PyDev of the Week: Žan Anderle

This week we welcome Žan Anderle (@z_anderle) as our PyDev of the Week! Žan is a freelance software developer. You can check out his blog or check out his Github profile you’d like to know what he is up to.

Let’s take some time to get to know Žan better!

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

My name is Žan and I’m a solo consultant/software developer based in Slovenia. I’ve been working as a software developer for the past 7 years. Initially, I thought I would go into mechanical engineering, but while doing my undergraduate program in mechanical engineering I realized two things: 1) I don’t see myself doing mechanical engineering 2) Software development seems really fun. So I went on and did my master degree in computer science. And I’ve been in software development ever since.

But of course, that’s just the professional part of me. Apart from that, I’m a husband and a father. When it comes to hobbies I’m really into board games and music (specifically jazz). Ask me about Louis Armstrong, and I won’t shut up for hours. And if you ever meet me at a conference, I’m always down to play a cool board game.

Why did you start using Python?

While still a mechanical engineering undergrad, after I’ve realized it’s not what I want to do, I wanted to explore if computer science is what I want. So I went to Coursera and took a bunch of courses there. And one of the first one was introduction to programming and they were using Python. I loved using it from the very beginning. After a while I got my first developer (part-time) job and they were using Python and Django. So Python has been with me since the very beginning of my career.

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

Besides Python the languages I use (and know) the most are JavaScript (and TypeScript), HTML and CSS. Apart from that the only languages I’ve used enough to be able to say I know them are MatLab/Octave, and back in the day LabVIEW.

My favorite is definitely Python with JavaScript being a close second.

What projects are you working on now?

Besides doing client work (mostly full stack development using Django and frontend frameworks), I’m currently working on a Modern JavaScript for Python Developers course which I’m really excited about and I think is going to be really good. I’m also working on a side project called Let’s Play Board Games which will be a web app for better and easier organizing of board game nights. There are days when I wish this was the only project I was working on, but sadly that’s not the case. Maybe one day.

I’m also trying to focus more on blogging and some related “experiments”.

And I’ve been very lucky to join Django Software Foundation as a board member in December.

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

So many to choose from! Just looking at core, I’m really fond of collections. 3rd party though, hmm… It’s probably Django, DRF, httpx and scikit-learn.

Do you have any advice for people who would like to get into freelancing?

Educate yourself not just on the tech side (you probably have enough knowledge already to be valuable to your clients), but also on the business side of things. Personally, I love reading books and listening to podcasts on different “business” topics. It’s been hugely helpful and probably more impactful for my business than my tech knowledge.

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Thank you for doing these interviews and thank you for having me!

Thanks for doing the interview, Žan!