PyDev of the Week: Froilán Irizarry Rivera

This week we welcome Froilán Irizarry Rivera (@froidotdev) as our PyDev of the Week! Froilán does code live streaming on Twitch. Froilán helped found Fullstack Knights which is a monthly meetup and more. You can also see what he is up to over on Github.

Let’s spend some time getting to know Froilán better!

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

I’m from Puerto Rico, where I went to school and started my career. I’m now living in Washington DC and working at GitHub. I moved to Washinton DC to join the United States Digital Service and I then moved on to So what started as “we’ll just be here for two years” has turned into four.

I’ve also been working in civic tech and community building for a couple of years with Code for Puerto Rico (which I’m currently leading), Code for DC, and Fullstack Nights back home.

Outside of what can be considered work I really like to read and write. There’s also something about walking the city and I really enjoy, especially if I can buy a coffee and sit near some water and just think. Video games and almost any animation are also big deals for me.

Why did I start using Python?

My wife is a Python developer and introduced me to the language. At one point I decided to go on my own and I was tired of Java, so I founded a small Python dev shop in PR called Killer Rabbit Labs (yes that killer rabbit ????). Once I started with Python it’s been hard to stop!

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

Javascript/Typescript and Go are my other languages.

I’m still learning Go and don’t use it enough but have enjoyed using it.

Javascript started as a necessity but over time I’ve really come to enjoy it. Especially with the language additions from ES6 forward. Lately, I’ve been enjoying having types in my code so I’ve moved into using Typescript pretty heavily instead of plain JS.

What projects are you working on now?

Most of my time is being used up by Code for Puerto Rico, so I’m not working too much on side projects. That said I’m currently live streaming some development on a project called github-project-migrator. I’ve taken some time off work and have also started to dust off some TODOs I have on a personal project using Django and DRF. With a friend of mine we are going to start working on, which is a collection of dictionaries and language sources specific to the Spanish from Puerto Rico. At Code for Puerto Rico I have some TODOs with contratospr-api, a project that indexes government contract data and tries to help people investigate and search them.

You know after writing all of this I guess I’m not really taking that much time off LOL

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

From core Python, I really like the CSV library. I’ve had to work so much with data in this format that I find this library wonderful.

As for third party libraries, I really enjoy Django Rest Framework.

Why do you live stream versus blogging about code? Are there any pros and cons to that approach?

I find livestreams a bit more personal than blogs. I’m there showing how I think and work live to anybody that would care to watch.

A big reason as to why I started livestreaming in Spanish was to create tech content in the language. There is a huge need and very few examples of latinx developers “making” tech and showing off how to work on projects. There’s a ton of “getting started” and tutorial like content but how to work on a project and how to make decisions while development, IMO, is missing.

I used to blog in the past but I find it much harder and the content might get stale quicker. At this point, I’ve also just started using livestreams to finish projects as well LOL

How did podcast, Fullstack Knights, come about?

Some friends and I sat down one day and started brainstorming about what we thought our tech community needed and we landed on higher-level talks. We created the Fullstack Nights meetup to make this happen. After a few years, the founders moved on but we still wanted to talk tech and rant about silly things so we created the Fullstack Nights podcast as a companion to the meetup that was still running.

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

I’d like to say thank you for the opportunity and the books, they’re great. I guess I’ll finish this up by saying to everybody take care, be safe, and have a great socially distant holidays.

Thanks for doing the interview, Froilán!