Presentation: ML's Hidden Tasks: A Checklist for Developers When Building ML Systems

Track: Machine Learning for Developers

Location: Ballroom A

Duration: 11:50am - 12:40pm

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When we started building the NLP infrastructure for a startup around 4 years ago, few people had put deep neural networks into production. As the only machine learning oriented person, I was tasked with the entire pipeline - from gathering data, to training the model, to deploying it, to convincing our client to trust it, to maintaining and improving the model over time. As developers, we have a check list of things that need to happen in our minds, including building the software, various types of testing, infrastructure, data management, DevOps, and improvements. Turns out machine learning has an entire set of unexpected things that go on that "take it to production" checklist. This talk will bring to light my story of how I learnt about the unexpected are, and what tools helped us through that. 


  • Software engineers who are moving into or currently working on machine learning systems
  • CTOs who are busy bringing ML functionality to their tools and products and want to understand what to look at

What you can expect to learn:

  • Unexpected details of putting models in production besides just the code, model and infrastructure: 
    • DataOps
    • Robustness and Uncertainty tests
    • Model Drift
    • Model testing approaches
    • Model Performance tracking
  • Specific tools and technologies that will help address the unexpected details 

Speaker: Jade Abbott

Senior Machine Learning Engineer @teamretrorabbit

Jade Abbott is a Machine Learning engineer at Retro Rabbit. She's built software for every field from social upliftment to banking, working on projects throughout Africa and considers herself a polyglot. Her current project involves training and deploying deep learning system to perform a variety of NLP tasks for real life systems - from training the models, to scaling them in production. In her free time, she does ML research on Machine Translation for African languages

Find Jade Abbott at