PyDev of the Week: Ines Montani

This week we welcome Ines Montani (@_inesmontani) as our PyDev of the Week! Ines is the Founder of Explosion AI and a core developer of the spaCy package, which is a Python package for Natural Language Processing. If you would like to know more about Ines, you can check out her website or her Github profile. Let’s take a few moments to get to know her better!

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

Hi, I’m Ines! I pretty much grew up on the internet and started making websites when I was 11. I remember sitting in school and counting the hours until I could go back home and keep working on my websites. I still get that feeling sometimes when I’m working on something particularly exciting.

I wasn’t quite sure what to do with my life, so I ended up doing a combined degree of media science and linguistics and went on to work in the media industry for a few years, leading marketing and sales. But I always kept programming and building things on the side.

In 2016, I started Explosion, together with my co-founder Matt. We specialise in developer tools for Machine Learning, specifically Natural Language Processing – so basically, working with and extracting information from large volumes of text. Our open-source library spaCy is a popular package for building industrial-strength, production-ready NLP pipelines. We also develop Prodigy, an annotation tool for creating training data for machine learning models.

I’m based in Berlin, Germany, and if I’m not programming, I enjoy bouldering 🧗‍♀️, eating good food 🥘 and spending time with my pet rats 🐀. Continue reading PyDev of the Week: Ines Montani

PyDev of the Week: Cris Medina

This week we welcome Cris Medina (@tryexceptpass) as our PyDev of the Week! Cris is the author behind the popular tryexceptpass blog. He is also the maintainer of sofi and korv. You can catch up with Chris’s other projects on Github. Let’s spend some time getting to know him better!

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

I was born in the Dominican Republic. I finished highschool there and went to Puerto Rico to study Computer Engineering, specializing in hardware. But I’ve been writing software in some form since I can remember. My dad introduced me to IBM System 360 Basic as my first language. Go figure!

Most of my professional career (going on 17 years now) was spent doing test engineering, along with developing all the hardware and software tools required to execute those tests and maintain their infrastructure. The rest of the time I’ve held formal software engineering roles.

I like to spend some of my free time with music. My mother is a music teacher and she got me into piano early on. Though I moved into string instruments as I got older. Today I mostly play classical guitar, but I own several types of guitars and dabble in other string instruments.

I also enjoy cooking. My family is from various parts around the Mediterranean, so most of my meals have that flare. Cooking reminds me a little of the dev process: you have some idea of what you want, you follow a basic set of instructions on how to get there, but there’s usually some extra flavor you throw in to make it yours and it can take several iterations to get it just right. Continue reading PyDev of the Week: Cris Medina

New Malicious Python Libraries Found Targeting Linux

ZDNet published an article recently about a newly discovered set of malware-related Python packages on the Python Package Index (PyPI). These packages contained a backdoor that would only activate when installed on Linux.

These packages were named:

  • libpeshnx
  • libpesh
  • libar

They were written by a user named ruri12. These packages were removed by the PyPI team on July 9, 2019. However they were available since November 2017 and had been downloaded fairly regularly.

See the original article for more details.

As always, when using a package that you aren’t familiar with, be sure to do your own thorough vetting to be sure you are not installing malware accidentally.

Related Reading

Intro to Black – The Uncompromising Python Code Formatter

There are several Python code checkers available. For example, a lot of developers enjoy using Pylint or Flake8 to check their code for errors. These tools use static code analysis to check your code for bugs or naming issues. Flake8 will also check your code to see if you are adhering to PEP8, Python’s style guide.

However there is a new tool that you can use called Black. Black is a Python code formatter. It will reformat your entire file in place according to the Black code style, which is pretty close to PEP8.


Installation

Installing Black is easy. You can just use pip for that:

pip install black

You can also configure popular text editors and IDEs to use Black following these instructions.

Now that Black is installed, let’s give it a try! Continue reading Intro to Black – The Uncompromising Python Code Formatter

PyDev of the Week: Meg Ray

This week we welcome Meg Ray (@teach_python) as our PyDev of the Week! Meg teaches programming to other teachers and has developed Python-related curriculum. Meg is also the author of Code This Game, a book which will be coming out in August 2019. Let’s take some time to get to know her better!

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

I started out as an actor. I studied theater and moved to New York City to start out my career. One of the jobs I did to stay afloat while I was starting out was teaching theater classes to kids. I taught theater programs for students with disabilities as well as homeless youth. This lead me to my career as a special education teacher. I really enjoyed teaching and mentoring young people, particularly young people who have had challenges in their lives.

Around this time in my life, I began to learn to program. I was having a lot of fun with it, and I also started to understand computer science education as an equity issue. I was hired at a school to teach a software engineering and game design class that was required for all 9th graders. I learned as I went. I re-designed the course to include Python in addition to block coding and to be more inclusive of students with learning differences.

Now I develop curriculum and train other educators to teach computer science. Through the Cornell Tech Teacher in Residence initiative, I have been providing in-classroom coaching and support to K-8 teachers. I’ve also been working on my first book! Code This Game! is an intro to Python and computer science through designing a game. It was really fun to have the opportunity to apply everything I’ve learned about teaching Python to kids in a creative way.

On a personal note, I’m a new mom. One of the priorities that I have now is building community. I DM for a D&D (with babies!) campaign, and have been thinking about other ways to make space for family and community in my life. One thing that I love about Python is the Python community. For me that means participating in my local meetup, collaborating with others to support Python eductors, and attending Pycon as a family. Continue reading PyDev of the Week: Meg Ray

PyDev of the Week: David Kopec

This week we welcome David Kopec (@davekopec) as our PyDev of the Week! David is the author of Classic Computer Science Problems in Python from Manning, as well as several other books. He was even interviewed about his book by Talk Python! If you would like to see what open source projects he is working on, then you should head on over to Github. Now let’s take some time to get to know David!

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

Before I start, I want to thank Mike for including me in this series. It’s an honor.

I’m an assistant professor in the Computer Science & Innovation program at Champlain College in beautiful Burlington, Vermont, USA. Before becoming a full time professor, I worked professionally as a software developer, and I’m still open to taking projects on a consulting basis. I have a bachelors degree in economics (minor in English) from Dartmouth College and a masters degree in computer science, also from Dartmouth.

I’m the author of three programming books: Dart for Absolute Beginners (Apress, 2014), Classic Computer Science Problems in Swift (Manning, 2018), and Classic Computer Science Problems in Python (Manning, 2019). However, I no longer recommend the Dart book because it’s very outdated. I’m also an active contributor to open source.

When I’m not working, I enjoy learning about American history, entrepreneurship, and keeping up with the world of computing (although that’s kind of my job too). I also have all the same hobbies that just about everyone has—cooking, traveling, film, reading (classics, biography, history, business dramas), television (Frasier & The Curse of Oak Island!), music, video games (Zelda & AOE2!), podcasts, stock trading, etc. Continue reading PyDev of the Week: David Kopec

PyDev of the Week: Scott Shawcroft

This week we welcome Scott Shawcroft (@tannewt) as our PyDev of the Week! Scott is the lead developer of CircuitPython, a variant of the Python programming language made for microcontrollers. If you’d like to see what else Scott is up to, his website is a good place to start. Let’s take a few moments to get to know Scott better!

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

I’m Scott, I graduated from the University of Washington in 2009 in Computer Engineering. Afterwards, I joined the Maps team at Google where I worked on rendering and styling of the map. I left in 2015 to do my own thing. I designed a modular flight controller system for racing quadcopters and learned about hardware at the same time. My hobbies include running, rock climbing, video gaming and thrift shopping for retro electronics (so I can put CircuitPython in them.) Continue reading PyDev of the Week: Scott Shawcroft

PyDev of the Week: Geir Arne Hjelle

This week we welcome Geir Arne Hjelle (@gahjelle) as our PyDev of the Week! Geir is a regular contributor to Real Python. You can also find some of his work over on Github. Let’s take a few moments to get to know Geir now!

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

Sure. I grew up in a beautiful village on an island in the north of Norway. My family has since moved south, but I still go north and visit friends and enjoy the nature regularly. I’ve always enjoyed playing with numbers, so I quite naturally ended up studying mathematics at the University. I did both a Master’s and a PhD at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim. During the PhD, I also got to spend about a year in my favorite big city: Barcelona. To this day, I spend a week or two in Barcelona every year.

After my studies, I lived three years in St. Louis, Missouri doing a Post.Doc at Washington University. Then I moved back to Norway, and I’m currently living in Oslo working with data science, mostly using Python.

I spend a fair bit of my free time with programming as well. I write tutorials for Real Python and helping teach kids how to code. I enjoy being outdoors. In Norway there are great opportunities for going skiing in the winter, and hiking in the summer. At this very moment, I’m actually basking in the sun in a hammock in the forest just outside of Oslo. Finally, I should note that I love getting together with friends for a board game session. Continue reading PyDev of the Week: Geir Arne Hjelle

Book Contest: Creating GUI Applications with wxPython

Last month, I released a new book entitled Creating GUI Applications with wxPython. In celebration of a successful launch, I have decided to do a little contest.

Cover art for Creating GUI Applications with wxPython

Rules

  • Tweet about the contest and include my handle: @driscollis
  • Send me a direct message on Twitter or via my contact form with a link to your Tweet
  • If you don’t have Twitter, feel free to message me through the website and I’ll enter you anyway

The contest will run starting now until Friday, June 21st @ 11:59 p.m. CST.

Runners up will receive a free copy of the eBook. The grand prize will be a signed paperback copy + the eBook version!

PyDev of the Week: Meredydd Luff

This week we welcome Meredydd Luff (@meredydd) as our PyDev of the Week! Meredydd is the co-founder of Anvil and a core developer for the Skulpt package. You can learn more about Meredydd on his website. Let’s take a few moments to get to know him better!

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

I’ve loved programming since I was first introduced to BASIC at the age of 7. I come from Cambridge (the old one in the UK, not the relatively-new one near Boston), and I studied here too. I actually started out as a biologist, but then switched to computer science for my PhD.

I think programming is the closest thing to magic we have, and I love watching and helping people get their hands on this power. My PhD research was about building usable parallel programming systems, and now I work on Anvil, a tool to make web programming faster and easier for everyone (with Python!).

When I’m not programming, I fly light aeroplanes, which I guess is what happens when your inner six-year-old makes your life decisions. I used to dance competitively (including a few years on England’s top Latin formation team), but it turns out international competitions and startups don’t play well together, so the startup won.
Continue reading PyDev of the Week: Meredydd Luff