Practical Advice On Using Python To Power A Business


March 15th, 2021

49 mins 30 secs

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About this Episode


Python is a language that is used in almost every imaginable context and by people from an amazing range of backgrounds. A lot of the people who use it wouldn’t even call themselves programmers, because that is not the primary focus of their job. In this episode Chris Moffitt shares his experience writing Python as a business user. In order to share his insights and help others who have run up against the limits of Excel he maintains the site Practical Business Python where he publishes articles that help introduce newcomers to Python and explain how to perform tasks such as building reports, automating Excel files, and doing data analysis. This is a great conversation that illustrates how useful it is to learn Python even if you never intend to write software professionally.


  • 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 Chris Moffitt about how Python is used to help manage business needs and processes and his work to share advice on this topic at Practical Business Python


  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python?
  • Can you start by giving an overview of your mission at Practical Business Python?
    • What was your inspiration for starting the site and what keeps you motivated?
  • What are some of the kinds of problems that a business user is looking to solve for themselves?
  • Why is Python a viable tool for a business user to become familiar with?
  • How would you characterize the difference between the ways that a software engineer and a business user approach Python?
  • What do you see as the tipping point of complexity or time investment past which a business user will pass a given project on to a software engineer?
  • How much familiarity with adjacent concerns such as version control, software design, etc. do you consider useful for a business user?
  • What are some of the ways that you use Python in your day-to-day?
  • What are some of the onramps for integrating Python into a user’s workflow?
  • What are some common stumbling blocks that business users run into when getting started with Python?
  • What are some of the most interesting, innovative, or impressive ways that you have seen Python employed by business users?
  • What are some of the most interesting, unexpected, or challenging lessons that you have learned while working on the Practical Business Python site?
  • What are some cases where you would advocate for a tool other than Python for a business use case?
  • What do you have planned for the future of the site?

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