PyDev of the Week: Craig Bruce

This week we welcome Craig Bruce (@craigbruce) as our PyDev of the Week. Let’s see what he had to say!

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

My background is in computational chemistry and cheminformatics. What that really means is that I’m trained to work in the small, and mainly unheard, field of early stage drug discovery, where computers are used to aid guide drug design. This work is often ten years before a drug makes it to market.

In recent years Python has become my programming language of choice from scripting to web stacks. The scientific Python stack has grown tremendously in recent years making it easier to focus on your specific research. I have little in the way of formal IT/CS education, but I’ve picked up a lot over through my education and previous roles both in programming and system administration.

My hobbies include hiking, skiing and walking my dog, I live in New Mexico where we enjoy the amazing outdoor.

Why did you start using Python?

It was a requirement for a new job, primarily to run and develop a Django powered website. In addition to the website the scientific tasks I needed to carry out used a C++ toolkit which had Python bindings, so Python became very useful for every programming aspect of this role.

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

Perl, Java and JavaScript but I’d much rather write in Python and Bash as the combination of the two allow me to deploy and run most things I need.

What projects are you working on now?

I’m working on a cloud-based product which is a drug discovery platform for use by pharmaceutical companies. It is written in Python and has a Django web app and API. My work is predominately in the backend and DevOps aspect.

Outside of work I’m one of the three co-founders for Django Events Foundation North America (DEFNA) which is running DjangoCon US so my role as Treasurer keeps me busy. DjangoCon US was earlier this month and I have been delighted by the positive feedback we have received. Preparations for 2016 has already begun – be sure to follow us on @djangocon for updates!

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

Django continues to be a favorite because it is so versatile and mature. If I need something else I can almost guarantee that there is a 3rd party app to help as well. My current project heavily utilizes AWS, so Troposphere ( is invaluable in making CloudFormation templates easy (e.g. not writing any JSON, a pet peeve of mine).

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Thanks for the invitation to participate in this series!

Thank you!

The Last 10 PyDevs of the Week