PyDev of the Week: Abdur-Rahmaan Janhangeer

This week we welcome Abdur-Rahmaan Janhangeer as our PyDev of the Week! Abdur-Rahmaan is the French translator of Think Python. You can see what he is up to on his blog as well as on Github. Let’s take a few moments to get to know him better!

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

I’m Abdur-Rahmaan Janhangeer from Mauritius, a paradise island in the Indian Ocean and currently one of the best tourist destinations. I have an IT business and i am shyly becoming a Python Trainer.

I am mostly self-taught in programming. Concerning Python, I’m the Arabic Coordinator for the Python docs, translator of Think Python into French (publishing soon) and organising member for the py user-group of Mauritius. I also did some really tiny contributions to LinuxMint, Numpy and Odoo.

As “hobby”, i like to dig into Compiler Theory and code some toy langs in my spare time. Being a gallery moderator, I use InkScape to design logos and business cards for people. Playing around with graphics!

Why did you start using Python?

It was when i was a great fan of Java, was really hooked into it’s OOP style. If you understand that things are objects in Java, many weirdness clear away. One day i found myself writing an IRC bot. The skeleton was so counter-intuitive to me that i searched for something simpler. I remembered a language called Python which people said was simple to use. I always thought that Python was not a “serious” language but decided to try it anyway. Yes, I was googling: “print in python” …

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

Since i wanted to learn programming, I learnt the popular ones. C++, Java, Html, CSS, Js, PHP+SQL, ruby. Functional I only learnt Haskell to get a taste. Also learnt Processing, though it’s more of a library nowadays, or a canvas API if you wish. Besides Python, I use other langs according to needs but processing is a favourite, it’s a whole new world. Loops, OOP, and whatever you want are illustrated. Learning and teaching coding is more lively. You also have a python flavour of it but runs on Jython.

What projects are you working on now?

  • Think-Python-Fr: French translation of Think Python
  • py-docs-ar: Arabic translation of the docs. More thrust soon after I complete the above.
  • PythonListsSummaries: With Christopher Barker, this project aims at collecting common recurring issues on python-list and python-ideas (easy referencing when answering questions). Also explaining why some ideas were not accepted and covering some technical decisions. The lists gemified if you wish.

I’m also privately maintaining and improving some home-grown Flask-based solutions for businesses which I hope to open source one day.

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

Flask, off-flask Jinja, requests and pandas.

How you got involved with pymug (Python Maurtius User-Group)?

I was thinking about organising an Atelier de Traduction for the French translations when it dawned on me that first, some people must be grouped at local level. Then, you can’t just jump in, you have to take the time to build and knit together a community. This serves as a basis for greater and more audacious projects. That’s how i started organising things a bit and now we’ve got our 4 organising members. If you are passing via Mauritius, drop me a word, we’ll coincide our meet-up or just schedule an exclusive event!

Do you have advice for other people who would like to start a local Python user’s group?

Don’t be afraid to start, even if people are few at the beginning. Start with what you have available, at whatever place you can. Community contributions is actually investing in yourself. One more reason which prompted me personally to start a UG is that python’s meetups are always of full of content. Even if you were asked to talk every week, Python is vast enough for you to pull something in. You are setting up something that will benefit you first, then others. The community is always listening. If you don’t know where to begin, how to proceed, how to enhance things, feel free to ask!

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Contribute to the docs translation in your native language if you can, this is a great undertaking and takes a lot of time. Rarely do you get the chance to read the docs line by line. It’s an enriching experience. Your Python knowledge becomes deep, really deep. Contribute to the PythonListsSummaries project if you can, going over threads and contributing what you’ve learnt is a great way to actually do two useful things at once.

I’d recommend everyone to follow the lists, great folks out there. Else, I’d like to thank python-fr on freenode and the core devs hanging out there @vstinner (Victor Stinner) @mdk (Julien Palard) and hopefully @matrixise (Stephane Wirtel). Julien did a great job at supporting me for everything translation related.

Thanks for doing the interview!

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