PyDev of the Week: Batuhan Taskaya

This week we welcome Batuhan Taskaya (@isidentical) as our PyDev of the Week! Batuhan is a core developer of the Python language. Batuhan is also a maintainer of multiple Python packages including parso and Black.

You can see what else Batuhan is up to by checking out his website or GitHub profile.

Let’s take a few moments to get to know Batuhan better!

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

Hey there! My name is Batuhan, and I’m a software engineer who loves to work on developer tools to improve the overall productivity of the Python ecosystem.

I pretty much fill all my free time with open source maintenance and other programming related activities. If I am not programming at that time, I am probably reading a paper about PLT or watching some sci-fi show. I am a huge fan of the Stargate franchise.

Why did you start using Python?

I was always intrigued by computers but didn’t do anything related to programming until I started using GNU/Linux on my personal computer (namely Ubuntu 12.04). Back then, I was searching for something to pass the time and found Python.

Initially, I was mind-blown by the responsiveness of the REPL. I typed `2 + 2`, it replied `4` back to me. Such a joy! For someone with literally zero programming experience, it was a very friendly environment. Later, I started following some tutorials, writing more code and repeating that process until I got a good grasp of the Python language and programming in general.

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

After being exposed to the level of elegancy and the simplicity in Python, I set the bar too high for adopting a new language. C is a great example where the language (in its own terms) is very straightforward, and currently, it is the only language I actively use apart from Python. I also think it goes really well when paired with Python, which might not be surprised considering the CPython itself and the extension modules are written in C.

If we let the mainstream languages go, I love building one-off compilers for weird/esoteric languages.

What projects are you working on now?

Most of my work revolves around CPython, which is the reference implementation of the Python language. In terms of the core, I specialize in the parser and the compiler. But outside of it, I maintain the ast module, and a few others.

One of the recent changes I’ve collaborated (with Pablo Galindo Salgado an Ammar Askar) on CPython was the new fancy tracebacks which I hope will really increase the productivity of the Python developers:

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "", line 37, in <module>
  File "", line 18, in magic_arithmetic
    return add_counts(x) / 25
  File "", line 24, in add_counts
    return 25 + query_user(user1) + query_user(user2)
  File "", line 32, in query_user
    return 1 + query_count(db, response['a']['b']['c']['user'], retry=True)
TypeError: 'NoneType' object is not subscriptable


Alongside that, I help maintain projects like

and I am a core member of the fsspec.

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

It might be a bit obvious, but I love the ast module. Apart from that, I enjoy using dataclasses and pathlib.

I generally avoid using dependencies since nearly %99 of the time, I can simply use the stdlib. But there is one exception, rich. For the last three months, nearly every script I’ve written uses it. It is such a beauty (both in terms of the UI and the API). I also really love pytest and pre-commit.

Not as a library, though one of my favorite projects from the python ecosystem is PyPy. It brings an entirely new python runtime, which depending on your work can be 1000X faster (or just 4X in general).

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

I’ve recently started a GitHub Sponsors Page, and if any of my work directly touches you (or your company) please consider sponsoring me!

Thanks for the interview Mike, and I hope people reading the article enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed answering these questions!

Thanks for doing the interview, Batuhan!