Category Archives: PyDevOfTheWeek

PyDev of the Week on Hiatus

I don’t know if anyone noticed something amiss this week, but the PyDev of the Week series is currently on hiatus. I have been having trouble getting interviewees to get the interviews done in a timely manner the last month or so and actually ended up running out.

While I have a bunch of new interviewees lined up, none of them have actually finished the interview. So I am suspending the series for the month of July 2017. Hopefully I can get several lined up for August and get the series kicked back into gear. If not, then it will be suspended until I have a decent number of interviews done.

If you happen to have any suggestions for Pythonistas that you would like to see featured here in the PyDev of the Week series, feel free to leave a comment or contact me.

PyDev of the Week: David Wolever

This week we welcome David Wolever (@wolever) as our PyDev of the Week. David is the co-founder of PyCon Canada and Akindi.com – a small company that’s making multiple-choice bubble sheet tests a little bit less terrible. He is also the author of the nose-parameterized project and the pprint++ project. You can also check out what other projects he contributes to on Github. Let’s take a few moments to get to know David!

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

I’m a long-time Python fan and startup founder from Toronto, Canada. I dropped out of software engineering at the University of Toronto when I realized that I was interested in building software, not proving runtime bounds of graph search algorithms (although I’m incredibly grateful to the people who do enjoy that), and I’ve been working with small startups ever since.

I’m the CTO of my company, Akindi, makes Scantron-style multiple choice bubbles sheets a little bit less terrible.

In 2012 some friends and I started PyCon Canada, and I’m incredibly excited that it’s going to be held in Montréal this year (get your tickets now, because they’re going to sell out: https://pycon.ca)

Outside of computers, I’m really into knots (top three: alpine butterfly, jug sling hitch, chain sinnet) and motorcycling.

I tweet at https://twitter.com/wolever Continue reading PyDev of the Week: David Wolever

PyDev of the Week: Aileen Nielsen

This week we welcome Aileen Nielsen as our PyDev of the Week. Aileen has been using Python in the data science field for a while now. She recently gave a tutorial on Time Series Analysis at PyCon 2017 and she also did a talk on NoSQL Python at PyData Amsterdam 2016. Let’s take a few moments to learn more about our fellow developer!

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

I’m a software engineer at One Drop, a diabetes management platform. We’re trying to help people better understand and manage their chronic conditions with the use of technology, data analysis, and expert coaching.

I spent a lot of time in school (law school, ABD in physics grad school), so I consider myself an eclectic person as far as academic interests, and I like to read non-fiction in lots of area. Right now I’m most interested in non-fiction books about spying and organized crime. My hobbies are traveling and hiking. When I’m not working, I try not to be in front of a screen.

Continue reading PyDev of the Week: Aileen Nielsen

PyDev of the Week: Amir Rachum

This week we welcome Amir Rachum as our PyDev of the Week. Amir is the author / maintainer of pydocstyle and yieldfrom. Amir also write a fun little blog about Python. Let’s take a few moments to get to know Amir better!

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

I’m an Israeli software developer from the Tel Aviv area. I have a B.Sc in Software Engineering. I spent three out of the four years of my degree working in a student position to get some real-world experience, which I believe made a huge difference to this day (a positive one for my skills, less so for my grades).

On my spare time, I enjoy playing board games with friends – I have over 200 board games in my collection, so far. Continue reading PyDev of the Week: Amir Rachum

PyDev of the Week: Andrew Godwin

This week we welcome Andrew Godwin (@andrewgodwin) as our PyDev of the Week! Andrew is a core developer of the popular Python web framework, Django. Andrew maintains a blog of his adventures but if you’re more interested in his code, then you’ll want to check out his Github profile. You can also check out some of his projects here. Let’s take a few moments to get to know Andrew better!

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

Well, I grew up in suburban South London, and initially started programming on my mum’s Palm IIIx in BASIC when I was bored during holidays and longer trips, along with trying out my hand at HTML at the local library. Eventually this turned into me doing Computer Science at Oxford (I almost went for physics, but changed my mind as I wanted an easier life), where I learnt a decent amount of theory that I almost never use in practice, and instead draw on my time writing open source software since I was about 15 and what it’s taught me about maintainability, software architecture and the importance of helping other people.

Hobby-wise, I probably have too many; the one I spend most time on apart from programming (both open-source and noodling away on the occasional game) is probably flying (as in, piloting light aircraft) and then traveling (as in, flying on other people’s aircraft). On the side, I also do electronics, 3D printing/making things, riding my motorbike, archery, photography, cinematography, baking, and when the season is right, snowsports. I’m also on a rough quest to visit every state and territory of the US as well as all 59 of the National Parks, so I have my work cut out.

Continue reading PyDev of the Week: Andrew Godwin

PyDev of the Week: Terry Peppers

This week we welcome Terry Peppers (@club_is_open) as our PyDev of the Week. Terry has been a very active member of the Testing in Python group and is quite active as an organizer for PyCon USA. You can get a feel for what projects interest him over on Github. Let’s take a few moments to get to know Terry better!

