This week we welcome Naomi Ceder (@NaomiCeder) as our PyDev of the Week. Naomi has been a long-time member of the Python community and is the author of The Quick Python Book. Naomi is the current chair of the board of directors for the Python Software Foundation and is a regular speaker at programming conferences. Let’s take a few moments to get to know Naomi better!
Can you tell us a little about yourself (hobbies, education, etc):
Well, a lot of people know that I’m currently chair of the PSF, and many have heard me speak about my journey involving gender.
People seem to be surprised to find out that I have a PhD in Classics (from the U of Wisconsin, Madison) – Ancient Greek, Latin, and historical Linguistics, with some Sanskrit and Egyptian Hieroglyphs thrown in. So I’ve been interested in different human languages and how they work for a long time and I think that’s helped me learn and think about computer languages. It certainly helps me read languages like Portuguese, Spanish, and French. Sadly, it doesn’t do much to help me speak those languages so I end up understanding a fair bit of what I read or hear, but then being tongue tied and looking like a dolt when I try to have a conversation.
My other odd claim to fame is that I was a competitive dog obedience trainer and judge (I even wrote a humor column for the national obedience training magazine) for several years, taking my first dog through all the levels of AKC and UKC obedience. That’s a pretty time-consuming hobby, and I retired from it a few years ago. Our current dog knows some obedience stuff, but she also knows that I’m no longer the stickler that I was when we were competing, and she takes advantage of that. But she’s cute and she knows how to work that, so who am I to nitpick? All of our dogs so far have been Australian shepherds – smart, reasonably athletic and energetic, but usually with a bit more of a sense of humor than you’d find in border collies. Anyone who knows the breed will understand what I mean.
Finally, since I started my current job leading a team for Dick Blick Art Materials, I’ve started drawing, something I’d always wanted to do. Like a lot of people, I think, I’d always wanted to capture some of the scenes around me, but I just felt it was beyond me. I guess the lure of using my employee discount, combined with thinking and talking about the tools and materials every day, overcame my reluctance and I started studying/practicing about a year and a half ago. In particular, I’m interested in what’s called “urban sketching”, quick sketches capturing city scenes, since I’ve always been fascinated by the scenes and shapes of cities. After PyCon I shared a sketch I did of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Twitter, which was the first time I’ve done that. I don’t claim to be good, but I am getting better, and I do enjoy it.
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