Behind The Screen: José Castro, Junior Data Scientist at Porto Tech Hub Conference 2023

November 28, 2023

The Porto Tech Hub Conference 2023 was held at the spacious Alfândega do Porto, and the first thing that captured my attention was the buzz and collective energy of over a thousand tech enthusiasts, converging from diverse fields. 

As someone who has embraced the relative quiet of remote work, the palpable excitement of being around fellow data aficionados was invigorating. It’s one thing to love data in isolation; it's entirely another to see that passion mirrored in the faces around you. 

The core of the event was a data scientist’s dream, with topics tailored for everyone from product managers to data engineers, ML engineers, and even C-suite executives. 

Generative AI was the star, fueled by the widespread fascination with this ChatGPT phenomenon. It's stirring the pot, bringing a surge of interest and a plethora of questions about what AI can do for us next.

Learnings and takeaways

In my role at Fraudio, a company at the forefront of fraud detection, a particular talk on frequency encoding was what resonated with me. It sparked a flame, illuminating ways to integrate diverse encodings into feature creation for our models. Knowledge like this is a game-changer, providing fresh tools to sharpen our edge in fighting fraud.

Another insightful discussion explored the value of data – emphasizing the costly mistake of saving data without strategy. It’s a cautionary tale for companies: data, if not smartly captured, can become more of a financial burden than an asset.

Networking opportunities 

Networking was a highlight, as always. Exchanging ideas with peers offered a window into the diverse perspectives and visions shaping our field's future. And serendipity played its part - I met Nuno Paiva, a seasoned data scientist. Our preliminary discussions over data topics set the stage for a promising collaboration.

This year's Porto Tech Hub Conference did more than just showcase the latest trends and innovations. It fostered an environment ripe for knowledge-sharing and professional growth, with leading figures like Mete Atamel from Google, and Nicolai Parlog from Oracle, adding their voices to the chorus of technological progress.

Porto is carving out its reputation as a tech hub, not just through infrastructure but through the vibrancy of its community, passionate about tech's current strides and its future trajectory. Being a part of this ecosystem, I am more convinced than ever that the path to innovation is through collective endeavour – and I left the conference brimming with ideas, connections, and a renewed zeal to contribute to the technological tapestry of tomorrow.

As I reflect on the event, one message stands clear: in the realm of technology, especially data science, the learning never stops, and each conversation, each session, is a stepping stone to becoming more competitive, more adept, and more in tune with the rhythm of our evolving digital world.

Until next year, Porto Tech Hub Conference. You've been nothing short of inspirational.

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