PyDev of the Week: Julian Sequeira

This week we welcome Julian Sequeira (@juliansequeira) as our PyDev of the Week! Julian is one of the co-founders of PyBites. They post articles, courses, run a podcast and have a fun Code Challenge site too.

You can connect with Julian on LinkedIn if you’d like to. Now let’s spend some time getting to know him better!

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

I’m Julian Sequeira, an entrepreneur obsessed with Python and everything Mindset related. I’ve spent my life in technology and am currently the Co-Founder of PyBites as well as a Program Manager at Amazon Web Services. Off the books, I love to tinker with tech, play the guitar, spend time with my kids and dive into a casual video game or three.

Why did you start using Python?

I started using Python when I was working as a Field Engineer at Oracle in 2016. By then I’d already befriended my now best mate and business partner, Bob Belderbos, who I was looking to partner with on a project. At the same time, I had the need to create a simple app to track the over time I was doing as part of the day job.

While using Python to create the app, I found myself wanting and needing to take notes on the concepts I was learning (virtual environments blew my mind!). This led to Bob and I deciding to create a blog so we could both learn Python and record what we learned at the same time. PyBites was born, the Python learning continued, all manner of material was created and here we are today, with PyBites as our very own company.

Oh and yes, I finished creating the overtime tracker and while I found no discrepancies in *my* pay, it found some gaps in someone else’s! Win!

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

This is a tough one! I’ve spent the vast majority of my time on Python but do have some rudimentary Javascript and C++ experience. C++ holds a special (painful) place in my heart as it was the very first programming language I learned back in high school. I remember making a  text-based Black Jack game which I was super proud of. Given the relative complexities, I still feel like a champion just writing “#include <iostream>”.

What projects are you working on now?

Not as many projects as I’d like due to moving houses but I’ve just started working on a Python app with my son so we can categorise and record his Pokemon card collection. We’re using the PyBites Developer Mindset approach and starting with an MVP. It’s slow going as I’m teaching him Python at the same time but it’s not the speed that counts, we’re just enjoying the journey and every little win along the way.

Outside of that, there are always projects in the works for PyBites. I’m not coding anything right now but am working on some content for schools that are using our Python exercises platform to teach students how to code. This is what gets me up in the morning!

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

The kind with books! … Anyone?

Fine! While I’m not an expert with it in any way, I’ve come to appreciate OpenCV. To me it just unlocks so much from a creative perspective and allows me to take dreams I’ve had my entire life and make them a reality. I remember following a tutorial from Adrian Rosebrock to create my own OpenCV based Pokedex. It blew my mind and really reminded me that Python can be used not just to create the usual “serious” app but to set us free and really use our imaginations to make the world a brighter place.

What were we talking about? Oh yeah, OpenCV would be it!

How is the PyBites Podcast going? How is that different from the other things you do at PyBites?

The PyBites Podcast is going strong! It has to be the most fun we have second only to working with our clients. As we record each episode, I honestly forget that it’s being recorded and just enjoy the conversation. It allows me to share openly and honestly without feeling tied down by a script. I feel like this sets it apart from the rest of the things we do at PyBites. It’s candid, light and raw and allows listeners to hear us at our best.

Also, while PyBites can be quite technical on the blog, the podcast tends to lean toward the mindset side of things. Mindset topics can be dry in text form but when discussed over audio people can hear the passion and enthusiasm we have regarding the theme of the episode.

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

As you may or may not know, Bob and I coach people through their Python journey. One thing that comes up over and over is how important it is to have a strong mindset as you push for your Python goals. It’s not enough to just code. You have to learn to effectively work with the successes *and* the failures, how to work with others, how to take criticism, deal with tutorial paralysis and imposter syndrome… the list goes on.

Ultimately, you need to find a balance between the mindset and the tech skills. This is when real progress is made.

And to wrap it up, it may sound lame but the reality is that it starts and ends with you. Trust in yourself and your abilities and go get it.

Thanks for doing the interview, Julian!

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