This week we welcome Jeff Triplett @webology as our PyDev of the Week. He is the co-founder of the Django Events Foundation North America (DEFNA) and the current chair of DjangoCon US 2016. Let’s spend a few minutes getting to know him better!
Can you tell us a little about yourself (hobbies, education, etc):
I moved to Lawrence, KS in 2007 to work at the Lawrence Journal-World where Django was invented. I now work at Revolution Systems (Revsys) in Lawrence, KS as a developer and a consultant.
I am a co-founder of the Django Events Foundation North America (DEFNA), Conference Chair for DjangoCon US 2015 and 2016, and I co-organized Django Birthday to celebrate the 10 year birthday of Django in its birthplace in Lawrence.
I am a member of a local trail running group, I love basketball, and I love dreaming about traveling in an airstream across America.
Why did you start using Python?
I switched to Python back in the mid 2000’s while running an ISP in Southwest Missouri. I was tired of piecing everything together in PHP and Perl, so I tried out Python and soon after started rewriting all of our tools to use it. Once Django was released, I was sold.
Before that strangely enough, one of the big online retails used to sell 20 wide screen monitors which were terribly expensive. They had a contest where you’d check their website every day and submitted your email address and you had a 1-in-100 chance at a 50% off coupon. A friend of mine had an email account with a catch all so I wrote a script to check the website using a few hundred email addresses and we collected the 50% off codes so that we could afford to upgrade monitors. I’m embarrassed as to how many of my friends still have this particular brand of monitor. Thank you, Python!
What other programming languages do you know and which is your favorite?
My third grade teacher let us sign up to take turns borrowing an Apple IIc computer over weekends during the school year. She eventually let me borrow it on weekends when no one else signed up for it. I’d spend my weekends playing Logo and Basic and dreaming of creating video games.
I later learned Basic, Pascal, Visual Basic, C, Java, ASP, .net, c#, SQL, Perl, and PHP before I landed on Python.
Projects like Toga give me a hope that I might someday be able to write an iOS app using Python. Until then, I’ll keep learning Swift.
What projects are you working on now?
I am mostly working on planning for DjangoCon US 2016. Most of my OSS projects are to scratch my own itches, but I should probably release more of those.
Which Python libraries are your favorite (core or 3rd party)?
I really like click for writing terminal applications since it’s so easy to work with. I have written dozens of utility commands with it just because it’s so easy to work with. I think that’s a sign of a good tool.
I find myself using Unidecode a lot.
Anyone who works with me knows that I’m obsessed with Trello as a planning/life tool. I use py-trello quite a bit to get data in and out of Trello.
Where do you see Python going as a programming language?
It’s murky. The transition from Python 2 to Python 3 has been sloppy, and I believe the attempts to market it to developers didn’t quite go as planned. Most of my clients don’t use Python 3 which forces me to use Python 2. In a dream world, Python 2.8 (never going to happen) and Python 3.6 would meet in the middle and Python 4 would make everyone happy.
Overall, I’m really happy with Python as a language. I think it’s an under appreciated learning tool. The Django Girls tutorial backs that up with how easy they make learning Python and Django.
What is your take on the current market for Python programmers?
From my experience, it’s a great time to be a Python developer. However, I think the market is also slightly skewed towards senior developers which concerns me. I know several extremely competent junior level developers getting turned down in tech reviews for questions which only a senior level develop could possibly know. This turns into wanting a senior developer level of knowledge and experience at a junior developer’s pay. I would love to see more companies re-consider their entry level positions to nurture these entry level positions.
Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Thank you for interviewing me!