This week we welcome Tarek Ziade (@tarek_ziade) as our PyDev of the Week! He is a contributor to a lot of open source projects, which you can see if you visit his Github profile. I have personally enjoyed some of his blog articles on Python. Let’s spend some time getting to know Tarek!
Can you tell us a little about yourself (hobbies, education, etc):
I am a French programmer, living in Burgundy. I went to a French Institute of Technology (IUT) in Computer Software and started to work shortly after in the late 90s. I wrote several books about Python – the initial goal for me was to deeply understand Python and its whole ecosystem and help others in that process. I am also a terrible Trumpet player and an obsessed runner.
I am going to run the Berlin Marathon next september, and I am trying to collect money for Doctors Without Borders for the event. This is not a way for me to get a charity bib as I already have secured my bib, but an opportunity to raise funds for that important organization
To try to give people more incentive to donate, I am doing Charity code reviews: you give to my fundraising in exchange of some of my time reviewing you code 🙂 details: http://ziade.org/2015/01/27/charity-python-code-review/
Why did you start using Python?
In one of the first company where I worked, we used Borland Delphi and I discovered Open Source through some VCL components. I was amazed by the idea of building stuff in the open and interacting with a community. Then, I found out about Zope & the CMF, and ended up working in that field for Nuxeo, the creators of “CPS” , a competitor of Plone. Since then, I have never really left the Python community, even if I am not involved like I use to, after being burnt out by the whole packaging effort.
What other programming languages do you know and which is your favorite?
I mainly use Python these days – but did some work with a bunch of other languages that would be pointless to enumerate here. Right now I am poking a bit at Lua in an Nginx context and I really enjoy building things with this language.
Frankly, that combination is amazing to build any web service that does not require much besides calling other servers like Redis, MysQL and returning Json.
I am also looking forward to start to use Rust. I poked at Go a little bit but I did not really get the buzz many folks in the Python community seem to be getting on it.
What projects are you working on now?
I work at Mozilla where I lead a small team that focuses on “Cloud Storage” – It’s a vague, buzz-compliant term, but basically, we’re trying to converge all storage needs we have across our organization in a small & standardized set of APIs. I have the chance to work with a team of world-class engineers and I feel stupid all the time, which is good.
We wrote and maintain things like : the Firefox Sync server, the Hello server and many more services and tools.
Which Python libraries are your favorite (core or 3rd party)?
I am pretty excited about tulip/asyncio, even if we did not release anything with it yet. When that project started I was a huge gevent/greenlet fan and I did not understand why they were building a twisted-like thing. I was pretty sure Guido was wrong on that one. Then, after a lot of work in some async apps, including big node.js projects, I slowly realized that Guido nailed it again 🙂
But hey, I am not Dutch so it’s okay.
Is there anything else you’d like to say?
I love the Python community but I miss the days where we had smaller Pycons – this conference got too big for me. What’s really nice though is that there are more and more small and mid-size Python events all around the globe.