PyDev of the Week: Anthony Shaw

This week we welcome Anthony Shaw (@anthonypjshaw) as our PyDev of the Week! Anthony is involved in several open source projects. You can read up on all of them over on his website. He also has a blog on Medium. Let’s take a few moments to get to know Anthony better!

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

I started programming from an early age and got into tech at school, studied Cybernetics at University in the UK and ended up working at a Cloud company for my first job. I’ve had all sort of roles, tech support, development, product management and my latest role I’m doing “skills transformation”, which is really about helping people learn new things, encouraging people to develop their tech skills and mentoring. I don’t code day to day for work anymore since I manage a team and have a lot of travel so I typically contribute to open-source projects in spare time and in between flights.

I like to build things with my hands to switch off from work and IT, so I’m normally building something around the house, walls, landscaping or other big DIY projects. I live on the beach on the east coast of Australia so 9 months of the year I’m making any excuse to get in the water to swim.

Why did you start using Python?

In order to contribute to Apache Libcloud, I work at a company (Dimension Data) that has their own cloud platform and nobody had contributed a stable driver. I learnt Python in order to contribute to the project, fell in love with the language in the process and have been using it ever since for practically everything!

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

JavaScript, C#.NET, C++ and Python are the ones I know well enough to write big applications in. I love Python more than the others, it has the dynamic nature of JavaScript without the messy ecosystem, it has the flexibility of C++ without the memory management challenges and it has the async/await feature of C#.NET.

What projects are you working on now?

I’ve been working on exploring Python 3.7 from top to bottom as part of an upcoming Pluralsight course “What’s new in Python 3.7”. As part of the research, I’ve blogged about some of the new features, like data classes, breakpoint builtin and the new speed boosts.
For the performance research, I’ve been testing the pyperformance package but automating comparing it with multiple runtimes. Python 3.7 is fast!

Other than that I’d been working on adding Python 3.7’s breakpoint builtin support to PyTest and some minor improvements to the Tox library. Once I’ve finished this course I’m planning to start on a fresh version of Apache Libcloud, v3.

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

Core, Pathlib is awesome. You have access to the “slash” operator for joining paths so you don’t have to use os.path.join anymore. 3rd party, Tox is great for testing multiple Python versions and runtimes. Not just 2 vs 3, but with all the changes in 3.6 and 3.7, making sure your code still works with the latest versions.

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

DM me on Twitter if you need any career advice, I answer all sorts of questions, dealing with difficult people, pay, career progression.

Thanks for doing the interview!