This week we welcome Christy Heaton (@christytoes) as our PyDev of the Week! Christy is a blogger for the Python Software Foundation. You can see what she’s up to via her Github page or by checking out her website. Let’s take some time to get to know her better!
Can you tell us a little about yourself (hobbies, education, etc):
I studied Anthropology and later Geographic Information Systems (GIS). GIS was the perfect field for me because it brought together my interest in people, technology, and mapping. I now work as a GIS project manager and am a GIS and Python instructor at the University of Washington. In terms of hobbies, I love bringing people together with common interests which is why I help to organize PyLadies Seattle and Maptime Seattle. I’m also a blogger for the Python Software Foundation.
Why did you start using Python?
While starting my career as a GIS Analyst, I was interested in making my work easier, faster, more accurate, and extending the functionality of my mapping software. My GIS application had an Python API built right in, so it was really the only choice in terms of a programming language to use. As I started to incorporate scripting into my workflows, and impressing my boss, I began to realize the full potential of Python, and now I use it for all kinds of things from GIS workflows to testing web services to building web applications.
What other programming languages do you know and which is your favorite?
What projects are you working on now?
I use Python at work for testing and automation. I am also working on curriculum development for the Certificate in Python Programming for the University of Washington.
Which Python libraries are your favorite (core or 3rd party)?
I really like requests. It makes the things I want to do related to checking services or web scraping so easy and clean. Jupyter notebooks are another of my favorites. I have found them extremely useful for testing out open source mapping libraries since they allow you to create maps with just a few lines of code, right there in the notebook! GeoPandas is my go-to open source GIS library.
Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Thank you for doing the interview!