Tag Archives: Python

PyDev of the Week: Petr Viktorin

This week our PyDev of the Week is Petr Viktorin (@EnCuKou). Petr is the author of PEP 489 — Multi-phase extension module initialization and teaches Python for the local PyLadies in Czech Republic. You can some of what he’s up to via his Github page or on his website. Let’s take some time to get to know Petr better!

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


I’m a Python programmer from Brno, Czech Republic. I studied at the Brno University of Technology, and for my master’s I switched to the University of Eastern Finland.

When I’m not programming, I enjoy playing board games with my friends, and sometimes go to an orienteering race (without much success).

Why did you start using Python?

At the university, I did coursework in languages like C, Java, and Lisp, but then I found Python and got hooked. It fit the way I think about programs, abstracted away most of the boring stuff, and makes it easy to keep the code understandable.

After I returned home from the university, I found a community that was starting to form around the language, and that’s probably what keeps me around the language now.

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PyDev of the Week: Lukasz Langa

This week we welcome Łukasz Langa (@llanga) as our PyDev of the Week! Łukasz is the author of PEP 443 — Single-dispatch generic functions. He also authors an interesting blog, although it’s not just a programming blog. You can see what Łukasz has been up to over on Github. Let’s take a few moments to get to know him better!

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

My first name is Łukasz which is an endless source of Unicode joy. I am a committer to Python since 2010, started out as a maintainer for configparser, nowadays working on the type hinting side of things. I like analog synthesizers, bicycles, and the Fallout game series. In my free time I’m helping Facebook embrace Python 3.

Why did you start using Python?

This is a bit embarrassing. It was Autumn 2004, I was studying Computing Science at Poznan University of Technology in Poland. I had trouble with some courses I took, namely Linear Algebra. A friend showed me some scripts he wrote in Ruby and some linear algebra library to check his results when solving homework assignments. I badly needed some reassurance so I got excited about this. Sadly, for some reason Ruby refused to install on my Windows XP box at the time.

As a test was scheduled for the very next day, I started looking for alternatives. I literally typed “ruby alternative” in Google and found Python that way. This installed cleanly and I quickly found a functional linalg library replacement. I can’t remember what it was anymore, this was before NumPy was a thing! Either way, I got hooked.

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Book Review: Murach’s Python Programming

I review books for the i-programmer website from time to time and they recently gave me a copy of Murach’s Python Programming by Michael Urban and Joel Murach. This book is long at almost 600 pages and it’s pretty expensive for the paperback. For those of you with short attention spans, I give you the Quick Review. For those who would like something a bit more in-depth, you will need to click through to see the rest.

Quick Review

  • Why I picked it up: In this case, because i-programming asked me to
  • Why I finished it: Because this book is well written and fairly interesting
  • I’d give it to: Someone who wants to learn Python

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Pyowa Meeting (Feb 2017)

The local Python users group, Pyowa, was restarted last night after a year and a half hibernation. I hadn’t been to one of their meetings in a few years, but I had decided at the end of 2016 to get it going again. Once the ball was rolling, we got multiple offers of sponsorships for the meeting and ended up going with Pillar Technology for our first meeting of 2017. They call their space The Forge and they provided pizza and refreshments. They are located in downtown Des Moines.

We had around 23 or so people show up including the staff from Pillar. Our speaker was Jesse Horne from Pioneer and he talked about Chalice, a Python Serverless Microframework for AWS (Amazon Web Services). Chalice is kind of a lightweight Flask. Jesse ended up writing a very basic book database web application. While there were some technical issues, the crowd was very supportive and helpful and I thought that the meeting went quite well. There was even a robot wandering around that was remote controlled by one of the employees of Pillar.

The next meeting is currently scheduled for March 7th @ Pioneer. Keep an eye on Pyowa’s website for an update to get the latest information.

PyDev of the Week: Michael Kennedy

This week we welcome Michael Kennedy (@mkennedy) as our PyDev of the Week! Michael is an author and speaker. He is also a Python and MongoDB enthusiast, and an entrepreneur. He is the host of the popular Talk Python To Me podcast as well as the new Python Bytes Podcast. In 2016, he founded the Talk Python Training program. He has an interesting blog that I think you’ll find illuminating. Let’s take some time to get to know Michael better!

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

Hey everyone. I’m one of the lucky people who got to make his hobby his job (like many of you I suspect). I love programming and technology. I wake up everyday thinking today is even a more amazing day to be a developer than yesterday.

I got into programming in college. First, it was just a minor subject area to fill some requirements for my math degree. Over time I got more and more into programming. It was actually a research project my senior year that forced me to do “real” programming (3D graphics on SGI mainframes in C++ and OpenGL). After a week or two I realized I liked programming more than my actual focus of math.

I ended up getting a master’s degree in Math before I dropped out of the PhD program to pursue a software career. It seemed super risky at the time. Looking back, it was a wise choice.

That’s my education. For hobbies I like active and adventurous things. Throughout highschool I raced motocross and have very fond memories of those times. I don’t race these days.

It may sound odd, but I feel those experiences at the racetrack actually prepared me well for a public role in the software field. It’s nerve wracking and somewhat scary to be on a podcast, give a presentation to 100’s of conference attendees, or deliver a training course on a topic for the first time. But, it’s nothing compared to your first attempt to clear the 40 foot triple jump.

