PyDev of the Week: Bernat Gabor

This week we welcome Bernat Gabor (@gjbernat) as our PyDev of the Week! Bernat is a core developer of the tox automation project. You can check out his Github to see what other open source projects he is a part of. Let’s take a few moments to learn more about Bernat!

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

I was born and raised in Transylvania, Romania. I’ve got into computer science starting with my high school studies, and there was no going back on it ever since. I’ve done my BSc studies at Sapientia – Hungarian University of Transylvania and then followed up with my master studies at Budapest University of Technology and Economics. Parallel with doing the master studies I’ve started working at Gravity R&D (a company that provides a recommendation engine under the Software-as-a-Service model), where I’ve been for almost five years. I now live in London, UK having reallocated here over two years ago and have been working ever since at Bloomberg LP.

Why did you start using Python?

I’ve started using Python six years ago, while I was working at Gravity R&D. To provide excellent recommendations with the most critical pre-requisite is to have quality learning dataset. While exploring what’s the best way to collect data I’ve stumbled upon this language called Python which came with batteries included and allowed me to quickly alter/improve data collection (compared to the other languages used at the company at that time – Java/Groovy).

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

I know C/C++, C#, Java, Groovy, JavaScript, SQL and Python. To a lesser degree, I’m familiar with Julia, R, Assembly and VHDL. Python is the favourite.

What projects are you working on now?

tox is the main one. At the moment I have issues/pull requests open to mypy and looking into pip too. I’ve had some previous encounters with pytest, readthedocs.org.

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

argparse. It’s still the most feature rich and straightforward command line argument define/parser library I’ve seen out there.

How did you get started with tox?

At my workplace, I needed to provide support for both Python 2 and 3 for a project. I’ve looked around what are my options in trying to do this, and what tools mainstream open source projects use for this. I quickly stumbled upon tox and found a few improvement opportunities once I started using it. I’ve opened a few PRs for it, and after a while, I saw myself as one of the main contributors. Becoming a maintainer was a natural evolution of taking ownership of all the changes I’ve been making.

Do you have any advice for others who would like to contribute to open source?

Start with something small and always communicate with the maintainers before you make a change. Be open and try to understand their pieces of advice.

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Be respectful when interacting with any open-source project. We must always remember that all of mostly does it in our free time with no compensation; and maintainers have to juggle around with tons of constraints when accepting features.

Thanks for doing the interview!

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