This week’s PyDev of the Week is Harrison Kinsley. Harrison is the creator of a popular Python Youtube tutorial channel. He also maintains a website that is kind of a text version of his video tutorials here: https://pythonprogramming.net/. Let’s take a few moments to get to know Harrison better!
Can you tell us a little about yourself (hobbies, education, etc):
As cliche as it will sound, my biggest hobby is programming without a doubt. That said, I also enjoy running, scuba diving, and performance driving. There are various tracks (think: F1 racing) that you can take your street car to, some are actual F1 tracks. I tend to track my car (Honda S2000) once or twice a month over the weekend.
As for education, I have no formal CS or related education. I double majored in Philosophy and Criminal Justice.
I am married, live in Texas, and have a couple large dogs.
Why did you start using Python?
It’s funny, I actually disliked programming for a long time. I had wanted to learn to program since I was about 12 years old, I kept trying, but I just hated it. Too tedious, too annoying, too confusing.
Fast forward to college, by this point I had a few online businesses, but was always just paying developers to work for me. This time, my idea was to track sentiment for stocks for investing/trading. I didn’t know anyone who could do that for me, so I revisited programming yet again with this goal in mind. I tried quite a few languages again, was left pretty bummed out overall, but then a friend of mine mentioned that a programming language called Python had a natural language processing library called Natural Language Toolkit (NLTK). I quickly found their book on nltk.org/book, and it was perfect for me, since it was exactly what I wanted. I went through the book, and that’s how I learned python and begun my journey. That project still exists today as sentdex.com (sentdex = sentiment+index), and that’s also how my “Sentdex” e-name was formed.
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