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Machine learning is gradually transforming the development landscape. Being the hottest technology in the software industry currently, everyone from professionals to beginners, are hopping on the machine learning bandwagon. Machine learning is filled with immense potential, paving the way for people to build cutting-edge applications across different domains. This is why application developers have started to incorporate parts of machine learning into their development process to make it more effective.

A web or an app developer who knows ML has a competitive edge over the one who doesn’t. In this year’s Skill Up 2018 Survey, we asked developers about the most valuable skill they would want to adopt and the answer was: Machine Learning.


Source: Packt Skill Up Survey 2018

But, how does machine learning help with the web and app development process?

Impact of Machine Learning on web & app development

Self-driving cars, robots, face detectors, etc, all have a common denominator: Machine Learning. These are some popular areas, we have seen ML models create wonders by identifying the best and the worst of the user-generated content to make it highly valuable experience on the web. But machine learning is everywhere. How can we not remember Machine learning to help us find out and eradicate web spam which used to damage user experience?  Google’s artificial neural network helped in email spam filtering which has blocked almost 99% of spam emails from reaching our inboxes.

Companies like Pinterest and Instagram use ML to show ever interesting and engaging content on their apps. Another example is of Uber app which uses Machine Learning to create a seamless and reliable experience for customers.  With advanced technologies like ML & AI used for designing the Uber app, helps estimate the time of arrival and cost of travel. It also helps in providing real-time information about the driver’s location to the customers. Among other areas, Uber uses ML to enable an efficient ride-sharing marketplace, identify suspicious or fraudulent accounts, suggest optimal pickup and dropoff points and even facilitate UberEATS delivery.

Machine learning has the potential to take development skills to the next level. So if you want to be a versatile developer, ML, no longer has to be a skill that you put on the back-burner.

However, that’s not all to the story, there are plenty of such examples where companies use ML to build their products. And there are plenty of reasons and opportunities for web developers to dive into machine learning. Let us take a look at each one by one:

Machine learning for data mining

Organizations across the globe use different data mining techniques to examine their large database in order to discover new information.

ML can be used for data mining since it is quite effective in detecting new patterns based on huge amounts of data. It uses pattern recognition techniques and computational learning for data prediction.

Web developers can leverage web mining technique which is a subset of data mining. It uncovers distinct usage patterns from web data to understand and better serve the needs of Web-based applications.

It helps developers discover useful data such as users’ browsing history and the origin of the web users. Web structure mining can further help developers to analyze nodes and connection structure of a website to describe HTML or XML tags usage.

Comprehending customer behavior

Web apps and other mobile apps make use of supervised machine learning algorithms to address issues faced by the user. This, in turn, helps ameliorate the entire customer service process. For instance, contact us forms are quite prevalent on websites these days. Contact us forms eliminate the need for the users to self-select an issue and fill out ceaseless form fields to get in touch with the customer care executive. All you have to do now is fill in the contact us form and you’ll hear back from the respective customer care center. This helps streamline the customer service process.

Another great example is Chatbots. Chatbots helps website or an app to better understand the patterns in customer behavior. What do customers search for the most? What is customer’s buying tendency? What problems are they facing? These questions can be easily answered by a chatbot which is built on machine learning algorithms.

As a developer, you will feel overwhelmed by having developed such innovative solutions and enhance the whole process.

Personalizing content

The number one example of machine learning helping developers personalize the content within their sites is Facebook. In fact, several social media applications are heavily leveraging the potential of machine learning to provide users with more personalized and relevant content.

Facebook uses ML in the form of automatic friend tagging suggestions, mutual friend analysis,  personalized news feed, and video recommendations as per user’s choice. It uses a combination of predictive analytics and statistical analysis to detect patterns based on the user’s data to create an ever engaging content.

Recently, Twitter also started implementing machine learning algorithms to value user’s time by providing them with a deeply personalized feed which is custom-tailored as per the user’s choice and liking. Machine learning has become game-changer for the social media websites and developers should grab this opportunity with both their hands.

Dealing with security threats

Machine learning technique such as logistic regression can help developers find and evaluate websites that are malicious in nature.

Another such machine learning algorithm is called classification algorithm. It can help detect and predict phishing websites. Detection of phishing websites depends on factors such as security features, domain identity, and data encryption technique.

Some of the examples of prevalent applications that are making use of ML for web and app development are Snapchat, Tinder, Netflix, etc. For instance, Snapchat uses machine learning which helps in perceiving people’s facial components. Similarly, Netflix uses Linear relapse, Logistic relapse, and other machine learning calculations. These calculations at Netflix track users’ activities to provide personalized content for the viewers.

Hence, we speculate Machine learning to completely transform the development process and help web developers take a bigger leap in their career. The Skill up survey also revealed another skill that the developers are keen to learn in the next 12 months; that is Python.

Python: the go-to language for both machine learning and web development

Python is one of the top languages for both web development as well as machine learning. It has an easy syntax and faster development time which makes it a good choice for the developers.

Python contains a vast number of ML libraries such as scikit learn, Keras, Tensorflow, SciPy, and boasts a rich and vibrant machine learning community.

The versatile features of the Python language have helped build some of the most robust and popular websites like Instagram, Quora, Youtube, etc. Likewise, the powerful capabilities of machine learning have made our life simpler. It has introduced us to the world of virtual assistants like Siri, Cortana, and face detection technology among others.

Machine learning is an incredible breakthrough for businesses and consumers alike. So, if you’re interested in getting counted among the upper echelons of the development world then be ready to expand your toolbelt. Dive into the machine learning world and brace yourself for the opportunities that are to find your way.

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Tech writer at the Packt Hub. Dreamer, book nerd, lover of scented candles, karaoke, and Gilmore Girls.


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