Getting over the hesitation and fear of all of these surprisingly has the same steps. Over prepare, over practice, find the willpower to calm your inner voices, and go for it.

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Top Ten Articles of 2016

I try to write a retrospective of the previous year every year, usually for the first day of the new year. However due to tons of projects and family medical issues, I ended up pushing it to today. The year 2016 was pretty exciting. I wrote two books. The first was a sequel to my first book, Python 101 which I titled Python 201: Intermediate Python. Then at the end of December 2016 I released my third book, wxPython Cookbook which is my longest book to date.

The blog has done well too. For 2016, we hit 957,763 pageviews. That’s almost one MILLION page views, which is pretty exciting! Let’s take a look at what the top ten articles ended up being this year:

My introductory Reportlab tutorial continues to dominate the list with a second Reportlab tutorial making it onto the very bottom of the list. There are also two logging related articles, so there must be a lot of interest in doing that with Python. The biggest takeaway for me is that 40% of the list is made up of my Python 101 series while the rest is primarily introductory pieces to module in Python or 3rd party libraries (with the exception of item #10).

There is definitely still a lot of interest in introductory articles and in Reportlab. This combined with the feedback I receive from my readers helps me determine what to focus on in 2017. I hope to continue writing useful tutorials on much more of Python’s standard library in addition to the many cool 3rd party modules I keep stumbling across. I am also going to start writing at least one book this year that I hope my readers will enjoy.

I’m looking forward to seeing what else 2017 has to offer. I hope you will join me as we discover this year together!

PyDev of the Week: Lisa Roach

This week we welcome Lisa Roach as our PyDev of the Week! Lisa is one of the authors of PEP 526 – Syntax for Variable Annotations which is a part of Python 3.6. You can check out which FOSS projects Lisa is interested in over on Github. Let’s take a few moments to get you know Lisa better!

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

I’m originally from Cleveland, Ohio, and I went to Ohio University. After graduation in 2014 I moved to Silicon Valley and took a job with Cisco, where I do some interesting work with networking devices and Python. Right now I focus on developing Python applications that can run on containers on top of our routers and switches. The applications usually do some form of automation for the device, although my last project I did custom RIB table injections. For fun, I enjoy hiking and cycling on weekends, and I like to relax after work with some video games. My go to right now is Fallout 4.

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Python 101 Now FREE on Leanpub Permanently

After the amazing response I had when I made Python 101 free for a few days a couple of months ago (see here, I have decided to make it free (or Pay What You Want) permanently on Leanpub (PDF, mobi and epub):

Note: I am still selling it on Amazon, Gumroad and Lulu

Now you can check it for free any time you like. If you happen to like the book, I would appreciate it if you could drop a review of it over on Amazon or contact me about doing a Reader Testimonial on Leanpub since they don’t have an automatic way to leave one of those.

When I originally wrote the book, I noticed that there were few or no books available that described how to create executables of your code or distribute your code via Python’s Package Index (PyPI). Python 101 covers these topics as well as introducing the reader to Python’s standard library, how to install 3rd party packages and an introduction to some of the most popular 3rd party packages for Python, such as SQLAlchemy, requests and virtualenv.

Python 101 has 5 sections, 44 chapters and 295 pages.

Here’s some coupons for my other books in case anyone is interested:

PyDev of the Week: Mark Haase

This week we welcome Mark Haase as our PyDev of the Week. Mark is the author of PEP 505 – None-aware operators. You can check out what projects Mark is interested in over on Github. He also has a programming blog that covers various programming topics. Let’s take some time getting to know Mark better!

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

As a child, I always loved building things, like Legos. I sketched designs for other projects that I daydreamed about building — a hang glider! — but as a kid I was obviously limited in terms of skills, tools, and resources. Nobody was going to hand me an arc-welder, after all.

I started programming when I was about 12 or 13. I learned BASIC first, then Java a couple years later. Programming didn’t have the same limitations as physical things. I didn’t need a whole workshop with tools and materials, just a computer and a compiler. I minored in Comp Sci in college (a mistake, in retrospect, I should have majored in it!) and managed to find a job as a programmer when I graduated it. It’s been my career for 10 years now.

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Python 101 is now a Course on Educative

My first book, Python 101, has been made into an online course on the educative website. Educative is kind of like Code Academy in that you can run the code snippets from the book to see what kind of output they produce. You can edit the examples that are executable, but you cannot save your edits currently. You can get 50% off of the course by using the following coupon code: au-pythonlibrary50 (note: This coupon is only good for one week)

Python 101 is for primarily aimed at people who have an understanding of programming concepts or who have programmed with another language already. I do have a lot of readers that are completely new to programming who have enjoyed the book too though. The book itself is split into 5 distinct parts:

Part one covers the basics of Python. Part two moves into learning a little of Python’s standard library. In this section, I cover the libraries that I find myself using the most on a day-to-day basis. Part three moves into intermediate level territory and covers various topics such as decorators, debugging, code profiling and testing your code. Part four introduces the reader to installing 3rd party libraries and briefly demonstrates some of the popular ones, such as lxml, requests, SQLAlchemy and virtualenv. The last section is all about distributing your code. Here you will learn how to add your code to Python Package Index as well as create Windows executables.

For a full table of contents, you can visit the book’s web page here. Educative also has a really good contents page for the online course too.