This week we welcome Oliver Bestwalter (@obestwalter) as our PyDev of the Week! He is one of the core developers of the tox automation project and the pytest package. He is also a speaker at several Python related conferences. You can learn more about Oliver on his website or on Github. Let’s take a few moment to learn more about Oliver!
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I was born in West Germany on Star Wars day the year the last man set foot on the moon.
I took on my first job as a Software Developer when I was 39, right after earning my B.Sc. in Computer Engineering (in German: Technische Informatik).
Although I fell in love with computering in my early teens and with the idea of free software in my early twenties, back then I was more into music, literature and sports. In school I was led to believe that I was “not good at maths”, so studying Computer Science or anything technical was not an option. Composing and playing music dominated my teens and twenties. I played several instruments (bass, guitar and keyboards – mainly self-taught) alone, and in different bands. A few recordings from that time are online on Soundcloud.
When I was 28 I had a nasty skateboarding accident and broke my hand and elbow. This rendered me incapable of playing any instrument for over a year. I didn’t cope with that very well and descended into a deep crisis that led me to drop music and my whole social life which had revolved around it. At that point I was pretty isolated without any kind of formal education and honestly didn’t know what to do with my life. I took on a soul-crushingly boring job in the backend (read: loud and dirty part) of a semiconductor fabrication plant. Life wasn’t that great, but in my spare time I picked up my other passion again (computering) and used it to co-found and nurture a web based, not-for-profit support board. My co-founder happened to be a wonderful woman who later became my wife. So you never know what something is good for, I guess.
I tend to turn my hobbies into my job as I did with music back then and with computering now. Good food & drink has occasionally passed my lips, which might be called a hobby, when it is not purely imbibed for sustenance. Enjoying modern art, mostly in the form of films, books, and (very seldom nowadays) computer games are also part of my recreational activities. I am more an indoor enthusiast, but I also might go for a walk now and then. Being more on the introvert spectrum, I need a lot of alone time to recharge, but I also like to hang out with my family and my cat (it might be more appropriate to say that the cat sometimes likes to hang out with us, because she adopted us and definitely is the one calling the shots). Continue reading PyDev of the Week: Oliver Bestwalter
The venerated TiP BoF (Testing in Python “Birds of a Feather”) meeting was held Saturday (3/12/2011) night around 7 p.m. Disney provided free pizza and salads. Someone else (I think) provided some pop. The room was packed with standing room only in the back. While people were eating, Terry Peppers of Leapfrog led the meeting. He told us how the TiP BoF worked and then had one of his employees show us how to do weird hand/arm stretches. If I remember correctly, his name was Feihung Hsu.
After that, the testing-related lightning talks started. The lightning talks are really the main draw of this event, although in years past the alcohol induced many to come. This year, the hotel cracked down on that and there was hardly any liquor to be seen, which was alright by me. I only stayed for two hours, so I’ll just give a run-down of what I saw and heard:
- There were lots of masturbation and other crude jokes even before we ate anything and they continued through most of the time I was there
- Peppers started the talks off with one called Snakes on a domain which was about a nagios plugin called NagAconda
- Next, Disney awarded Jesse Noller with a Disney beer stein that was themed after their animated movie, “Tangled”.
- Alfredo Deza gave a talk a DSL-testing framework called Konira
- Following that was a talk on Cram – a mercurial test suite for command line testing. I missed who gave that one. I think it’s this one: https://bitbucket.org/brodie/cram/src
- Then there was a talk on Lab Coat. They had the speaker wear a lab coat too. I don’t remember who did this one (maybe the author?) or what this project even does…
- Roman Lisagor gave a talk on Freshen, a clone of Ruby’s Cucumber project. It’s a plugin for nose and supposed to be similar to the lettuce project.
- Kumar McMillan gave a talk entitled Fudging it with Mock Objects. Yes, it’s another mock library, but this one is based on some project called Mocha (and I think he said he used stuff from Michael Foord’s mock library as well). You can check it out here: http://farmdev.com/projects/fudge/
- The next talk was Scientific Testing in Python. My notes are bad on this one, but I think it was related to the Bright project (correct me if I’m wrong). The speaker also mentioned something called goathub.com, but as far as I can tell, that doesn’t really exist.
- Feihung Hsu made another appearance by giving a talk himself. It has this long title: How My comic Book obsession birthed a new functional tool. Basically it was web-scraping project for downloading Japanese manga that had been translated into Chinese using Python. He forked spynner, made it “dumber” and called his fork “Punky Browster”. I don’t think this project is available yet.
To sign up to give lightning talks, they used a convore thread. The front row was made up of hecklers that would heckle the speakers. They seemed to favor strong swearing for the heckling. It could be pretty funny and very crude. I learned about a lot of new projects I had never heard of though. It’s definitely something that I think is worth checking out at least once.
Python code testing is something new to me. It’s not required where I work, so I haven’t spent much time looking into it, besides reading a book on the subject and reading a few blogs. However, I decided it was high time I check this out and see what all the excitement is about. In this article, you will learn about Test Driven Development (TDD) with Python using Python’s builtin unittest module. This is actually based on my one experience of TDD and pair programming (thanks Matt and Aaron!). In this article, we will be learning how to score bowling with Python! Continue reading Python 102: An Intro to TDD and unittest