Data Scientist and Advertising Research User Stories: From PDFs to Pieces for Saving Code

Data Scientist Deepak Garg has been writing code for 10 years. From his computational work at UCLA to his current work conducting advertising research, Deepak has learned the value of saving useful code to save time in the future. With Pieces, he’s streamlined his workflow and made better use of generative AI. 

Benefits Highlights:

  • Time-saving Code Management: Deepak Garg, a Data Scientist with a decade of experience, used to spend significant time manually saving code snippets, which involved cumbersome processes like taking screenshots or converting web pages to PDFs. With Pieces, he streamlined his workflow, saving considerable time. Now, he can instantly save code with a browser extension, eliminating the need for manual processes like checking conversions.
  • Efficient Code Retrieval and Reuse: Before using Pieces, Deepak struggled with retrieving and reusing saved code, especially from PDFs. With Pieces, he can easily search for and find the code he needs, improving his code management significantly. This efficient retrieval system saves him time and effort in his projects.
  • Pieces Copilot for Quick Solutions: Deepak found Pieces Copilot particularly helpful in getting quick solutions to coding problems. When faced with a challenging coding problem, he saved similar code snippets and then asked Pieces for assistance. Pieces Copilot provided him with a one-line solution promptly, saving him time and effort in problem-solving. This feature acts as a valuable virtual colleague, providing assistance in time-sensitive situations.

Deepak’s Tech Stack:

  • Languages: Fortran, Python, R, SQL
  • IDEs: Sublime Text, Jupyter, PyCharm
  • Other Tools: Pieces, Mercury, Spider

Instantly Save Code for Later

Deepak has been saving code snippets for years, but his process is long and manual. “I used to take a screenshot or save it as HTML,” he explains. “Sometimes that wouldn’t open, so to be safe, I also used to convert the web pages to a PDF. After waiting for the conversion, I used to open it just to ensure that the conversion worked. A lot of times, the conversion wasn't smooth. It's a hassle to select all the working code, then right-click on print… I used to spend one to two minutes saving a piece of code.” His process worked and stored his snippets locally on his computer, but it was time-consuming, to say the least. 

Deepak manually named his code files, but couldn’t use special characters or search the contents of his files without opening them individually. Reusing this saved code was also a challenge, as he could only sometimes copy it directly from his saved PDFs. But, this system worked for him and he was happy with it, as “ it was the quickest way of managing code I knew then,” Deepak says.

This minutes-long process went out the window when Deepak installed the Pieces Suite. “The most important aspect for me is the browser extension,” he says. “Without restarting the browser—you just have to refresh!— the buttons start showing up: Copy and Save, Share, and Ask Copilot. My favorite button is copy and save. If I click on Copy and Save, suppose on Stack Overflow, it immediately gets saved into the Pieces for Developers App on my machine. When I was not very familiar with Pieces, I used to double-check whether the copy and save had gone well, but it was always working as expected!” 

Now that Deepak uses Pieces, he’s saving code and time. “During the first few days, I saved over 50 code snippets,” says Deepak. “It was a breeze, and it improved my code management. I'm quite happy that I don't have to wait for HTML or PDF conversion and then manually check it.” Retrieving and reusing code is also much faster, as he doesn’t have to open individual PDFs to find what he needs; he can simply search Pieces. 

Pieces Copilot

As is true for many of our users, Deepak is impressed with how easily he can get answers to his coding questions with Pieces Copilot. While Deepak has used Pieces Copilot to save himself time in many situations, one pesky problem stands out. “I was facing a simple problem but I was unable to write the code for it. I was saving all the solutions I found, because they were still related to my problem, but not directly solving my problem, and I'd already spent two hours trying to figure it out,” Deepak says.  “After saving the four or five lines of code that were closest to my solution, I launched Pieces Copilot and then asked Pieces. ‘How can I change this code to write an extra header with this dictionary name?’” 

Deepak never expected Pieces Copilot to give the correct solution immediately. “I’ve never been so lucky,” he explained. But, Pieces came through. “Pieces immediately gave me a one-line solution. I copied that line into my Jupyter notebook and it worked! That's where Pieces can save you if you have a time crunch. It's like a virtual colleague for you who can do things for you.”

Final Thoughts

Throughout his career, Deepak has prioritized quality over speed and ease in his workflow. When generative AI exploded onto the developer scene last year, he reserved judgment, as he knows that there is massive value in understanding the code that you write without AI aid. When he discovered Pieces, Deepak realized that he doesn’t have to trade quality for ease; he can quickly save useful code or get the help he needs without jumping through hoops and wasting time.

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