PyDev of the Week: Agata Grdal

This week we welcome Agata Grdal as our PyDev of the Week! Agata is heavily involved in her local Django Girls group in Europe as well as PyLadies. You can learn more about Agata on the DjangoGirls blog. Agata is also has some fun projects on her Github profile that you can check out. Let’s take a few moments to get to know Agata better!

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

I have a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, but I decided to pursue a Master’s Degree in Computer Science.

I’m the most proud of my community work. I am Django Girls contributor, coach and local organiser. I helped translate the DG tutorial into Polish, I co-organised two workshops in Wrocław and I was a coach in several others around Europe. I co-organised conference Django: Under the Hood in Amsterdam and was a part of organising team of local python meetup in my home city, Wrocław.

I’ve recently moved to Warsaw and joined Sunscrapers, a Python shop based in Poland, where I develop web applications using Django.

I am a big fan of sleeping, potatoes and cats. Besides work, my second passion is improv theatre. It’s all about listening, reacting, accepting, taking and giving. I encourage everyone to try it.

Why did you start using Python?

I took part in the very first Django Girls workshop that took place in Berlin in 2014. It was part of EuroPython conference and after the workshop, attendees could attend talks and meet professionals. I was surprised how friendly and helpful everyone was. Python is very elegant and easy to start with, but it was its great community that got me hooked.

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

My first programming language was C++ back when I was studying Mathematics and I’m still fond of it. I think it laid a solid foundation for my understanding the core concepts of programming.

I know just enough JavaScript to get on, because there’s really no escape from it at work. My plan for 2017 is to learn it properly and learn to like it too. 😉

I have a soft spot for SQL as I had very interesting Database course at uni which included real life exercises and logical puzzles. To this day I still enjoy writing SQL at work.

What projects are you working on now?

As I mentioned before, I recently moved to Warsaw. There is a great Python community there gathered around monthly meetup called pyWaw. Beginners can be intimidated by the advanced talks that take place there so we are thinking about starting a meetup for beginners which will help bridge the gap between novice developers and professionals.

I’ll be always engaged in one way or another in Django Girls. I still remember how it felt like to be a complete beginner and I plan to continue using that knowledge to help others start their career in programming.

Other than that, I do plan to take it easy this year and focus on gaining more experience and growing as a developer.

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

Django, for obvious reasons – it puts food on the table and because of it I made many dear friends.

I have to go with two Python classics: requests and pytest. It’s a joy to use them.

I also can’t imagine my life at work without ipdb and ipython.

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

To beginner developers: Go to conferences and meetups. It’s so much easier to be a part of the community than doing things alone, especially at the beginning. And don’t worry. Small steps. You’ll get there.

Thanks for doing the interview!