Turning Notebooks Into Collaborative And Dynamic Data Applications With Hex
December 21st, 2020
42 mins 39 secs
About this Episode
Notebooks have been a useful tool for analytics, exploratory programming, and shareable data science for years, and their popularity is continuing to grow. Despite their widespread use, there are still a number of challenges that inhibit collaboration and use by non-technical stakeholders. Barry McCardel and his team at Hex have built a platform to make collaboration on Jupyter notebooks a first class experience, as well as allowing notebooks to be parameterized and exposing the logic through interactive web applications. In this episode Barry shares his perspective on the state of the notebook ecosystem, why it is such as powerful tool for computing and analytics, and how he has built a successful business around improving the end to end experience of working with notebooks. This was a great conversation about an important piece of the toolkit for every analyst and data scientist.
- Hello and welcome to Podcast.__init__, the podcast about Python and the people who make it great.
- When you’re ready to launch your next app or want to try a project you hear about on the show, you’ll need somewhere to deploy it, so take a look at our friends over at Linode. With the launch of their managed Kubernetes platform it’s easy to get started with the next generation of deployment and scaling, powered by the battle tested Linode platform, including simple pricing, node balancers, 40Gbit networking, dedicated CPU and GPU instances, and worldwide data centers. Go to pythonpodcast.com/linode and get a $100 credit to try out a Kubernetes cluster of your own. And don’t forget to thank them for their continued support of this show!
- Do you want to get better at Python? Now is an excellent time to take an online course. Whether you’re just learning Python or you’re looking for deep dives on topics like APIs, memory mangement, async and await, and more, our friends at Talk Python Training have a top-notch course for you. If you’re just getting started, be sure to check out the Python for Absolute Beginners course. It’s like the first year of computer science that you never took compressed into 10 fun hours of Python coding and problem solving. Go to pythonpodcast.com/talkpython today and get 10% off the course that will help you find your next level. That’s pythonpodcast.com/talkpython, and don’t forget to thank them for supporting the show.
- Python has become the default language for working with data, whether as a data scientist, data engineer, data analyst, or machine learning engineer. Springboard has launched their School of Data to help you get a career in the field through a comprehensive set of programs that are 100% online and tailored to fit your busy schedule. With a network of expert mentors who are available to coach you during weekly 1:1 video calls, a tuition-back guarantee that means you don’t pay until you get a job, resume preparation, and interview assistance there’s no reason to wait. Springboard is offering up to 20 scholarships of $500 towards the tuition cost, exclusively to listeners of this show. Go to pythonpodcast.com/springboard today to learn more and give your career a boost to the next level.
- Your host as usual is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Barry McCardel about Hex, a managed platform to turn your notebooks into collaborative, interactive data apps and stories
- How did you get introduced to Python?
- Can you start by describing what you have built at Hex and your motivation for starting the business?
- Who are the primary users of the Hex platform?
- How has that focus influenced your product direction and the features that you prioritize?
- What are the biggest roadblocks that you see data analysts and data consumers running into?
- How have those roadblocks shifted in recent years?
- What is it about the concept of a notebook that has caused them to see such a massive rise in usage and popularity?
- What are the barriers to productivity and accessibility that still exist in the notebook ecosystem?
- What are the pieces for working in and with notebooks that are still missing?
- What does Hex add to the experience of working with notebooks?
- Can you describe how the Hex platform implemented?
- How has the design of the platform changed or evolved since you first began working on it?
- Where does Hex sit in the lifecycle of notebook creation and usage?
- How does it compare to other services built to support users of notebooks such as Zepl, Saturn Cloud, Noteable, etc.?
- You focus on the Jupyter platform, but there are a number of other notebook frameworks that have sprung up in recent years. What do you see as being the relative strengths of the available options?
- What are the trends in the tooling, capabilities, and use cases for notebooks that you are keeping an eye on?
- What are the most interesting, innovative, or unexpected ways that you have seen the Hex platform used?
- What are the most interesting, unexpected, or challenging lessons that you have learned while building Hex?
- When is Hex the wrong choice?
- What do you have planned for the future of the Hex business and product?
Keep In Touch
- @TheRealBarryM on Twitter
- Thank you for listening! Don’t forget to check out our other show, the Data Engineering Podcast for the latest on modern data management.
- Visit the site to subscribe to the show, sign up for the mailing list, and read the show notes.
- If you’ve learned something or tried out a project from the show then tell us about it! Email email@example.com) with your story.
- To help other people find the show please leave a review on iTunes and tell your friends and co-workers
- Join the community in the new Zulip chat workspace at pythonpodcast.com/chat
- IDE == Integrated Development Environment
- Saturn Cloud
- Zeplin Notebooks
The intro and outro music is from Requiem for a Fish The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA