PyDev of the Week: Mariusz Felisiak

This week we welcome Mariusz Felisiak (@MariuszFelisiak) as our PyDev of the Week! Mariusz is a core developer of the Django web framework and a maintainer of the django-request package. You can follow Mariusz over on Github to see what he’s been up to. Let’s spend some time getting to know Mariusz!

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

Few facts from my life. I’m a software developer with over 11 years of experience in designing and implementing web applications. I graduated in Computer Science in 2010. I defended my PhD thesis related with numerical algorithms in 2018. I’ve done this after few years of coping in the same time with open source activities, daily job and PhD studies. It was a really intense time.

I’m always eager to contribute to open source projects which takes a large part of my free time, or at least it took before my daughter was born 🙂 I have been in love with Python and Django for 10 years. From 2017 I’m a member of the Django Core Team and the Django Software Foundations. In the middle of March I’m starting as a Django Fellow so Django will become my daily work! The funniest thing is that I should have more “free-time” 🙂 I’m a huge fan of open source and communities that stand behind them, that’s why I’m trying to be as involved as possible.

Outside of the tech world I’m a speedway fan who spends free-time on traveling and winter mountaineering.

Why did you start using Python?

I started my professional career from ancient Oracle’s tools e.g. Oracle Forms & Reports. In 2009, we decided to write all new apps in a more modern framework, finally Python and Django were chosen. I had a sketchy knowledge of Python, so I’ve learned Python and Django in the same time 🙂 and I’ve never looked back.

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

I know SQL, PL/SQL, Java, JavaScript, HTML, CSS, C and C++. I probably also know how to write “Hello World” in few other programming languages. C and C++ are my favorite since I used them heavily in my studies and PhD.

What projects are you working on now?

I spend most of my time on daily work and Django itself. I’m also maintaining django-request package. In my daily work I maintain and develop RPR platform that connects healthcare stakeholders with global payer network. In Django, I’m mainly involved in the Django ORM.

What non-Python open source projects do you enjoy using?

I would say that vim is in the first place because I use it for writing code. Probably I’m old fashioned but that’s all I need. I don’t use any IDE 🙂

How did you end up becoming a Django core developer?

I worked for almost 10 years with Oracle databases and in the same time I used Django heavily. It seems that is not a common combination. When in 2015 Django folks posted a request for help in maintaining of the Oracle back-end and related CI infrastructure, I decided that is the best moment to help.

I was really surprised with such a friendly welcome, as a person that nobody knows I started to be responsible for Oracle’s CI infrastructure. Contributing to Django became a part of my daily routine. Checking new tickets, finding bugs, optimizations, small clean-ups, reviewing PRs etc. In February 2017 Django devs invited me to the Core Team which was really unexpected. I’ve never taken into account that I could become part of such a smart collection of people. It wouldn’t be possible without help from the entire Django community and especially from Tim Graham, Shai Berger, and Simon Charette. Thanks!

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Believe in your dreams and be involved!

Thanks for doing the interview, Mariusz!