In the late seventeenth century, Sir Isaac Newton said, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Similarly, if I’ve been able to finish this book, it’s with the help of a great number of people.
First, this book wouldn’t have been possible without Associate Publisher Michael Stephens. Mike’s passion and belief in the topic kept the book going. He’s an excellent mentor and guides you through good times and bad. Just like Mike, my brain now converts all text into lists of lists. It was a real privilege to work with my development editor, Jeff Bleiel. Jeff spent countless hours providing feedback, digging deeper into why things were written in a certain way, and improving the flow of the text. Thanks to Marjan Bace, Manning’s publisher, for helping fine-tune the table of contents, and for his guiding principle of keeping the book focused on new content. Special thanks to Karen Tegtmeyer for setting up and coordinating the peer reviews. And to the production team of Benjamin Berg, Katie Tennant, and Gordan Salinovic for turning my manuscript into the book that you are now holding. They spent countless hours checking and rechecking the manuscript. If you’re thinking of writing a book, you won’t find a better team than the one at Manning!
I’d like to thank all of the reviewers of my manuscript, many of whom spent large amounts of their free time on this task, for sending their excellent comments, suggestions, and criticisms. Some of the reviewers wished to remain anonymous...but here are a few I would like to acknowledge by name: Jérôme Bernard, Ryan Cox, Dave Crane, Roozbeh Daneshvar, Steve Gutz, Clint Howarth, Frank Jania, Gordon Jones, Murali Krishnan, Darren Neimke, Sumit Pal, Muhammad Saleem, Robi Sen, Sopan Shewale, Srikanth Sundararajana, and John Tyler.
Special thanks to Shiva Paranandi, for his help in reviewing the text and the code, and for his technical proofread; Brendan Murray, for his technical proofread of the first half of the book; Sean Handel, for his detailed review of and suggestions on the first four chapters; Gautam Aggarwal, for his insightful comments; Krishna Mayuram, for his review of the third chapter; Mark Hornick, specification lead of JDM, for his suggestions on JDM-related chapters; Mayur Datar of Google, for reviewing the text for the Google News Personalization section in chapter 12; Mark Hall, Lead for Pentaho’s data mining solutions (WEKA), for his comments on WEKA-related content; Shi Hui Liu, Murtaza Sonaseth, Kevin Xiao, Hector Villarreal, and the rest of the NextBio team, for their suggestions; Shahram Seyedin-Noor of NextBio, for his comments on the early chapters, encouragement, and his passionate philosophy on virality; and Ken DeLong and Mike McEvoy of BabyCenter, for their review and suggestions to improve the manuscript.
Special thanks to the awesome team at NextBio, especially the management team: Saeid Akhtari, Shahram Seyedin-Noor, Ilya Kupershmidt, and Mostafa Ronaghi, who introduced me to the field of data search and life sciences. We have a fantastic opportunity in intelligent search and user-centric applications; let’s make it happen!
This book wouldn’t have been possible without the support of a number of people whom I have worked for, including Patrick Grady, the charismatic CEO of Rearden Commerce; Michael McEvoy, CEO of QuickTrac Software; K.J., CEO 123signup.com, whom I thank for his mentorship; and Gordon Jones, SVP at TechWorks.
And finally, thanks to Richard MacManus, founder and editor of ReadWriteWeb, for taking the time to read the manuscript and write the foreword to the book.
This book took longer to finish than I had hoped, while I was working full-time. Consequently, it amounted to working all the time, even when we were on vacation. This book wouldn’t have been possible without the active support of my wife, Alpana, and sons, and also the active encouragement and support provided by our extended families. On Alpana’s side, dad diligently proofread and cheered raw early drafts; mom tried to free up my time; Rohini and Amit Verma provided constant encouragement. On my side, my mom helped in every way she could and kept me going, while my two adoring sisters, Nina and Amrita, made me feel as if I were the best writer in the world. Special thanks to Rajeev, Ankit, and Anish Suri for their encouragement.
Needless to say, this book was a nonstarter without the inspiration and support provided by Alpana, Ayush, and Shray. “Dad, how many chapters did you finish last night?” kept me going, as I didn’t want to see the disappointment in my sons’ eyes. Thank you, Alpana, for supporting me through this venture—it wouldn’t have been possible without your sacrifices. I look forward to some quality time with the family, soon.