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

I am the Vice President of Engineering for Leapfrog Online based in Evanston, IL.

I went to Loyola University, Chicago and have a degree in Psychology, English and Sociology.

I like to run, read, cook and spend time with my family. My current guilty pleasure is the first person shooter Destiny by Bungie. I play on the PS4 and have been playing for a really long time. My best Destiny/Python crossover was playing with Python core committer, Brett Cannon!

Why did you start using Python?

I’m not a classically trained computer scientist. From the age of 11, though, I had been a bit of a dabbler in a bunch of different programming languages; I have had a lot of phases of learning/struggling Bash, Perl, PHP and even Ruby. A lot of the time I felt like those languages were programming me and I wasn’t programming with them, which was frustrating.

One of my first real software engineering tasks was doing browser automation for testing, which is really fancy way of doing screen scraping. I had been using a library in Ruby and was really struggling with its performance. Our Senior Software Engineer on staff at the time, Jason Pellerin, looked at my code and said, “I bet it would be easier if you did this in Python.” And while the learning curve was similar to other languages I knew, I finally felt like I was fully leveraging a language and its capabilities. Python really just fit my brain.

Continue reading PyDev of the Week: Terry Peppers

PyDev of the Week: Harrison Kinsley

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.
Continue reading PyDev of the Week: Harrison Kinsley

PyDev of the Week: Anand Balachandran Pillai

This week we welcome Anand Balachandran Pillai as our PyDev of the Week! Anand is the author of a new book called Software Architecture with Python from Packt Publishing. He is the founder of the Bangalore Python Users Group (BangPypers) and a member of the Python Software Foundation. Let’s take a few moments to get to know Anand better!

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

I have done my engineering in 1998 – in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology at Chennai. However I have never been a mechanical engineering even for a day in my life, as immediately after graduation I took up my first job in computer software.

Hobbies – I’ve been an avid trekker in the past, I still like to do it sometimes. Though more regular hobbies are the usual – listening to Music, Reading and going for long drives.

I’ve been an avid fan of Sherlock Holmes from younger days at school. A minor hobby is collecting Holmes stories and books in various languages. I even try his theories in real life on friends and family with variable success!

Continue reading PyDev of the Week: Anand Balachandran Pillai

PyDev of the Week: Agata Grdal

This week we welcome Agata Grdal as our PyDev of the Week! Agata is heavily involved in her local Django Girls group in Europe as well as PyLadies. You can learn more about Agata on the DjangoGirls blog. Agata is also has some fun projects on her Github profile that you can check out. Let’s take a few moments to get to know Agata better!

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

I have a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, but I decided to pursue a Master’s Degree in Computer Science.

I’m the most proud of my community work. I am Django Girls contributor, coach and local organiser. I helped translate the DG tutorial into Polish, I co-organised two workshops in Wrocław and I was a coach in several others around Europe. I co-organised conference Django: Under the Hood in Amsterdam and was a part of organising team of local python meetup in my home city, Wrocław.

I’ve recently moved to Warsaw and joined Sunscrapers, a Python shop based in Poland, where I develop web applications using Django.

I am a big fan of sleeping, potatoes and cats. Besides work, my second passion is improv theatre. It’s all about listening, reacting, accepting, taking and giving. I encourage everyone to try it. Continue reading PyDev of the Week: Agata Grdal

PyDev of the Week: Jessica McKellar

This week we welcome Jessica McKellar (@jessicamckellar) as our PyDev of the Week! Jessica is a former Director for the Python Software Foundation and a successful entrepreneur. She is also an author for O’Reilly and has been a core developer for the Twisted framework. You can check out her website or her Github profile to get an idea of what she’s up to. Let’s spend some time getting to know her better!

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

I’m an entrepreneur, software engineer, and open source developer currently living in San Francisco. I’m a former Director for the Python Software Foundation, former organizer for the Boston Python User Group, and PyCon North America’s Diversity Outreach Chair.

I joke that I don’t ever take vacation — I just travel to speak at Python conferences. This has given me the opportunity to speak with and learn from local Python communities around the world. I’m grateful to have won the O’Reilly Open Source Award in 2013 for my outreach efforts in the Python community, which was really recognizing the long-term efforts of many talented people who I am also lucky to call my friends.

I’m currently a founder and the CTO for an early-stage enterprise software company, where I am delighted to be using and benefiting from Python 3 from the get-go. Previously, I was a founder and the VP of Engineering for a real-time collaboration startup acquired by Dropbox. Before that, I was a computer nerd at MIT who joined her friends at Ksplice, a company building a service for rebootless kernel updates on Linux that was acquired by Oracle. These diverse experiences got me onto the Forbes 30 under 30 class of 2017 for enterprise software just in time to age out of the category.

Continue reading PyDev of the Week: Jessica McKellar