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Developer Circles

10 minuteminutos readde lectura
Rafael Ríos
ByPor Rafael Ríos

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Mexico City is divided into multiple specialized zones, where certain trends, resources, and personalities dominate according to their geographical location. For example, there are some very well-defined areas like La Merced and La Central de Abasto, ideal for all kinds of shopping for raw ingredients, food, and perishables. On the other hand, Polanco, La Roma, and La Condesa are zones congested with exclusive restaurants, art galleries, and sophisticated night hubs. On a different side of town, places like Coyoacán, Tlalpan, or Xochimilco (starting with their names) maintain their traditional essence and rooted customs intact. They are living stamps of the idyllic Mexican past, prehispanic and viceregal. That’s why it’s worth it for the occasional visitor or knowledge-hungry expat to put in the time to discover why living in this city is so enriching: it has everything within reach, if and when you know where to go. In this article, we will look at some of the Developer Circles in Mexico City

Strategic Alliances 

For the past 10 years exactly, the Cuauhtémoc Mayor’s office has been profiled with the largest economic growth, thanks to its neighborhoods’ presence of an unused multiculturality and innovation regarding transportation, ‘urbanism’ (smart buildings), and video surveillance. When WebCreek opened its Mexico City office in 2018, it chose the 25th floor of WeWork in the Torre Reforma Latino as its home– nearly directly in front of the North American embassy and with the Angel of Independence as a backdrop curtain. There, the team grew exponentially, in both members and achievements. Until finally, it was necessary to find a space better in line with the needs of the working demands.

Moving Day

At the start of this month, the company proposed a new location for the Mexican team. Here, it would continue forward with its projects entrusted from The Woodlands, Texas, working in synergy with the other nearshoring offices across Latin America. This new dot is the 21st floor of WeWork’s Torre A, on the Avenida Reforma #26, right where it crosses with the Avenida Bucareli. The start of the 20th century kicked off a phase known in national history as the “American Colonization,” due to the dominant economic class of foreigners who lived in this area. There were mansions and wide tree-lined streets, where many embassies and diplomatic offices were set up.  That said, after the Revolution, many abandoned the neighborhood and left the country, or moved to other rich areas like las Lomas de Chapultepec. In light of regaining a renovated nationalist spirit, the George Washington statue, which occupied a plaza at the intersection London and Denmark streets, was torn down by the neighbors and then hidden somewhere in the Chapultepec forest. The neighborhood was then re-baptized with the name Juárez and pushed step by step towards its progressive transformation. 

According to Fate  

As soon as we made the move to WebCreek’s new office, social media suggested an event to me that was taking place right in our new neighborhood. So, one Friday when the evening was starting to fall,  I directed my steps toward something that showed up on Google Maps as “Masschallenge, an Innovation Hub.” It was on London Street, number 40, a recently-rented space to the Developers Circles México City

In Circles  

Developer Circles from Facebook is a program designed to create locally-organized communities of developers. These communities’ goal is to inform and provide a conversation forum to share ideas about top-priority developing topics, according to a certain local market. The Mexico City Developer Circle, which started in 2016, was one of the program’s first circles. It quickly grew, until turning into an active and diverse center of developers and entrepreneurs. According to their website, many of them are experienced and well-connected members, who form part of the larger technological community and were looking for a forum to share ideas and exchange knowledge.

The “Mathemagicians”

Entering the Masschallenge on London 40’s first floor, after confirmation of my previous online registration, and after crossing inspiring architecture, I arrived at the Deep Learning and Mathematics event (the “meetup,” as they say).  The two speakers, teachers at the Bourbaki School of Mathematics with postgraduate degrees from the UK, gave two different talks. The first was called, “Why learn math?”, by Alfonso Ruiz, Doctor in Mathematics from Oxford University. He used concrete examples medio of problems that programmers or junior data analysts may encounter, in order to explain the importance of understanding the math behind the most common algorithms in use today. The other presentation, titled, “Fundamentals of Deep Learning,” was given by Yohans Montana. He is a professor of Sign and Image Processing at Cranfield University and spoke to us about neural networks. He took us from the fundamental element–the Perceptrón–and arrived at the most complicated Deep Learning networks, explaining everything in a very intuitive way.

Famous Quotes 

I saved many interesting phrases from the talks and their following questions, in addition to some more that I captured while networking at the end:

“Mathematical intuition is sharper than any algorithm.”

“Waze or Google Maps? The algorithm determines the efficiency of each one.” 

Dijkstra, A*, DeepMind: everything depends upon what your imagination want to solve. There must be an algorithm for everything.”

 “BBVA uses and applies a facial recognition algorithm to measure its quality of service in customer satisfaction.”

“Perceptrón, Decision Trees, Logistic Regression, Linear Programming — each machine learning algorithm makes transcendental decisions.” 

UCI is a Machine Learning Repository with collections of data ranging from wine quality to heart disease, forest fires to poker hand.” 

“Convex optimization, Neural networks, Discretization– all that and more is what we teach to young programmers interested in the Bourbaki School of Mathematics.”

“The future is in Data Science. What we seek is to predict.”

“We have to try to understand what’s behind the algorithm, what makes it function.”

“ Deep Learning is part of Machine Learning, is at once part of Artificial Intelligence.”  

“There are two types of linear education: the Step function and the Sigmoid function”

“Softmax works with categorical variables.”

“Coco Dataset has 80 image recognition categories.”  

“Convolutional Neural Networks” 

“Emotional detection in people, what’s called micro-expressions, could have interesting applications in psychology.” 

“YOLO V3 is an image identification program, which some companies like Tesla are testing for their autonomous vehicles.” 

“I have used Transfer Learning in Konfío for visual registries of the elector’s credentials, and to test the veracity of signatures.” 

“There exists a relationship between wine and mathematics. They are French traditions with an interest in detail.”  

“They’ve researched, and music influences the aging of casks.”  

Circulating

I left inspired and happy with the experience. I walked a few blocks and realized that there are many innovation hubs hidden in the area. Therefore, I dare to say that Juárez in Mexico City’s newest techy zone. It’s on par with other well-known neighborhoods like Sa nta Fe, Polanco, La Roma, and La Condesa, where ancient houses appear with small software businesses and novel devices. And here, in essence, mathematics occupies a daily, although unnoticed, role. Groups like the Developer Circle allow us technology novices to progress in their channels and depths, to the beat of our own rhythm, with a good dose of kindness, comradery, and cooperation. I hope to remain in circulation through many of these connection points, to fulfill the mission that, in fact, I’ve given to myself: connect the dots and circulate them through these lines. 

Were you at this event? Then this could be your chance to show us your talent. Circulate it here.