Writing Tweets to HBase – Simply

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Many folks may know that the South Florida Evangelism team is undertaking a task that many think is impossible.  Well, in that statement all I hear is “there is still a chance!”  The end goal is to create a teddy bear that can have a conversation about anything.  So step one is to collect as much dialogue as possible from as many sources as possible and annotate them.  What better place to power an association engine for word and phrase relevance than something that forces you down to 140 characters to get your message across.

So as any normal developer I decided to start by looking for samples already out there.  MSDN has a great starter for writing tweets and doing sentiment analysis with HBase and C#.  The only issue with the sample is, that it is very poorly written and difficult to understand with no separation of concerns.  So I want to go through simplifying the solution and separating a few concerns out.

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Convert Latitude Longitude to Degree Minutes Seconds for Maps

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If you have ever done mapping applications, you may have encountered needing to do this.  It takes a lot of looking around the internet to finally find the right equation etc.  For our application, we need to do this for google maps, as it does not take a latitude/longitude combination like bing maps.  If you choose to support ONLY bing maps, your job is easy, as here is the format: http://www.bing.com/maps/default.aspx?q=LATITUDE%2c+LONGITUDE (include negative signs if necessary).  However Google maps requires more work (UGH!) https://www.google.com/maps/place/LATITUDE <directional> LONGITUDE <directional>, ZOOM (with various encoded separators).

This article goes through the code that converts latitude longitude like you will pull from a phone’s gps into the DMS format needed by google maps.  Again, you don’t even need to bother with this conversion if you choose to use bing maps, it is simply as stated above.

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Using Census Data to Help Pick your Child’s Name

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So I had a life changing event this past Sunday at 8:55am 5/24/2015.  My first child was born!  Both child and wife are healthy and happy.  Everything is good in life.  Like many couples though, my wife and I struggled to find the right name for our child.  We didn’t want something too common, or was an old person name, or so rare and funky that nobody could spell it.  We also realized we just had a general lack in knowing what names were out there.  So after much debate and discussion over what to name her, I started doing a bit of an analysis using some census data.  I want to thank Jamie Dixon for providing the data that he found for use in his Dinner Nerds article.  The data itself can be found here.  This article will discuss the code used to go through all of the data and provide insights into child names.

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Pi for Brains Robot – Part 1 – Setup

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Welcome to my blog’s version of the #IDevThis project that will be coming out.  This full series will be made available on instructables and channel9 once it has been completed as a full unit.

Pi for Brains Robot (aka Danger-Bot)

These days it seems like I’m always dealing with a robot, they are on the phone, in my car, at the grocery store, just about everywhere.  It also seems like every single one of them had Pie for brains, because it just couldn’t do what I told it to.  This project is going to build a robot that ACTUALLY has PI for brains!  Get out your breadboards, your Raspberry Pis and follow along. We will use a high performance cross platform robotics framework, Cylon, Raspberry Pi, and an Arduino Robotics Kit to build this internet connected robot.

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How to Datamine Zillow

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As many of you may know at this point, I am relocating to South Florida.  Final location to be determined, but will probably be renting around Pompano Beach or Fort Lauderdale while working out of Venture Hive and the Microsoft Fort Lauderdale Offices.  So what does this have to do with Zillow?  Well, It has EVERYTHING to do with Zillow.  What I’ve found while searching for homes is that between Realtors, Zillow and Trulia, they really just don’t have a predictive analytics solution that works for me.  So I decided to give a shot at AzureML to mash together a few datasets to send me notifications more to my liking than is currently being sent.  So step 1 in this plan is to data mine Zillow.  Luckily, Zillow has an api for that.  Or if you are feeling particularly frisky, Zillow gets their data from ArcGIS (example for Raleigh).  So lets get cracking…

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Intro to Angular, Web API and Azure

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So I thought it would be beneficial to discuss Angular, Web API and Azure in some form of depth as well as provide an entire set of functioning code.  I will start by addressing a few things, What is Angular, What is Web API, and what is Azure?  Followed by the code and explanation of the code.  The code itself provides a simple website, which has restful routing, requests for processing and lists out data from a database acquired from said processing.

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So you want to be an Analytics Developer

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I get a series of questions all the time.

  1. How do I switch careers to be a developer?
  2. How do I become a data scientist?
  3. How do I add intelligence to my code?
  4. How do I get a job in distributed computing?
  5. How do I code more analytically?

The answer to these questions are pretty much all the same.  Step 1, learn about it and build one piece of software focused on that goal.  Step 2, go for it, just do it.  So that said, Microsoft has a fantastic resource, Microsoft Virtual Academy, which provides free training around various topics from entry level to advanced.  This article focuses on a learning plan with MVA to attain the goal of becoming an Analytics Developer.

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Intro to C# – Switches and Errors

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One of my good friends is going through a reskill to become a software developer, so I have decided to help him out, because, isn’t that really my job? Help everybody be successful with programming? Anyways, this has provided some new insight into challenges people face learning to code that you just don’t remember as a seasoned developer. Anyways, he was working through some code and sent me his code to look over. I want to go over both code bases and why I chose to change even code as simple as that to what it has become. The code written derives from the Microsoft Virtual Academy Intro to C# series, located here.

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Intro to C# – The Analyst’s Way

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I have recently been informed that many of my articles may be a bit advanced for folks, so I am going to kick off a series of C# articles dedicated to the Beginner to programming.  I have no idea how long this series is going to be, I’ll just keep adding to it as requests come in for various topics.  This series is meant to take the absolute beginner to a level in which they can possibly derive value from my other articles.  Those of you who do Jiu Jitsu with me, know you have to shrimp before you can roll, so this is sort of like shrimping.

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Avoid Stack Overflow during Recursive Functions

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So I’m sure many of you have written recursive functions.  There are many reasons to use recursive functions, usually because the problem is most easily solved through recursion.  The largest downfall however to standard recursive functions is that they continually add onto the function stack, and given enough iterations through can cause a stack overflow.

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