, sometimes with no conceptual end.

This is a story of my journey into Data Science and the progression from an idea to something that takes me to the dystopian world of statistics, probability, and the arcane world of Machine Learning.

Beginnings. “‘import React from ‘react’”.

I had already learned some Python, thanks to the 1,500 page epitome of Python by Mark Lutz (which, 5 years later I am half way through), and a Udacity Nano-degree in Front End Development. Several short courses later, including more from Udacity and Udemy I found myself intrigued by React.

I…

Brett Gamble

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