Alex Mathew

Product Engineer. Code writer. Python enthusiast. Sports fan.

Scoregasm: The Birth of an Obsession

musings, sports

I have always been a loud and proud sports fan. Maybe because I am not particularly physically skilled at playing said sports, I have always embraced the role of sports nerd. This has defined a major part of my life - my hobbies, the books I read, how I spend my weekends, and even how I got my job!

The Book Reviews - Part 1

book reviews

That is just such an uncreative title.

On my 22nd birthday, I wrote my first post on Medium. I wrote about how I wanted to get back to reading, and clear the stuff on my Amazon wishlist. And I am off to a pretty encouraging start !

I decided to write reviews every time I finished 10 books. Surprisingly, I hit that mark in just over 3 months (surprising because I work at a company that’s going through a pretty exciting phase and keeps me pretty occupied). I realized I still can sit and read for long stretches, every day. The long train journeys helped to make sure I always had time to read. And I realized that I love reading autobiographies. Turns out I really enjoy the behind-the-scenes of the things I follow.

So here goes.

I Have to Talk About Scrapple

scrapple, web scraping

*One and a half years after my last blog post*

I maintain a project on Github, and I can’t shut up about it. I won’t deny that I talk about it a lot, and that’s because I’m proud of it. But I still don’t have a proper way of explaining it to people. I think I have to start writing about what it can do.

What I Learned From My First Hackathon

hackathon

I finally got to do something I’ve always wanted to. I took part in a hackathon.

The Koding hackathon was a 48-hour online hackathon, which happened over the first weekend of December 2014 (not going for specific dates, because timezones). For me, it was a great choice for a first hackathon because it helped eliminate the biggest problem that stopped me from taking part in a hackathon so far - getting to the venue. This was in the middle of my holidays, and I could work from home. Everything felt right. I managed to complete my working web app, “G33K”, in the 48 hours (I did screw up big time, though). It was a great sense of accomplishment knowing that I had the most productive 48 hours I’ve had in a long time. And over that weekend, I learned a lot.

Here’s what I learned from my first hackathon.

The TNT Journey - Part 6

latentview, tnt

31 October 2014. 7 PM. Struggling because I don’t have an eye for design and I didn’t know what to do about the infographic. Struggling because I wasn’t satisfied with the result I got with this. And that was when rescue arrived.

Deadline extension.

I have never been this happy about a deadline extension. These two extra days give me a lot of time to fix what I’d done. And to fix the unsatisfactory results I had, I had one choice - to change the logic I was using.

I had to start from scratch.

The TNT Journey - Part 5

latentview, plotly, tnt

With all the work looking at the player side of stuff, I didn’t spend too much time on the venue-based side of the problem. So I decided to get that done. What can sides expect in Australia and New Zealand ?

Plotly continues to impress with its usefulness.

The TNT Journey - Part 4

latentview, plotly, tnt

When you have exams and an interesting problem that you have to complete in a few days, it’s not too cool to go down with a fever. These next couple of days are going to be a blaze with all the work. I need to get this done with.

Before picking the teams, I needed a way to visually represent the data I had so far. I needed to have the graphs look beautiful, and also easy to generate.

Enter Plotly

Basketball Season Has Returned !

nba

The countdown to the NBA season is heating up ! The preseason is done and we’re in the final few days before the start of the regular season. I’ll be honest - I’ve not been a huge fan for long. The 2013-14 season was the first one that I followed closely, and that was because I wanted to know the best teams to ask for transfers to in NBA2K14 MyCareer. But I was smitten by the NBA bug, and I was following developments in the season.

Now that it’s just a few days before the start of the 2014-15 season, I thought I’d take a shot at reviewing the rosters of all the teams, and give my opinion of how I’d expect them to perform.

The TNT Journey - Part 3

latentview, tnt

Records, exams, assignments. The absolute worst time possible. Indian education will not improve till they get rid of this concept of maintaining a formal record book where you write unnecessary garbage. In the middle of all this, finding time to work on the TNT problem has been hard. But I’ve been reading, trying out stuff and making some gradual progress. And of late, I’ve approached this in a different way. Advice from a professor gave me an interesting way to go about this problem. Implementing has been hard, but the idea behind it is brilliant.