Making A Difference Through Software With Eric Schles


May 26th, 2018

43 mins 13 secs

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About this Episode


Software development is a skill that can create value and reduce drudgery in a wide variety of contexts. Sometimes the causes that are most in need of software expertise are also the least able to pay for it. By volunteering our time and abilities to causes that we believe in, we can help make a tangible difference in the world. In this episode Eric Schles describes his experiences working on social justice initiatives and the types of work that proved to be the most helpful to the groups that he was working with.


  • Hello and welcome to Podcast.__init__, the podcast about Python and the people who make it great.
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  • Your host as usual is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Eric Schles about how to get involved with social justice causes as an engineer


  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python?
  • What are some ways that engineers can create real-world impact with their skills?
  • What are some of the common roadblocks to contribution that people should be aware of?
  • What are some of the types of projects or tools that can provide the most value compared to the amount of effort?
  • Do you have any advice for picking an organization or cause that will benefit the most from technical expertise?
  • Many of the tools and systems that get built for public or non-profit organizations require some amount of data for them to be useful. Do you have any advice on methods for identifying, locating, or collecting the necessary information for feeding into these projects?
  • What are some of the design factors that should be considered when building tools for these organizations to allow them to be maintainable and sustainable in the absense of an experienced engineer?

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The intro and outro music is from Requiem for a Fish The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA