PyDev of the Week: Kyle Stratis

This week we welcome Kyle Stratis (@KyleStratis) as our PyDev of the Week! He is an active contributor at Real Python but also maintains his own website. You can catch up with his projects on Github as well. Let’s take a few moments to get to know Kyle!

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

I’m a self-taught developer, I actually studied neuroscience up through graduate school, with a focus on mechanisms of attention in the auditory system. The coding I had to do at every step of the experimental process rekindled my early love of the craft, and a good friend stepped in as a mentor – so I taught myself and got my first job while I was writing my master’s thesis.

While I do a lot of programming on the side, I also enjoy weightlifting (my father was a bodybuilder and gym-owner, with 4x Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler starting at his gym, so maybe it’s genetic), skateboarding, and surfing, which I do noticeably less of now that I live in Boston. I’m also a bit of a metalhead, so on any given weekend you’ll be likely to find me at a dingy club with a battlevest on and cheap beer in hand. I’d be remiss to not mention spending time with my wife, which usually is spent reading, hiking, and playing with our 2 cats.

Why did you start using Python?

It was recommended by my mentor, and I really enjoyed the simple syntax and ability to rapidly build something with little boilerplate.

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

In my career I’ve used C# and Perl, and have a steadily declining familiarity with C++ and Java.

What projects are you working on now?

I’m leading a team on a stealth-ish blockchain gaming project, working on my machine learning skills by building a convolutional neural network for meme recognition (in service of bringing my team’s meme stock market Danqex (formerly Nasdanq) back from the dead), and scoping up a radio/PBX-based BBS – I love old tech. I’m also working through a number of machine learning books and tutorials to buff those skills.

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

Pandas – makes working with large datasets a dream. Because I primarily work with data scientists, being able to converse in Pandas is a necessity.

AWS Chalice – I work with a ton of AWS services, and Chalice makes deploying serverless applications a Flask-like dream.

Requests – Hands down my favorite way of ever interacting with HTTP endpoints.

Why did you decide to start writing for Real Python?

I was already doing some tech blogging on my personal site when Dan put out the call for authors. I did this to serve as a reference to some projects I did, as well to reinforce lessons I learned, and so I jumped at the chance to write for Real Python – not only to reinforce lessons learned, but also to help people who were once in the same position I was in when learning Python and to force myself to learn new things about Python that I may not encounter in my day job.

What are some of the things you have learned as a Python tutorial author?

My writing skills have leveled up considerably thanks to the diligent efforts of our team of tech reviewers and editors, who work hard to keep the writing at Real Python up to a very high standard. On the technical level, my most recent article on super() led me to dig deeper into the function than the base documentation would allow. It took a lot of experimentation for me to be able to confidently talk about the nitty-gritty of multiple inheritance and altering the method resolution order.

What advice do you have for someone who would like to start blogging?

Write write write write! Once you get that out of the way, write some more, present it to someone to read over (like code review), and start presenting to an audience. That kind of pressure and exposure will only improve your writing.

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Never stop learning and growing.

Thanks for doing the interview, Kyle!