Pro Tip #3 - Getting Started with Colab
Connect · 16 Nov 2022, 10:30 · 0

Get started with Colab - Watch this video

Mount your Google Drive with Colab - Watch this video

So you’ve just broken into data science and you’re ready to dive into a Zindi competition, but there’s only one thing standing between you and the top of the leaderboard–computing resources!

This week we’ll be looking at how to make use of Google’s Colaboratory (Colab) to write and test our code. We’ll also see some of its more useful features that not only offer a solution to issues such as the infamous Out of Memory (OOM) error but also allow for easy collaboration and help ensure our work is backed up and secure.

So just what is Colab?

Much like Jupyter Lab, Google Colab offers notebooks within which you can write and execute code, most commonly in the Python programming language. Each notebook comes with a runtime environment equipped with storage as well as the most current and stable releases of the more popular libraries such as Pandas and NumPy already installed.

Interesting, so how do I get one of these notebooks?

It’s as easy as browsing the internet! Check out the video below to see how you can open a Colab notebook and upload all your files to get started with a competition.

Watch this video

Awesome! But what exactly can Colab do that my local machine/environment can’t?

Well, each Colab runtime comes with at least 12GB of RAM and up to 25GB of hard disk space to upload your files and save your output. For models that require GPU acceleration, such as the famous deep learning models, Colab offers a GPU runtime that comes with up to 12GB of video memory(VRAM).

An interesting and perhaps more useful feature is Colab’s ability to connect directly to your Google Drive and access, as well as save, files such as the data used to train your models. This feature also allows you to work collaboratively with your teammates and ensures your files are backed up and accessible from anywhere as you continue working on your model.

Here’s a video showing how you can mount your google drive onto Colab and access files uploaded and saved in the Drive.

Watch this video

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