Experiment on the cloud

A huge component of data science is experimentation. This can come in the form of feature engineering, hyperparameter optimization, or testing out algorithms given a domain. As data gets bigger and models require more compute, it is not enough to perform everything in your local machine. Experimentation workloads are often delegated into the Cloud.

Best Tool of Choice Google Colaboratory. With Colab, you have access to powerful hardware to run your experiments on.
Runner-up If you are using Cloud Platforms, I’d recommend checking-out AWS Sagemaker Notebook Instances or Google Cloud’s AI Platform Notebooks

Here, I’d highly-recommend Google Colaboratory as your daily workhorse. It gives you a huge boost with the latest hardware (GPUs, TPUs, you name it!), while making the user-interface as intuitive as possible. With Colab, you can organize your notebooks inside a Google Drive folder, and share them as how you’d share any Google Docs or Slides. I’d say that this covers almost 80% of your previous Notebook use-cases.

For the other 20%, well it varies. If you’re used to writing utility Python modules to reuse code across your work, then Colab may feel unwieldy. In addition, Git integration is one-way and idle-time force restarts your kernel. You cannot force your own workflow into Colab— you have to do it their way.

Now, if you are using Cloud Platforms such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Google Cloud (GCP), I’d recommend taking a look at Notebook Instances. They are managed Jupyter Notebooks in a server, and you can freely choose your machine type and do Git integration. Between the two, I prefer SageMaker notebooks, it’s less buggy and more seamless than Google’s AI Platform Notebooks. My tip is to tie-in these Instances with a Git repo.

Support for developer workflow

Putting them together

Quick turnaround from analysis to production