PyDev of the Week: Werner Bruhin

This week we have Werner Bruhin as our PyDev of the Week! He’s quite busy on the wxPython Google Group helping people get into wxPython as well as creating patches for the wxPython toolkit. Let’s find out more about our fellow Python programmer!

Can you tell us a little about yourself (hobbies, education, etc):

I did all my education in Switzerland and completed it with the hotel trade school in Lucerne. Worked in quite a few international hotels in different positions. Early on I changed into the IT department and specialised in hotel software installations and hotel IT project management both for hotel companies and for software companies specializing in hotel software development. My hobbies are skiing, although I lately don’t do much of it, walking in the surrounding mountains and eating good food and nice wines, and last but not least doing a bit of programming.

Why did you start using Python?

I started using Python around 2002. I came to it through my interest in wine, looking for a cellar management software. I wasn’t satisfied with the one I used up to that time, and thought I could do better 🙂 and I thought it might also be an interesting hobby. I looked around at different software tools (Delphi etc) and by chance came across a write up on Python, got curious and gave it a try, especially the Python wrapper for wxWidgets – wxPython (http://wxpython.org). I was really impressed how quickly one could get something working with it and was even more impressed about the community and how they helped/supported everyone – especially new comers like me.

What other programming languages do you know and which is your favorite?

The hotel software we used at the time was written in RPG II (an IBM language running on systems like the S/34 and S/36), I ended up doing a little bit of programming with it, that was my only programming language I was exposed to before learning Python from different tutorials on the web and from a few Python and wxPython books (http://wiki.wxpython.org/wxPythonInAction, https://www.packtpub.com/application-development/wxpython-28-application-development-cookbook and http://www.rmi.net/~lutz/about-lp5e.html).

What projects are you working on now?

My main project is the wine cellar management shareware (http://thewinecellarbook.com/), then I am also involved in the vinoXML project (an XML schema to exchange information on wines – http://www.vinoxml.org/ . For the last few years I also try to give a bit back to the OpenSource projects I use, especially wxPython and Dabo (I use their ReportWriter http://dabodev.com/ ). I do this in the form of answering questions but also, if possible, I try to create PR’s (pull requests) and patches when I find a solution to a problem, a lot of that has to do or is related to the wxPython Phoenix project – the re-write of wxPython (http://wxpython.org/Phoenix/docs/html/main.html).

Which Python libraries are your favorite (core or 3rd party)?

wxPython is definitely coming first, but closely followed by SQLAlchemy, then I also like Amara for XML processing and matplotlib.

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

At the time I hesitated going with Python/wxPython etc as they are all OpenSource projects and that was new for me. Pretty quickly got convinced that it was a good choice as I became very impressed with how well these projects were done and how well the community support worked. The community is very key to the success and I feel that some of the adapters/users today do not realize this. If you start using an OpenSource project please consider giving back something to it. Mike’s Blog is a perfect example of a way to giving back to the community, I am sure there are many other ways!


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