Practices eugeneyan.com

The first rule of X: start without X  ↦

Eugene Yan, in a post titled The first rule of machine learning: start without machine learning:

Applying machine learning effectively is tricky. You need data. You need a robust pipeline to support your data flows. And most of all, you need high-quality labels. As a result, most of the time, my first iteration doesn’t involve machine learning at all.

Eugene is stating the obvious with this post, but hey sometimes you just gotta state it. What’s even more interesting to me is how nicely the format generalizes! Let’s pattern match this sucker:

The first rule of X: start without X

Now, apply the pattern a few times and see if it holds:

  1. The first rule of Kubernetes: start without Kubernetes
  2. The first rule of goroutines: start without goroutines
  3. The first rule of coding: start without coding

Yeah, that abstraction holds pretty true. Surely there will be cases where it falls flat on its face, though. Can you think of any examples?


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