A step-by-step, hands-on introduction in Python

Image for post
Image for post
“assorted berries” by William Felker on Unsplash

There is no shortage of ways out there that we can use to analyze and make sense of textual data. Such methods generally deal with an area of artificial intelligence called Natural Language Processing (NLP).

NLP allows us to perform a multitude of tasks where our data consists of text or speech. Sentiment analysis, machine translation, and information retrieval are just a few examples of NLP applications, many of which we use daily. Today, many of these tasks can be solved with a great degree of success using a combination of NLP and machine learning techniques.

In this post, I’d…

Things are a bit different in extension land than what you’re probably used to

Image for post
Image for post
Adapted from assets by rawpixel.com on freepik and WikimediaImages on Pixabay.

A while ago, I set out to build my first Chrome extension. Having recently gotten into the world of web development and getting my hands dirty by building a React project, I felt I had the tools necessary to take on this new challenge.

While I wasn’t completely wrong to think this, it wouldn’t be the whole truth to say I didn’t have to rethink the way I approached designing my project.

I realized this pretty early on into development. You see, when developing any sort of app, as our projects get bigger, we’ll tend to inevitably break it up…

The cheat sheet that goes beyond Git basics

Git graph of one of my projects
Git graph of one of my projects
Git graph of one of my projects

For some time now, I’ve taken it upon myself to write down every Git command I’ve had to look up while working from the command line. Whenever I did so, I’d note the proper syntax, most common options, and where I got the information from. Over time, and as my list grew, I came to rely less on Google and more on my list for quick reference.

Typical use cases (think vanilla git add or git commit) won’t feature here but rather a selection of less recurring yet nevertheless essential ones.

Note: The linked resources will often mention slightly different…

Style once, tinker indefinitely

Toggle switches arranged horizontally and randomly switching on and off
Toggle switches arranged horizontally and randomly switching on and off
Overly enthusiastic switches — Source

While working on a Google Chrome extension, I found myself in need of a toggle switch. These are the little guys you’ll most commonly see on your phone or tablet to enable/disable things.

Finding the Right Switch

So I quickly set out in search of one that I could easily integrate into what I was building. One of the first places I looked at was Google’s Material Design, where sure enough, they had a switch component that I could install and use with just a few lines of code.

Once I got to playing around with it, however, I soon realized that I wasn’t…

Tips to achieve more at your next hackathon

Image for post
Image for post
Created by gstudioimagen on Freepik

A while back, I took part in Itch.io’s Game Off 2020, an annual game jam where participants spend the month of November building a game based on a certain theme. This year’s theme, Moonshot, led to the creation of over 500 ambitious, largely space-themed games, which you can check out here.

Upon hearing about the event in October, I told my brother and sister-in-law about it and we decided to join as a team. We are by no means game developers, but our individual skill sets complimented each other well. My sister-in-law, an artist, would focus on creating the assets…

It’s easy for us to dismiss both candidates as equally inadequate. To downplay the power our voices hold to enact real change. Or believe that the outcome will have no real consequences either way.

But to those who stand to lose the most, the consequences are very real. Issues such as health care, immigration, crisis management, environmental protection, gun violence, inequality, and hate are without question affected by policy.

And policy is put in place by the very people we deem ineffectual. Once we accept that this is what’s at stake, there is no longer room for political nihilism.


It’s time we stopped using these two little words

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Michael Held on Unsplash

Watching California governor Gavin Newsom address reporters in light of the wildfires wreaking havoc across the Western United States, I couldn’t help but think how poor his choice of words was.

The debate is over around climate change

Those last two words may have been enough to make anyone watching forget about the thick, hazy air and the charred remains of trees that surrounded all those present. They were more than likely enough to make some viewers see red — and not because of the raging flames appearing on their screens or the hue that their skies had taken on.

Useful add-ons to improve your browser experience

a 3D rendering of jigsaw pieces
a 3D rendering of jigsaw pieces
Adapted from assets by upklyak on freepik.com

Extensions. Where would our browsers be without ’em? Like a sky without stars. A forest without trees. A sea without — OK, you get the idea.

What follows is a rundown of extensions I’ve installed on my browser that make my life a whole hell of a lot easier. So without further ado, here are 10 browser extensions I can’t live without.

Dark Reader

Avoid these traps. Your workflow will thank you.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Shivendu Shukla on Unsplash

If you happen to be active on Facebook and YouTube, as I am, you know how easy it can be to simply lose yourself in them.

Even so, these two websites certainly aren’t without their merits. For instance, YouTube can be a great source of information and I often head there while working to look things up. Similarly, I sometimes need to engage in short bursts of communication on Facebook.

But for the unsuspecting, that can be like walking into a trap.

Never was done unto man as man has done unto himself

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Birmingham Museums Trust on Unsplash

Silence had never been a stranger in the great plains west of the marshlands. Yet, there was no denying that the eerie calm which right now held sway was of a different breed. This was the calm before a storm. The brief moment before the pounce, when the hunted is just as aware of its plight as the hunter.

And it did not go unnoticed by the 40 thousand men positioned on opposite sides of a flat stretch of land, so vast that even the strongest bowmen among them were, for now, rendered obsolete. …

Omar Sharaki

Biting off more than I can chew since 1994 | Follow me at twitter.com/osharaki and always get it while it’s hot 🥧

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store