PyDev of the Week: Tom Christie

This week we have Tom Christie (@_tomchristie) as our PyDev of the Week. Tom is the author of the MkDocs project and the Django REST Framework. Let's spend some time getting to know more about him.

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

I've done a bunch of different stuff in my career. I initially started out working in the speech recognition field, later moved on to networking, and finally into web development. The web development appealed because it's so much more immediate. You're making stuff that you can actually put in front of people and show them, rather than always being on very abstract backend work. Outside of software I'm into spoken word, long distance running and messing around on the ukulele.

I live in the seaside city of Brighton, UK, with my wife and son. It's a wonderfully quirky place, full of interesting & avant-garde folks.

Why did you start using Python?

Mostly as a vastly nicer replacement to Perl and bash scripts. It was long enough ago now that it's hard to remember exactly what sort of things I started off using it for, but probably stuff like web spidering, test scripts and data analysis initially.

What other programming languages do you know and which is your favorite?

I used to do lots of C, then C++, plus plenty of bash and Perl. Now it's almost all Python and Javascript. Go and Swift both appeal, but I've still never gotten around to using either.

What projects are you working on now?

Right now I'm working hard on Django REST framework 3. We've been incredibly fortunate to have had a hugely successful Kickstarter, so I'm able to work on the project during paid work hours, which is super liberating. I also keep an eye on MkDocs, which I'm super-fond of. Dougal Matthews has taken over the reins as primary maintainer of that while I work on the Kickstarter, and he's doing a fantastic job of keeping it moving towards a proper 1.0 release. I've also got some interesting stuff on Hypermedia that I'm plugging away at, but more to say about that another day.

Which Python libraries are your favorite (core or 3rd party)?

Tox is a pretty great tool. Holger Krekel deserves a lot of credit for his continued work on that. And of course, Django and the whole ecosystem there. It may not always be the most aesthetically beautiful, but it really does help you get things done, fast. The structure and conventions it places you within are also super important for long term maintenance, and being able to move easily between different projects.

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

I've got no witticisms to-hand right now, so nope.

Thanks so much!

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