PyDev of the Week: Katherine Kampf

This week we welcome Katherine Kampf (@kvkampf) as our PyDev of the Week! Katherine is a Program Manager at Microsoft, specifically for Azure Notebooks, which is Microsoft’s version of Jupyter Notebook. She also recently gave a talk at EuroPython 2019. Let’s take a few moments getting to know Katherine better!

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

Sure! I am currently a Program Manager for Azure Notebooks at Microsoft. I joined the company in 2017 and started working on the Big Data team. After some time there, I decided to move closer towards notebooks and Python which led me to the Python Tools team which has been a blast.

Before starting at Microsoft, I graduated from the University in Michigan where I studied Computer Science. I also grew up Ohio so the Midwest was home for quite a while and will always have my heart. While at UofM, I was also lucky enough to TA our introductory computer science course which covered both C++ and Python. I loved helping folks learn new concepts, and I’m so glad I get to continue this in some form by speaking at conferences!

Nowadays, I’m based in Seattle and love living the stereotypical Pacific Northwest life. I tend to spend my weekends skiing in the winter and hiking in summer. In between those, I love to travel around and am working on visiting all the U.S. National Parks! I’m also a dog-enthusiast and am always working on being friends’ go-to dog sitter 😊

Why did you start using Python?

I had played around with Python when I was first learning to program around 7 years ago, but I started using it on the regular around 4 years ago for an AI course at university

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

C++ is my other primary language, and it used to be my favorite, but Python has definitely stolen my heart over the past few years.

What projects are you working on now?

In my free time, I’ve been working on analyzing allll the data from the past ~5 years of wearing my Fitbit. It’s really cool to see my sleep patterns for so long as well as my general fitness habits. Hoping to see some interesting trends by looking at my exercise in relation to sleep and weather. We’ll see! I’m also working on building a Porta Pi mini arcade machine which I’m super excited about.

And in my job, I’m working on making Azure Notebooks the most productive experience for notebooks-users 😊

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

I will always love NLTK! I was exposed to it early on in my Python career and found it so powerful. And still do! Natural language has always been super interesting to me and I love all NLTK helps with!

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

I always encourage folks to share their knowledge in whatever ways they can! And to overcome the imposter syndrome that comes with it.

Thanks for doing the interview, Katherine!