I love Kaggle. It's a great example of a small company that has punched way above its weight in terms of total impact. It has really made its mark on the data science and machine learning world. Perhaps more than any other company.
I was active around 2013-14. I won the first competition I entered, in August 2013, and the concept had me hooked instantly -- anyone, from anywhere, no matter their background, was free to participate & prove their skills. I learned so much in the handful of competitions I tried
Kaggle shaped the ML software landscape, too. It played a big role in getting Keras on the map in 2015. And XGBoost was launched through Kaggle, in 2014 -- the Higgs Boson competition. Finished 4th in that one, with a XGBoost + deep learning ensemble (no Keras back then).
Kaggle is a great underdog story -- itself full of great underdog stories. Really goes to show how truly open, meritocratic competition is a major driver of progress.
Openness and community are everything.
You can follow @fchollet.
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