Talking to People Virtually About Notebooks

Last week, I spoke at the first virtual NYC Data Council Meetup about my favorite topic, Beyond Spreadsheets. It was fun!

Virtual Meetup: Tech Talks at Google – Building a Data Driven Company

Wednesday, Jun 24, 2020, 12:00 PM

Online event

195 Data Folks Went

We are hosting our first Virtual Meetup! The link to join will be shared with you once you register. The first talk is from the event we were originally planning to co-host at Google on March 11th. Schedule: 12:00 pm EST- Talk 1: Beyond Spreadsheets 12:30 pm EST- Talk 2: Using notebooks as a team ********* Talk 1: Beyond Spreadsheets Speaker: Jeff …

Check out this Meetup →

I summarized the gist of my talking points in this thread:

I co-presented with Tim Paine from J.P. Morgan. Tim and I met a few months ago and were slated to present this in mid-March, in-person, at Google NYC. That was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, of course, like all other tech meetups around that time.

I reached out to the Meetup organizers, Keira and Alexey, and suggested trying it as a virtual event. They were game, but hadn’t yet done a meetup this way. Neither had I! So the first thing we needed to figure out was which software we wanted to use to stream the talk.

Of course my first choice was Google Meet, which I use all the time for work meetings. I knew it had a live stream feature, but it turns out that it’s not really meant for public meetings where anyone can join. Meetup guests would need to log in to their Google Accounts and then be admitted by a host, and that’s not really feasible for this type of event.

Fortunately, the organizers set us up with StreamYard, and it worked really well. Just like Meet, nothing to install or set up — it worked right in Chrome. The audience was able to view the event as a live YouTube stream, and they were able to interactively ask questions in YouTube as well. Presenting slides worked flawlessly, and the host was able to put the speakers in a “waiting room” until it was our turn to present. Five stars!

The second talk was from Jakub Jurovych, CEO of Deepnote. I had not known about Deepnote before this, so I learned a lot! They are a cool notebooks service that is focusing on collaboration around notebooks between teams.

Here’s the full video. Enjoy!

Here are the talk abstracts in case this goes away from Meetup:

Talk 1: Beyond Spreadsheets
Jeff Sternberg, Technical Director, Applied AI @ Google Cloud Office of the CTO
Tim Paine, Vice President @ JPMorgan Chase & Co.

It’s common in many organizations to separate “coders” from “business people”. Coders write software solutions that business people use to operate business processes. However, millions of analysts, marketers, accountants, and other knowledge workers write code every day — they just use spreadsheets as their primary IDE. While this is understandable (spreadsheets are powerful!), in this talk we will explore an emerging theme: how can we bring data science and data engineering tools, such as Jupyter Notebooks, to the whole organization?

Talk 2: Using notebooks as a team
Jakub Jurovych, CEO of Deepnote

Notebooks like Jupyter have became an important part of a data scientist’s toolkit, even though they are still under active development. In this talk we’ll look at what it takes to build a perfect notebook, how teams can collaborate effectively in Jupyter, and what new features we can expect in the future.

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