PyDev of the Week: Eduardo Blancas

This week we welcome Eduardo Blancas (@edublancas) as our PyDev of the Week! Eduardo is the co-founder of Ploomber. You can see what Eduardo is working on over on GitHub.

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

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

My name is Eduardo; I’m originally from Mexico and moved to the U.S. after finishing college; I spent about six years working as a Data Scientist. I’m currently the co-founder and CEO of Ploomber, a tech company developing open-source tools for Data Science and Machine Learning.

I enjoy traveling and getting to know new cultures a lot! And I’ve spent some time working remotely from Argentina, Japan, and Spain!

Why did you start using Python?

I became interested in Data Science in my last year of college, and Python repeatedly appeared in the tutorials and online courses I was taking, so I couldn’t avoid it!

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

In the past, I’ve used C, R, MATLAB, and even assembly. But nowadays, it is 90% Python and 10% SQL. Python is my favorite! And I’m planning to learn Rust!

What projects are you working on now?

My team and I work on several open-source projects, to name a few:

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

Of course, I’m biased, so I’ll choose non-Ploomber projects; Jupytext, nbQA, and DuckDB are pretty awesome! On the other hand, I’ve been using difflib a lot from the standard library, and pathlib is on all Python modules I write!

How did you get involved in open-source projects?

When I started doing Data Science, I was amazed by the open-source model; it was unbelievable that high-quality libraries such as scikit-learn or numpy could be free! And once I gained confidence that my programming skills were decent enough, I started small open-source projects that allowed me to understand the open-source workflow: coding, testing, and uploading to PyPI. Then, I started making small contributions to other packages.

What challenges have you faced and overcome as an open-source developer?

The number one challenge has been scaling contributions. As the number of contributors to our projects grows (both from Ploomber and external contributors), it has become clear that providing a good contributor experience is vital to keep a fast development cycle. So lately, I’ve become more interested in those “hidden” aspects like onboarding contributors, triaging issues, writing good developer documentation, etc. And even though I’m an active contributor, my job has shifted a bit, and I now spend a lot more time ensuring my team has the right tools to keep shipping!

Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Check out our open-source projects! We have a welcoming community, always happy to answer questions and onboard new members; whether you’re a user or want to become a contributor, we’re eager to help. Also, I’m hiring!

Thanks for doing the interview, Eduardo!